One of my favorite books dealing with autism (and perhaps one of my favorite books full stop) is Beth Kephart's A Slant of Sun, which is a memoir of her son's early years of life with PDD-NOS. I first read it shortly after Bud was diagnosed, and was startled by how similar her son was to mine. I have read it several times since, and find myself using it as a reference book: "Let's see... what was Jeremy doing at this age?"
Then about a year ago, I read another of Kephart's books, Seeing Past Z, and it almost took my breath away. There was Jeremy, now 14 years old. He's bright, creative, verbal, quirky, interesting, engaging, popular; he is, quite frankly, everything that I hope my son will be. Seeing Past Z is not about Jeremy, in the way that A Slant of Sun was. He plays a supporting role in this story, the focus of which is a writing group that the author runs for Jeremy and his classmates. What struck me most was that Kephart never made mention of Jeremy's beginnings, and anyone who read the book without having read A Slant of Sun would find him off-beat and colorful, but by and large a perfectly normal kid. Dare I dream?
I found myself trying to read between the lines - practically trying to pry apart each individual page - to figure out how he - how THEY - got where they are. What therapies, what interventions, what prayers, what path led them to this wonderful place? I even tried to e-mail Kephart, both to thank her and to plead for a little bit of guidance. But the e-mail link on her author web page is not working, and I'm left to wonder how, how, how?