There are those that refer to autism as a mystery, a sort of puzzle that needs to be solved, hence the puzzle piece as the autism logo.
I was one of those people. I felt like there were so many clues along the way during Ryan's development. I believed if I followed the clues, they would lead me to all the answers I had been searching for, but, the clues did not help me solve the puzzle. Just when I thought I had autism figured out, some new behavior would come our way and it was like someone took my nearly completed puzzle and chucked it piece by piece on the floor, taking me right back to the beginning.
You have to understand that I believed by finding these clues and inserting them into the puzzle, I would solve the mystery on how to reach my son. I clung to every clue like a lifeline. One of the first mysteries that was solved and attributed to autism after Ryan's diagnosis, was the absence of The W Questions.
Most toddlers and preschoolers have very inquisitive minds. It seems like no matter what you tell them, they always respond with..."Why?". The sky is blue. Why? Carrots are good for you. Why? Mommy needs wine. Why? And if it wasn't why, their curious little minds wanted to know "what". "What does a tiger say?" "What is your name?" "What is the moon made of?"
I remember this phase with Kyle, Ryan's older brother, and I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes those W questions got so annoying I would finally answer him with a "because". Who knew that three years later I would beg, borrow and steal for one "Why?" or "What?" to pass over Ryan's lips.