My son was diagnosed with autism at five. Did he inherit it from my misunderstood mother? – The Guardian

Patience Agbabi: ‘I’ve read that women are better at hiding it.’ Photograph: Mark Chilvers/The Guardian


Solomon was my first baby. He was loud. He screamed full throttle for an hour until the midwife swaddled him. I knew he was different from the moment I washed his slick dark hair and saw the ecstasy on his face. At home, he’d stare at his ladybird rattle for 15 minutes at a time. He’d gurgle with delight when we sang to him, but scream frenetically at the noise of the Hoover or blender. At postnatal groups, he’d crawl into a corner, alone.

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