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Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite movie is the "Wizard of Oz". I have always loved rainbows, as I am sure many people do. One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting with my mother watching the movie and listening to her sing "Somewhere over the Rainbow". My mother had the most wonderful voice, luckily for us she passed it onto my sister Karen who is blessed with the same perfect pitch.
Tuesday night as I was driving with my son Ricky to meet my husband at Walmart we saw the most remarkable rainbow. We got out of the car and gazed at it commenting on its beauty. I said to Ricky "Son, look how pretty the red is in the rainbow", as red is his favorite color.
His retort to me was that yes, the red was beautiful, but that the purple, and amber, the green, and azure, were astounding. Yes, I am quoting him here.
Immediately this called to mind a story I had read once about another autistic child.
Hanging on the wall of Bryna Siegel's clinic in San Francisco is a painting of a Victorian house at night, by Jessy Park, an autistic woman whose mother, Clara Claiborne Park, wrote one of the first accounts of raising a child with autism, The Siege. Now 40, Jessy still lives at home. In her recent book, Exiting Nirvana, Clara writes of having come to a profound sense of peace with all the ways that Jessy is.
Jessy sent Siegel a letter with her painting, in flowing handwriting and words that are - there is no other way to say it - marvelously autistic. "The lunar eclipse with 92% cover is below Cassiopeia. In the upper right-hand corner is Aurora Borealis. There are three sets of six-color pastel rainbow on the shingles, seven-color bright rainbow on the clapboards next to the drain pipe, six-color paler pastel rainbow around the circular window, six-color darker pastel rainbow on the rosette ..."
Many people are searching for a cure for Aspergers syndrome and autism. I know that for parents with low functioning children this would lessen the burden of caring for someone who cannot break thru the barrier, who will never be able to live alone, or care for themselves.
I, for one would be afraid. There is something about the difference in my son that makes him not only see things in technicolor, but see things in a "better" color. Look at things thru an untainted light.
Maybe as he grows he will learn to see the cynical side of things. To see that everything in the world isn't a good thing. I guess some would consider that "normal". I consider that a setback......