Everyday Lives of Extraordinary People 5

Sean is displaying a Pokemon magazine.

Sean is very upfront about where his interests lie.

Shannon, Jordan and Josh are lost in a computer game. Picture: Lindsay
Cait and her brother Josh grin for the camera. Picture: Lindsay

Sometimes, but not often, you stumble across a family where just about all the members are either diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum or could be if they wanted to be. Such is the case with the Robottoms, in fact Jordan is one of the two individuals Lindsay discusses on the Contrasts page. At left Shannon, who was 19 when he took this picture, and brothers Jordan, then 12, and Josh, then 10, are absorbed in a computer game while on the right Caitlyn, also 10, and Josh grin for the camera.

Jordan is snapping out of a depression. Picture: Lindsay
Jordan is snapping out of a depression. Picture: Lindsay
Jordan is snapping out of a depression. Picture: Lindsay

Jordan can often get quite depressed. In 2003, while he was staying with Lindsay, he sat at a table one morning looking very down. Lindsay really wasn't in the mood to talk to him because he'd only just woken up, so he grabbed my camera and told him Ihed keep taking pictures until he smiled. It didn't take long and Jordan wasn't depressed again that day.

Caitlyn is tired but grinning for the camera. Picture: Lindsay

Caitlyn is about midway on the autism spectrum and in addition can go through periods of major epilepsy attacks. When Linsay took this picture she was right in the middle of one of those periods and quite exhausted, but she managed to smile anyway.

Josh is chatting on my computer. Picture: Lindsay

Josh, like so many of today's kids, like to chat on computer. For most of his life Josh also had epilepsy issues but the overt attacks have gone and he's able now to play soccer and competition basketball without having his energy drained off by constant, niggling short-circuiting in his brain.

Jordan and Vinnie, Christmas 2006. Picture: Lindsay

Autism doesn't just descend on families out of the blue. There's a cause. In those small number of cases with normal progression to a certain stage of infancy, the causative factor is as yet unknown but believed to be something in our environments. In all other cases the cause is genetic. Lindsay caught one cause during Christmas 2006, enjoying dinner with his son Jordan. His name is Vincent and he's father to all the Robottom kids. His interests are computers, computer games, computer movies and building computers.


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