Monday, December 29, 2008

n of 1, and the Myth of Fingerprints

Two apparently contradictory concepts floating in my mind this morning with regard to Joy.

First is how incredibly unique this little kiddo is.

In a discussion with one of her therapists earlier this month, we ended up describing her as "n of 1". How can you apply other people's research studies to this particular individual, really? How can you generalize anything about her to anyone else? She keeps busting our expectations right and left.

It makes me think of fingerprints. And snowflakes. Not gonna find any two the same, though I understand that with snowflakes at least, it's technically possible.

And yet, when we look outside our window, we see a blanket of white, and the individual snowflakes all blend together into a lovely sparkly layer (a much thinner layer than it was earlier this week, thanks to a wild spate of warm temps and rain!)

And then I think of a line from a Paul Simon song from his Graceland album:
He said, "There's no doubt about it,
It was the myth of fingerprints --
I've seen them all, and man, they're all the same."

All human, we are.

All children of God.

All us neurodiverse, amazing people.

And now, we can't have a reference to Graceland without making the Elvis connection... there's another line in that song that sounds for all the world like he's singing:
Elvis is the watermelon.

I'm serious! Give it a listen. I defy you to hear it any other way...


jess said...

n of 1 .. i do love that .. like the expression 'when you've met one child with autism, you've met, well, one child with autism.'

i can't access the link to graceland from here, but i'm not sure i'm willing to take your word for elvis and the watermelon, so i'll be back later from home ;)

Anonymous said...

I love it, and I know just what you mean about n of 1.
I had to look up the lyrics to the Graceland song. It's funny that on the youtube link, there's a comment that says "sorry to be ignorant, but what in the world is this song about?"

JoyMama said...

Jess - absolutely - I've used that "when you've met one child..." phrase many times!

Rhemashope - yeah, I'm not sure I know what the song as a whole is about either. Sure has some neat bits though.

Everybody - Just so there's no confusion, yeah, I've seen the "real" lyrics. "Ever since the watermelon" makes no sense either. I prefer Elvis. C'mon, the album is called GRACELAND!