December 15, 2012
“Love Leads into Mystery: Raising a Child with Asperger’s”
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s helpful and revealing account of her son, Daniel, who has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Love Leads Into Mystery: The Heartbreak and Hope of Raising a Child With Asperger’s
We’re driving home around sunset, late summer. Daniel, age nine, says aloud, “Mom, what do you think is at the end of the universe? Dragonflies? Or just inky blackness?”
I write it down. A good moment when what shines in him shines through, but there are plenty of bad moments, too. Daniel, as exquisitely creative, loving, and intelligent as he is, suffers from what experts label an invisible disability, a chemical imbalance, a little extra electricity in his system.
To kids his own age he’s a nuisance. To the school district he’s a special needs child. To psychologists he’s a quandary. To teachers he’s a challenge. To relatives he’s a little too hyper. To other parents, he’s annoying. To piles of paperwork he’s another diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, epilepsy, hyperactivity. To child-rearing books he’s an exception to the rule.
To my husband, Ken, and me, he’s just Daniel, but even we can’t say what in his behavior is chemical, what’s within his control, what he’ll outgrow, what will sculpt and contour his growth in ways we cannot see, what’s a good sign, what’s a bad one. All inky blackness so much of the time, with moments of dragonflies flashing their brilliance across a dulled sky.