Henry has a brain, and we have PROOF (not that I ever really doubted it, but not many people have proof positive they have a brain). I recently enrolled him in an autism study at UW. He is part of the control group, which means he has an older sibling who does not have autism and no family history of the disorder. It has been really interesting. There was a lot of over the phone screening, asking about our family's medical history. The first day at UW they put some toys in front of Henry and watched him play with them and took notes about how he picked things up and specifics concerning his development. Then he played on the floor, and they took notes on that and how he sat up, etc. Henry is not the LEAST bit interested in being mobile (Mack is entertainment enough for him) so they took some notes about how he was a little blob and rolled over in SLOW motion. Then he was shown some images on a TV. There would be a picture of a sun in the middle of the screen, and then a balloon would show up on the side and they'd see how long it took him to notice the image to the side. I was told this was checking his peripheral vision. They recorded everything and Henry was very patient throughout the entire ordeal. The next day Henry had his ERP visit. This one I didn't completely understand, but I do know that they put this funny little net on his head with a bunch of little sensors on it. I think it measured the the activity of his brain. I do know that it only works in one direction so it is completely safe for his little noggin. I also know he looked darn cute because the chin strap wouldn't go under his chubby little cheeks! Mack came too and had a fun time playing with some undergrads while Henry worked hard. Needless to say they both took some great naps after everything was done.
On Friday night we had the main event: Henry's MRI at Children's. It was during his regular sleep time, so there was not sedation or anything like that, he just went to "bed" in the machine. The man running the study explained to us that they believe and have some evidence to prove that children with autism have synapses (I believe that's the word) in their brain that develop slightly differently between ages 6 and 12 months, he also mentioned something about the size of their brain. I don't want to get too into it because I know it can be a really heated discussion (and those are best had in person). I will say however, that this guy knows his stuff, he's SMART. Henry only woke up a couple of times during the scan and in the end they were able to get the two different kind they needed. It was really interesting to sit in on an MRI with a healthy baby, which not many parents are able to experience, so we felt really lucky. Meanwhile, Mack was hanging out with our friends, Amy and Nathan, who were introducing him to the ice cream. We'd tried giving it too Mack a few times before, but the darn stuff was always too cold for his liking. Not this time. To say he loved it would be a gross understatement. It's really turned out great though, because I've managed to transfer that affection to yogurt (which he refused to eat before). Now, Mack loves eating "ice cream" for breakfast.
The next week we had an appointment for our "Parent Observation". Henry and I were placed in an empty room with a small blanket on the floor, a few toys, and surrounded by cameras--then I was told to play with him naturally like I would at home. I did my best. Our next visit was a repeat of the images on the TV screen. He wasn't as interested this time around, seems eating my hair was much more riveting. After that was had the grand finale! One of the researchers, went over all of Henry's "Test Results" with me. He passed! No, I don't think there is a pass or fail, but he is perfectly normal. The best part is as she is seriously discussing his social skills, and cognitive skills, and different abilities and developmental milestones, etc...Henry was sitting on my lap determined to eat his own feet. As if his very existence depended on it, he had to get those feet into his mouth or die trying! What a baby! Henry will have another ERP in few weeks. In the meantime I'm planning on printing the images from his MRI onto a T-shirt.


  1. I can't get over how CUTE that first picture os Henry is!! It's almost too much! And I really hope you put his scan pic on a shirt, I think it would be amazing!!

  2. No matter the picture Henry is cute even in a scan!

  3. We are lucky that super brain didn't shut down the western states power grid and blow up the MRI!

    Grandpa Kim

  4. Wow, it is amazing to think that there is that much stuff in their little bodies! :) I just found your blog off of Bethany's blog. How are you doing???

  5. how come you never check my blog??
    -your sister kassey

  6. When I first opened your blog I thought "Wow Mack is so cute" It's amazing how much they look alike. And it's always good to have confiramtion that the child is "brilliant"


    Grandma T

  7. i wanted to leave you a list of blogs i've come across that you need to take a look at..


    I'm not kidding when i say THESE ARE AMAZING!