Autism continues to ruin our household and scourge the life of my son Beighbee, who has a slight cold. Autism drank all Beighbee’s orange juice and ate the marshmallows out of his Lucky Charms, leaving only kibble, which Beighbee spilled all over the floor. But Beighbee isn’t the only one in the family who suffers from the ravages of autism. Autism also locked me out of my blog account (I’m still shouting this into our organic free-range rain barrel) and then played the conga drums loudly as I tried to work.
So I guess the first thing to be aware of is that autism doesn’t just ravage the lives of children. Autism is a family disease. It destroys entire families. If allowed to sneak past the Invisible Autism Fence you’ve so carefully installed around your home, autism will ravage the entire community and even the world.
No story could illustrate this dire point better than today.
I’ve long been a collector of obscure vintage polycarbonate – what all you basic Beckys call “CDs”. I pride myself on having access to some of the most obscure polycarbonate out there today, from REM’s entire discography to that edition of “Spice Up Your Life” in which Sporty drops the F-bomb. My polycarb collection is the pride and joy of our household – and often, it’s the only thing that will calm Beighbee on days when his slight cold is out of control.
This morning, however, that one sliver of hope I had, and Beighbee’s only consolation, was destroyed by autism.
I woke up this morning and went to put Beighbee’s favorite CD, “Seal Sings Country,” in the stereo. Now, as all polycarbonate enthusiasts (but you end-user posers) know, you can’t always tell that polycarb is scratched by looking at its surface. You have to put it in the machine and let the laser that reads the data on the disc find a scratch that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Only the biggest scratches can be seen by humans. But no thanks to autism, this was one of them. The disc was scratched clear across the surface!
Checking other discs, like Sonic Youth’s Whale Yodeling and Oasis’s What’s the Story, Morning Glory revealed the same horror slashed across the face of our family – and my beautiful son. Autism scratched every single one of my CDs. My entire vintage polycarbonate collection, and Beighbee’s one source of comfort, ruined.
I hate to say this, but sometimes autism makes it really hard to love my son.