You know you’re the parent of a child with autism when you instinctively do a mental checklist for autism on every baby you meet!

I’ve noticed a behavior that I cannot avoid. Every time I encounter a young baby or toddler in a public place, I instantly go into diagnostic mode, paying attention to every detail of the baby’s reciprocal interaction with a stranger i.e., Me!

It’s a reflexive habit, and quite impossible to stop. Once that baby makes eye contact with me, and starts the unmistakable, non-verbal exchange with me, so happy that someone is paying attention, I relax. When that baby actually
tries to get my attention, I stop staring and move on. The diagnosis is done. The kid passes the test.

I’m still able to hold myself back and refrain from reporting my findings to the unsuspecting parent. Let’s hope that lasts!