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Puberty and Other Autism Suspicions Confirmed

It turns out that my autistic twelve-year-old son is in fact in puberty. This obvious fact was confirmed today by a specialist at the Adolescent Medicine Clinic of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The doctor held his testicles in her gloved hand and proudly announced, “Stage three.” A google search would have told me the same thing, or the dark nest of hair in the region she was examining hesitantly while he tried to shove her away. I still bathe him every day and wipe his ass after he goes to the bathroom. I am well aware of what’s going on down there. But if I somehow managed to miss those clues, maybe his seemingly constant erection at every inopportune moment for the last year might have indicated his maturation. I might have also guessed when he removed the mounted head of the trophy buck from our living room wall, straddled it and began moving back and forth surprisingly rhythmically. It was the furthest thing from funny at the time, but by that evening I admit to sending my s…

Ten Years After Autism Diagnosis

This morning I was on my knees on the kitchen floor and I was not cleaning. I was begging for divine intervention. Ten years since the autism diagnosis. Ten. Years. A full fucking decade. I have aged threefold. I am baffled and broken but no closer to an answer than I was when we started this journey. I believe I believe I believe, I repeated over and over as if faith could function like magic. If I just prayed hard enough a fairy godmother would appear to grant my wish. Heal my son. Or give me his pain. Hurt me for my own mistakes, but he has suffered enough. In truth, I could just as easily have meant Ihave suffered enough. Either way, my prayers soon turned into an angry soliloquy, a version of the rant I I have said more than once before. Leave him alone now, you son of a bitch. What kind of monster would hurt an innocent child for things his mother has done? I have done all that you asked. I have tried every potential solution you have given me. Every medicine. A speci…