Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder...
If Nikko had been born without autism,

would he be a talkative kid?
would he still be prone to constipation?
would he be curious?
would he be intelligent?
would he still have a speech delay?
would he be potty trained by now?
would he know how to ride a bike by now?
would he be funny?
would he be sensitive or have any sensory issues?
would he be a picky eater? (Probably!)
would he be closer to his brother and sister?

I can't even compare Nikko to Ronin in terms of development because they are so different. I wonder how Nikko's voice would sound like if he were a talkative kid. I wonder if we would have great conversations. Sometimes I find myself carrying on a complex conversation with Ronin about some random topic and then I look over at a silent Nikko, or a Nikko that is babbling in a foreign language. I feel guilty that he and I are not having that kind of exchange. What I also find fascinating is that neither Ronin nor Audrey seem to demand a conversation from Nikko. They don't ask me why Nikko doesn't talk like they do. They just accept that Nikko is there and they talk to him like anyone else in the room. They don't seem bothered that Nikko doesn't talk back to them. It worries me that I need to get more conversation out of Nikko.

And yet, while I feel the wide gulf between Nikko and me when it comes to speech communication, I feel very connected to him when we are sitting next to each other, or playing tickle games where there's a lot of physical contact, or when I'm trying to get him to take an afternoon nap and we are laying on my bed with Bow Wow and his burp cloth between us.

I don't know what Nikko would be like without his autism, but I hope I can help him grow and develop so he won't have to carry it on his shoulders in his future.

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