When my wife Yvonne was pregnant with our first son Beonard, we fast made the decision to forgo any medical interventions that could possibly harm our child. That meant no medically unnecessary ultrasounds, no induction of birth, and — when the time came — no epidural or Demerol. (Yvonne is extremely muscular and eight inches taller than me, she could handle it no problem.)
Of course, we too opted out of vaccinating little Beonard against preventable diseases like whooping cough, measles, and polio, for fear of a mercury-tainted dose rendering our little miracle autistic. Beonard is 7-years-old now though, and while he’s avoided rubella and the like, there is an affect in our son’s behavior that is deeply, deeply troubling to my wife and I: Beonard is super into puzzles. Like, too into puzzles. Autism into puzzles. Where did we go wrong?
“In a puzzle, all things fit, Daddy” Beonard chirps happily, completing his second jigsaw of the day. It is a pitiful sight. No child should be into puzzles like this. “I like puzzles, and wish to complete a larger puzzle tomorrow.” My heart breaks.
Whose child is this, and how did the nefarious tentacle of government-sponsored autism get to him? Yvonne and I heavily monitor his bathroom habits and still forbid any processed foods in our home. We feed him a steady diet of spelt and sorghum. He is forbidden from playing with neighborhood age-mates. We did all the right things. How did we get a puzzleboy?
There’s just no way of telling where Beonard falls on the autism spectrum, as following some terse words with Beonard’s former school nurse (yes, bacitracin ointment is still a drug), Yvonne and I have cut the medical community out of our family’s life entirely. In time, we will teach Beonard to hate puzzles, as we have taught him to hate other things. As an additional measure toward undoing some of his autism, we have removed him from that dangerous (toxic) school environment in order to teach him in our home.
There remains a very real possibility that puzzles may be part of Beonard’s life forever, but home-schooling in an important first step toward cultivating a socially well-adjusted child.