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No Map to This Country: One Family's Journey through Autism by Jennifer Noonan

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Chapter 2

The A-Word

THE DAY BEFORE our first appointment with the occupational therapist, we were invited to a birthday party for a child who was turning two. Paul was being his typical hyper self, but things were going relatively well, and it looked like I wouldn’t have to make a hasty early exit for once. There was a magnetic alphabet set on the family’s refrigerator, and he had been entertaining himself for quite a while, taking the letters down and lining them up on the floor.

“What is he doing?” asked one of the other kids’ dads with a frown.

I shrugged. “He’s just lining them up. He likes to organize things like that.”

The dad seemed extremely ...

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