If autism is a lock on the human mind, maybe empathy on an ultimate level is a kind of key.
. . . . . . .
At one of the worst points, she was banging her head on the floor and the walls of her bedroom, raging and crying.
And I was doing the same because I just didn't know what else to do anymore.
Something had triggered a full-on, pupil-dilated tantrum for my then-3-year-old, Emma, complete wiht hair-pulling and biting -- both herself and me.
Feeling just as helpless as I had the last dozen times this happened, I ticked down a mental checklist: Weird food? Wrong clothes? Too hot? Loud sounds? Missing toy? She fitfully stripped down to nothing, finally signaling to me that yes, it was the jammies. She curled up next to me (me, still sobbing) and promptly fell asleep, quiet and stark naked with brilliantly red-purple bruises blooming on her arms.
This is autism. Or one form of it anyway. It has many, many ways of showing itself.
It can be both good and bad. I'll get to the good.