With Walker we began in a darkened room. No matter how one altered his position, his head had always moved like the needle of a compass to the light. Light was his true north. But in dim light, with shades drawn, Walker slowly moved his head away from the window. Still, what he looked at then was not us but objects. Toys.
From the moment our son, Walker, was born, in 1996, we knew something was different about him. Friends and doctors tried to convince us we were wrong, that all newborns were that way. Even when his problems became more obvious, no one at our HMO would believe us. But we weren’t wrong. By the time he was six months old, we had no doubt. Walker was covered with eczema; he struggled to breathe at night; he could barely grab a toy. More difficult to describe, but just as compelling, was the sense that he was suffering some disturbance of the soul—he flailed in space. Somehow, mysteriously, he would look at us only when we were standing far above him, or across the room.
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