Lights

Since about 9 months of age, Frances has been fascinated by light-emitting objects: book lights, flashlights, house lights — during the day and during the night. 

Once she is distracted by a light-emitting object, it is very hard to redirect her attention. Unless it’s at bedtime, we generally don’t mind, though we discourage turning house lights on and off repeatedly. 

(In the following panel, she is eight years old.)

 

Early on

 
One thing I found unusual was that she did not want to be held by anyone (at times, even by me). She arched her back as if to get away, and immediately cried or shrieked until she was comfortable again. This continued throughout toddlerhood and the preschool days. 

At this point, she does not like to be touched unexpectedly; when asked for a hug, she usually just leans into the person if she responds at all. (Hugging others spontaneously when she wants to, however, is another subject for another time.)

I do sometimes, in a low mood, think back to the times when one of our relatives told me that it was my fault that Frances wouldn’t let anyone hold her.

In those days, at any rate, we were several years away from a diagnosis.