“Was it that building, Mama?” she inquired as we passed a brick building.
Uh, I thought. What’s she talking about?
Last summer I took Sydney to participate in an autism study. The researchers were norming a language test. This meant they wanted to give the language test to as many “normal” children as possible to see what your average child would score on the test. This would help them understand if children who did not score in the average range of the test might be suffering from autism.
But that’s not what I told my then 4-year-old child.
I didn’t tell her that I would get $50 for her participation in the study, either!
Nope, I made up a story that we were going to do a study where she would play with a girl learning how to be a better babysitter. The girl would probably ask Sydney a lot of questions while playing so she could learn how to be a better babysitter. (Try 582 questions, it seemed!) And, of course, Sydney remembered this study an entire year later.
In short, I offered my kid as a lab rat for $50.
Which I’ll have you know I then spent on her and her brother last summer. We played mini-golf and got ice cream. And she had a good time helping that girl become a better babysitter.
And I’d like to think we contributed in a small, but meaningful way in the fight against autism.
Cartoon image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net