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So, my kid is autistic. He got diagnosed at 18 months and have been doing 25 hours of ABA therapy since he was 24 months. He's now 30 months and the gains he has made are fucking amazing. My only indication that something was wrong was his lack of words and gestures, which I knew were milestones he was suppose to start meeting around 9-12 months. There were no other indications of autism, save maybe for his seemingly endless amusement at the way metal mixing bowls sounded and bounced around when he threw them on the tile floor, bonus points for moms seemingly endless aggravation at the noise.

Tonight I am going to a support meeting for mothers of young children with autism. I feel like an absolute hack. I am in so many support groups online and offline, and most of the time all I can do is sit back and sit and listen to how awful this all is. And it does sound awful. It sounds downright heartbreaking. But that isn't my kid. I don't have a kid who bangs his head against the wall. I don't have a kid who cannot stand to be touched. I don't have a kid who "lost the light in his eyes" (a common description used by parents of children who go through a severe regression, which means they were developing typically [talking, playing, engaging] and then they just withdraw into themselves). I don't know how much early intervention has had to do with it, but behaviors have never been a big concern. I actually really like my kid. His personality amuses me and makes me genuinely happy, even when he's being a little shit (oh my god has he been a little shit lately). Once upon a time, I just didn't think my kid would speak -- and that was hard. I can't quite describe how much weight I carried in the pit of my stomach when I sat there believing I would never hear his voice. I was just impatient, and currently, his language skills are developing at breakneck speeds. Everyday I hear new phrases, new words, new everything. 

I know there is something "off" about my kid, but... the more I read, the more I observe him, the more I learn... The more i see myself in him. Initially, I believed the diagnosis was incorrect. Autism is such a goddamn fucking spectrum, and it pisses me off that somehow that's an acceptable premise. So, I am going to go sit at this support group meeting, with mothers I cannot relate to -- because honestly, Jesus Christ, I knew so little about autism that when I recieved his diagnosis, my initial reaction was to think, "cool, he's gonna be good at math."

He is. 

So, I think I am autistic. 

This is the first place I've said it "out loud" -- but, it feels oddly right to say it. For the past 9 months I've been sitting in hours of therapy with my son. I have to chew the inside of my cheek to keep from asking questions regarding how certain things might affect adults. I want to ask them if I am because I still have traumatizing memories of when I was growing up and wanting to peel my skin off when I could hear a TV in another room, or how I would melt into a fucking pool of tears and snot when my dad sucked his teeth after dinner because the sound physically hurt, or how the sound of a trumpet fills my mind with gold ribbons, or how looking up at the stars makes me so cold I get goosebumps even in the middle of a muggy, sweaty, hot summer night. Mostly, I want to ask them if I am, because people make me so tired -- so tired that I still daydream of running away. 

Could I be autistic? I don't want to cheapen what other people go through, I don't want anyone to think I am making light of this diagnosis -- and what would it even matter if I was if I've managed to be at least relatively functional? But it's there -- the question. 

I don't really know what to do with it. I don't really want to allocate any resources from my kids just to satisfy my curiosity. 

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You walk in and it's a bar just as the neon sign outside had flashed you into realizing. There's a stage with a band and a stool at the counter. You pull one up. There's a guy on your left. He offers you a cigarette.

"Cigarette?"

You don't smoke. That's okay. He forgives you. You take the cigarette.

"Got a light?"

He smiles like he likes you.

"I like you, mister."

You're a girl. That's okay. He forgives you again.

"You got a kind face."

You shrug off the compliment and ask for his name.

"It's . . . "

(What is the guy's name?)

*Looks intently at Ataraxy*

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21 hours ago, Die Shize said:

You walk in and it's a bar just as the neon sign outside had flashed you into realizing. There's a stage with a band and a stool at the counter. You pull one up. There's a guy on your left. He offers you a cigarette.

"Cigarette?"

You don't smoke. That's okay. He forgives you. You take the cigarette.

"Got a light?"

He smiles like he likes you.

"I like you, mister."

You're a girl. That's okay. He forgives you again.

"You got a kind face."

You shrug off the compliment and ask for his name.

"It's . . . "

(What is the guy's name?)

*Looks intently at Ataraxy*

You're right, I do have a kind face!

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...

No...

The guy’s name is not Ataraxy and you are not him. 

I was looking at you intently to indicate that you should guess the name of the guy.

However, because you have failed miserably, I am going to sit somewhere else in the mess hall and play this game with someone else. 

Someone who I actually like.

Someone who actually likes me.

Someone who understands the meaning of everything.

Someone who once took up ninjago while iceskating uphill in Delaware.

*Looks intently at The Hummingbird*

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