Yes, this is me. I am 32 years old, and consider myself very lucky to have the better part of my hairline still intact. Some acquaintances close to me in age have fared less well. (Is that my Aspie imprudence coming out? Sorry, I’ll shut up now.)
Anyway, here’s my story:
A beginning note of gratitude
I was born in December of 1984, the first child of Jeffrey and Janet Crofts.
My entry into the world was touch-and-go for a bit. Upon delivery, the umbilical cord was discovered to have gotten tied into a knot. I was losing oxygen, and nearly died.
But, thank God (and I do mean that literally), the doctors worked hard for my mother and me, and I was saved.
The early years
Early childhood was a normal and happy time. My parents were both teachers, and therefore caring people with a strong love of children. Being the only child for two and a half years, I enjoyed their complete attention and solicitude.
Language acquisition came easy to me as an infant, and I surprised my parents by talking in full and clear sentences at 18 months. My father describes me as having resembled a “little professor.”
When I was about 9 months old, my mother needed to return to work (can I get an amen from all the moms who know what that’s like?). I began attending a daycare on weekdays during the school year, and this continued for a little over a year.
While there, I preferred to play by myself. As the other children engaged with one another, I would spend my days on the periphery – and perfectly content to stay there.
At home, I was much the same way. My preferred leisure activity was to run back and forth shaking a rope or string-like object (I wrote an article about this for the Autism NOW blog a couple years ago — see Why I Like Strings). I was also in the habit of watching the same TV shows and movies over and over again – a habit that perhaps made some contribution to my current love of movies.
When I was about two-and-a-half years old, my mother discovered that I was having difficulty with multi-part directions. Example: “Danny, could you please go upstairs and get me the sewing kit?”
I would go upstairs, but that was it. Directions had to be delivered on a strict piece-by-piece basis, or I would get confused.
Early years, in short, came with early signs.
Part two soon to come