Thursday, August 28, 2008

D.I.Y.

I stopped by the library this afternoon - all by myself! without any kids! - to return some overdue DVDs and books before I get arrested like that woman in Wisconsin. As much as I love taking the kids to the library, one of my small guilty mom pleasures is to go there by myself. To me, browsing amid books and DVDs without the words Dora, mermaid, Hannah Montana, or princess is sheer bliss.

The big irony of this is that I always find my way over to the Parenting section. Which is where I found myself this afternoon, glancing at Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. Right next to Jenny McCarthy's book about her experiences as a mother of a son with autism was a book called All Thumbs Guide to Home Wiring.

It made me think immediately of this post that Kristina Chew, PhD., wrote on June 12, 2008 on her blog Autism Vox:

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers affiliated with the University of Washington’s Autism Center have found an “abnormal pattern of connectivity” in the brains of autistic adults; this different neurological “wiring” may be responsible for social impairments that are one feature of autism. The study, which is published in the journal Brain, focused on the brain regions that process faces, the fusiform face area.

At the moment one becomes a parent of a child with autism - as I learned I was, four and a half years ago - many people embark on an extensive and expensive home improvement project, as we did. Faced with a very different immediate future than we'd imagined, we rewired every aspect of our life, just as thousands of parents of children with autism and other disabilities do. From the gluten and casein-free food we bought for more than two years, from the cadre of therapists and specialists we spent countless hours with, from the re-networking of our network to include parents like us, it was a complete rewiring of the path we'd set out on.

Just like the different neurological wiring studied at the University of Washington, our internal and external wiring in our home became rewired - and still continues to be - as we journey down the circuitous pathway of our lives.

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