02/20/2015 05:54 pm ET Updated Apr 22, 2015

She Isn't Ignoring You; She Has Autism

If your words enter her mind, if the alignment of mood, environment and focus are such that she can hear your words at all and allow them entrance into a brain that defies her, she must then:

1. Process those words.

Your words will scatter when they enter her brain, and that brain will resist her commands to organize them. Her brain will "wiggle," as she puts it, to the point where she must jump and spin to ease the discomfort. If she has the strength left after negotiating a day's worth of language, she may be able to harness those words into appropriate boxes and decipher your request. She must then:

2. Form a response.

Now, she is searching that disobedient brain of hers for an appropriate response. If she is lucky, she has read your expression correctly. She wants to form a coherent sentence. She wants the words to come out in the proper order at the appropriate point in the conversation. She wants to be confident in her response. Her brain is insolent, and she's held confidence in her response before, only to see confusion on your face. She boldly forms her reply. She must then:

3. Gauge your reaction.

If she manages to look you in the eye, that is. If interpreting the swarm of visual information that is your face does not overwhelm her, she may be able to deduce your reaction. Your expression is likely confusing; like hieroglyphs to the novice archeologist. What does it mean? She looks for clues. She is so tired now. Her brain begins to wiggle more fiercely. She rises up on her toes for relief. She must then:

4. Recharge.

Away, alone, among comfortingly predicable situations. She'll find her peace there. Until we ask her to do it all again.