By Cathy Jameson
I gauge how on time or how late we might be in the mornings, not so much by the clock but if I see our neighbor. If we leave before him, we’re doing great on time. If he leaves before us, we’re running a tad late. He drives his kids to the stop sign at the end of the street. When we are behind him, I might get stuck behind his kids’ bus through part of the neighborhood.
Luck was on our side one morning as we’d made it out of our driveway ahead of the neighbor. That day, even though I’d left the house about 4 minutes later than usual, I knew I’d still be able to get my youngest to school on time. I thought that until we got stuck behind a different bus that day.
It was a shorter bus, one that picks up children with special needs.
Since we left later than usual, we aren’t usually in that part of the neighborhood at that time. I’ve seen that bus pick up another child, a little boy, across the street in that spot. I was taken aback that we had another young neighbor, a girl, with special needs.
Ahead of her mother as she walked, an elementary-aged girl was inching toward the bus. Other drivers could be a bit miffed that they were slowed down by the bus and a student who didn’t appear to be too excited to get on it. I was not miffed at all. I was curious! Having lived here as long as I have, I was encouraged to see that another family, potentially like mine, utilize the school system’s special ed services. Ronan’s been out of that system for some time, but I’m glad others can find success in it.
The little girl walked so very slowly toward the bus. Mid-step, she turned her head toward her mom and stopped. The mom, who had stayed about 10 steps behind her since I spied them, walked up to her daughter. They hugged quickly and then parted ways. I thought that a bit odd. Every parent of typical students we see in the mornings stays at the bus stop until after the bus leaves. They wave like crazy. Some shout out sweet messages. After the bus leaves, parents don’t go home right away. Some will stand in each other’s driveways chit chatting for a few minutes.
This mom didn’t stick around.
She headed back toward their house.
The little girl kept her head low as she walked the last few steps to the bus. When she got close to the bus door, I thought for sure the mom would’ve timed perfectly when to turn and wave to her daughter.
But there was no wave.
There was no smile.
And there were no kisses being blown nor I love you, honey! being shouted.
Since it took the little girl a little longer to get on the bus and into her seat, I could continue to watch the mom as she headed down their street. “She didn’t turn back. I can’t believe the mom didn’t look back…” I’ve seen busses pick up children in my neighborhood for years. Parents always wave. Some send their kids off with fanfare. Some are a little over the top, but I’d never seen that response before.
“I would’ve waited til she got on the bus to leave,” my daughter said to me.
“Me, too,” I said quietly.
I don’t know the little girl, the mom, their family, or their situation. Maybe it was a rough morning. Maybe the girl doesn’t like or want the extra attention other kids get at the other bus stops. Maybe the mom had to tend to other young siblings back at the house. Maybe they’d said their cheery goodbyes before they left the house. It’s certainly none of my business why their interaction, or lack of one, was the way it was. But it had me thinking – the mom didn’t look back.
For years, I did.
That’s all I did.
When my son got sick, I looked back at baby calendars and at milestone charts. I looked back at home movies and baby pictures. I recalled conversations I had with his pediatrician and with friends. My thoughts went into overdrive the less interactive my child got. I racked my brain trying to make sense of what was happening to him. People told me not to worry too much. Boys would be boys.
They just develop slower than girls.
He’ll be fine.
But he wasn’t fine. He still isn’t when compared to his peers. Which is why I still, some days, continue to look back.
Maybe this mom has accepted things quicker than I did. Maybe she doesn’t have time to dwell on the things I still sometimes dwell on. Maybe looking back is too painful. Looking back can be painful for me, which is why I don’t stay thinking about those old thoughts for too terribly long. I still recall them every now and then though. That’s why I readily share what happened to my child. When I get to do that, I always ask that new parents learn more than I thought to learn. And I will always tell them to ask more questions than I ever knew to ask. If they do that, they won’t have the need to look back like I did and wonder what could’ve been. Instead, they can have more things to look forward to. Life is a little bit better when you have something to look forward to.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
By Wayne Rohde
The Vaccine Court looks at the mysterious and often unknown world of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the only recourse for seeking compensation for those who have been injured by a vaccine. The NVICP, better known as the ”Vaccine Court,” however, is not without controversy.
Established by Congress as a direct result of the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, the NVICP was supposed to offer a no-fault alternative to the traditional injury claims filed in state or federal courts and was to provide quick, efficient, and fair compensation for those who have been injured by vaccines. The reality, however, is that many cases take several years or longer to complete and require tremendous commitment from families already pushed to the brink of bankruptcy caring for the vaccine-injured family member, only to discover that the end result is manipulated by the government in defense of the US vaccine policy.
A Letter to Liberals: Censorship and COVID: An Attack on Science and American Ideals
By Robert Kennedy Jr.
A leading Democrat challenges his party to return to liberal values and evidence-based science
Democrats were the party of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and faith in scientific and liberal empiricism. They once took pride in understanding how to read science critically, exercising healthy skepticism toward notoriously corrupt entities like the drug companies that brought us the opioid crisis, and were outraged by the phenomenon of “agency capture” and the pervasive control of private interests over Congress, the media, and the scientific journals.
A Letter to Liberals is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s, challenge to “lockdown liberalism’s” embrace of policies that are an affront to once cherished precepts.
Denial: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future
By Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted
Even as the autism rate soars and the cost to our nation climbs well into the billions, a dangerous new idea is taking hold: There simply is no autism epidemic.
The question is stark: Is autism ancient, a genetic variation that demands acceptance and celebration? Or is it new and disabling, triggered by something in the environment that is damaging more children every day?