Frances is as drawn to windows as she is to water…
I do not know if there is a connection between autism and water, if a possible connection is merely speculation or if based on data drawn from a study*, but, to me, there does seem to be. I do know that Frances’s fascination with water can be frightening at times. If there is water nearby, she will find it.
We were at an outdoor family gathering last year, and I found myself automatically tallying the neighbouring pools — I was instantly exhausted when I counted four within bolting reach.
Now, Frances was occupied alongside other children but such tolerance of being around others expires quickly; and, though I would have been vigilant with any child, Pink Cup Dad and I took turns being hypervigilant. Her fascination with water combined with an uncanny talent for climbing makes us very nervous.
All of this when considered in light of another of her talents — noticing every element of danger in any situation — gives me pause to think. Because this latter talent borders on super-power ability — including cautiously crossing wooden bridges to avoid splinters — I wonder why it does not include water and climbing. There is a startling lack of awareness of danger.
At any rate, I do not even know if her lack of awareness in these two respects is in any way connected to being unaware of her environment in general when she is technically present but decidedly “absent” or unengaged.
It would be very interesting to know if other parents have these questions, too.
*I always intend to read the latest literature, most recent studies, etc., but the time always eludes me.
Since the age of two, one of the distinctive features of Frances’s questions has been that they lack context for us: they appear out of the blue.
I usually isolate a question in my panels, but they almost always occur in a series of rapid-fire, oftentimes seemingly unrelated, queries.
In the following panel, she is seven years old.