Carrying the Hope

July/August 2009

"Mom, you have to come and look at my poop!" Brian yells, running back into the office where Fran, his therapist, and I are patiently awaiting his return. His blue eyes are shining, he grins from ear to ear. He gestures to me ("Come here!") and then runs and grabs my hand. When I arrive at the potty, I glance at the specimen and then at Brian. His eyes are glued to me, anticipating my reaction. I smile, he laughs and spreads his arms wide, "It's the longest snake ever!"

Such a moment might not strike everyone as so wonderful, but to me it's utterly amazing—on so many levels. When he was 26 months old, Brian—now 6½—was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified), an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) falling somewhere between autism and Asperger's Syndrome.…

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