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Challenge: Kids with Special Needs

Autism and Burning House

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I often get asked why I think Aspen has Autism, or if I know if she was born with it.

I remember sitting on our comfortable brown couch, holding my infant. She would lay happily drinking milk. She would look straight into my eyes and smile. She was neurotypical for the most part. However, when the music was playing in the background, and it was Cam’s “Burning House”, her whole world would stop.

She would stop drinking her milk and stare into nowhere as she would listen intently.

When the song ended, she would return to her routine.

She was six weeks old! I couldn’t deny the thought.

As an educator, I knew the in’s and out’s of Autism.

Was it the Seizures, the dry birth, the cocktail of benzos used to control her seizures? Was she born with Autism?

I will never know. I’ve spent thousands of dollars for specialists, tests, EEG’s to whisper the answers to me.

Just to be unanswered.

The unanswered questions, the guilt, saturates my mind.

I am reminded of the lyrics of Burning House, that Aspen so loves,

“I've been sleepwalking
Been wandering all night
Trying to take what's lost and broke
And make it right.
I've been sleepwalking
Too close to the fire
But it's the only place that I can hold you tight
In this burning house”

I will never know the answer, and maybe it’s not mine to know.

If I have to stay too close to the fire to hold you tight, my Aspen,

that is where I will be.

Burning House co-written by Cam along with Tyler Johnson and Jeff Bhasker

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