As Mikey got older, we realized that Mikey was not like typical children with Down syndrome. He could sit and spin a plate endlessly even though he had very poor fine motor control and couldn't even hold a crayon. In fact, Mikey would spin anything and stare at it. We sort of knew that Mikey was autistic although we avoided saying it. When we took him to Johns Hopkins for an evaluation, Doctor Capone told us that Mikey was probably autistic but he wasn't telling us anything that we didn't already know in our hearts.
Once I realized that Down syndrome wasn't going to be Mikey's big disability, I started participating in my own site less and less. At the same time, I had no desire to start an autism web site. Down syndrome is something understandable. We know what causes it, we know what kind of behaviors to expect, we know what the future holds to some extent. But autism is a blank slate. I don't understand autism. I don't understand what is going on inside of Mikey's brain. For example, Mikey will ask me for a sock. Unless I give him a very specific type of sock he will reject it. When I give him the right sock he will sit and shake the sock while staring at it. Why? I don't know. He doesn't smile or laugh while shaking the sock so I guess it doesn't make him happy but it must provide some kind of stimulus that he likes. Sometimes when I am sitting with him on the couch, he will try to remove all the creases from my pants, an impossible task as moving one crease creates another. But he can do this for long periods of time. In other ways he is very typcial; he likes to dance and to watch videos and go for drives in the car.
Mikey is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. He is cute and wonderful and funny and full of love. I don't understand him but I love him more than mere words can say.