December 12th, 2009

Facial recognition failure: another symptom of autism

I was visiting Dianne in the Hospital Thursday. This woman came to the door of the room and began to don the yellow paper gown and blue latex gloves that are the uniform of "those who deal with my wife." I wear it too. "Hi, kiddo," Dianne cheerfully exclaimed. I thought, "She's certainly developed a good rapport with the respiratory therapist." The woman entered the room and began speaking, (one second passed, two seconds, three seconds) then I suddenly recognized my daughter. I've always had a hard time recognizing people I ought to be able to recognize, especially from facial appearance alone. In this case, the gown and gloves were just enough to throw my perception off and prevent me from seeing my daughter. Autists don't look people in the eye, therefore they don't study faces, therefore they don't recognize faces. At least that's my theory.

Dianne update

Dianne is back on the road to recovery after a setback Friday. Her lungs filled with moisture and her oxygenation level fell. When I came, they were doing a half-hour ultrasound of her heart (fearing, perhaps that it was working too hard to keep her breathing). No talking! No more solid food! Today she is better, there are signs she is much better, evidence that the antibiotics are getting to the pneumonia. I'm going to go see her again now. I expect to have only good news to report. Love, peace, and joy, Bob.

Dianne is better

When I got to the hospital tonight Dianne had been moved out of ICU and was being tucked into bed in a regular ward. She was allowed dinner (Chicken, rice, beans, mixed fruit, green salad, a roll, milk, and pudding) I ate the salad, half the roll, and the pudding--don't worry it was after she said she couldn't eat any more.) Tomorrow she expects to get out of bed, and at least in a chair. She seems to have made remarkable progress in just a few hours. Things are certainly looking up,