You can hardly turn on the radio or read the news this week without hearing something about the study that indicates that fever seems to relieve the symptoms of autism. When I first heard the news, I was fascinated. What is it in the human brain that gets “fixed” by fevers? It’s absolutely amazing news, even if they don’t know why it happens.
And then today I was listening to NPR and I heard an interview with a woman whose son demonstrated these sorts of dramatic improvements during fever, and as she described it, my heart just broke. When you have a child that only communicates through tantrums and beating his head against the floor, wouldn’t it just break your heart to see the glimmer of normalcy underneath it all? Would you be secretly hoping that your child would get sick, just so that you could catch another glimpse of him? It’s one thing to think about it in abstract terms, but when I heard her story I realized that I just couldn’t even imagine for a moment what she might be going through.