Yesterday we visited a new allergist, an N.D. with offices in Manhattan and Connecticut. He ran a battery of phenol profiles on Martin. When those were concluded, Adrian took Martin for a walk so I could chat with the doctor. At some point in that discussion, the doctor said this of Martin: “He really doesn’t strike me as a kid with Asperger’s.”
My heart leapt. This was a statement from a man who works extensively with children on the spectrum.
The doctor continued by remarking on Martin’s sustained eye contact, and the way Martin had laughed when I made a joke to entertain him during the phenol tests. (A stinky-feet-related bit of potty humor, but a joke nevertheless.) Humor, the doctor said, is a nuanced cognitive function, scarce in Asperger’s children.
I responded, “Thank you. This isn’t the same kid we had when that diagnosis was made. We’ve come so far already.”
My mind flew back to the days when Martin made almost no eye contact, when he spent his time wandering the perimeter of the room, running his hand along the walls. And I thought, We really have. We’ve come so far already.