Monday, June 13, 2005

No wonder!

This weekend I found out something that has made me think a lot.
As I've previously mentioned, Gertrudis has been doing my hair ever since I was 15. In all these years of religiously going to the salon on Saturdays, I've met a few characters. Some people I've liked, other have had really no influence in my life and other I've just plainly disliked. Of the latter, there is one kid that comes to mind: Ambar.
Ambar was the kind of kid that everyone disliked, not because of anything special, just because she was herself. I've known her mom, who also went to the same salon I did, ever since she was pregnant with Ambar. Her mom is a cool lady, the complete opposite from her daughters.
As Ambar was growing up and started going to the salon, she annoyed me in different ways. I've always said I am not a people person, and I specially don't like kids (curiously, I´ve said that while kissing one of my nieces or nephews or playing with a kid or being nice to one... go figure), but Ambar had her way of making me lose my cool. I clearly remember her playing with her dolls and just acting weird. Her way of talking (she had this tone that made me want to bitch slap her), her way of walking, her way of acting.. everything about her bugged me. And I wasn't the only one who felt that way. While Gertrudis was doing her hair Ambar kept complaining that she was burning her scalp, and though it may have been true, most of the times the blow dryer wasn't even close to her head! The kid was a nightmare!
This Saturday I saw her mom at the salon. Gertrudis changed jobs about 5 years ago and I followed to her new salon (a much bigger one than the one she used to work at before), so I hadn't seen Ambar's mom in a while. I asked her how Ambar was doing and she said that, finally, after all these years, they had found out what was wrong with her (apparently, her manerisms and attitude didn't go unnoticed to her family). She had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is like a form of Autism. She was doing great, her mom told me, and was truly developing her enhanced skills.
When I got home I did some research and while reading the characteristics of Asperger's, I saw them all in the Ambar I remembered.
Ambar is 16 now and she's doing comics and really complex drawings on her computer.
I'm sorry if I was ever mean to you. I was also a kid back then.
I hope you can forgive me.


henry siteber said...

I'm glad they could pin point a reason for her odd behavior. I'm sure people will treat the poor girl better now that they know.
I remember growing up in Santiago. There was a kid who the family and barrio said was pocessed by the devil. They brought all kinds of people mostly brujos and curanderos to take out the demon. Turns out he just had a chemical inbalance in his brain and with the right medication he was "cured".