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Last week my son Leo and I had a pleasant arm-in-arm walk around a fancy shopping center while his sibling was at an appointment. We strolled past the coin collector’s shop and the jodhpurs boutique, then popped into the housewares store—just in case they had any unintentionally awesome fidget toys (which, being gadget central, of course they did).

Finding delight in utilitarian objects is part of what being autistic means for my son. Another part is being a traveling one-person party. I go with his flow, as long as he’s not being disruptive. So as we wound our way past the store’s racks of remarkably specialized cooking items, and just as I was getting worried about the audibility of Leo’s new-fidget-propelled joy, one of the cashiers called out, “Hey guys, how are you doing?”


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