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Last night, Boston Legal finally made the diagnosis that I made in the first few seconds of “Hands” walking onto the screen. I know Doug remembers the moment a few weeks ago when I sat straight up and shouted at the screen “He has Aspergers!” When you are the parent of a special needs child you find your world view changed in unexpected ways. One of those is that you have a second sense for identifying the disability in others. I’m not talking about college sophomores taking abnormal psych who label everyone they know with something out of the DSM or any kind of ‘gaydar’ nonsense. I’m talking about the intimate knowledge that comes from living every moment of every day with someone, helping them struggle with normal developmental milestones and orchestrating the many different doctors and therapists who must be forced to work together. It’s not a useful skill. Neither schools nor medical professionals value the ‘gut feeling’ diagnosis. It’s not something that is unique since I have heard other parents mention it again and again. It’s more likely to annoy other parents than bring them relief. “My child does NOT have ___.” Still, it is who we are now. Rapidly evolved into people who see and respond to the world through a special filter. Not better or worse, but different, like our children.

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