We have a legally binding contract in our home stating that if Max keeps his body healthy for the day, he will be rewarded with enough sugar to propel him into several lunar orbits. Yes, I’m telling you unashamedly, this is actually part of what we call our “healthy body program.” My 25 year-old son has a few self-destructive tendencies, which appear to be nicely tamed by the lure of sugar. When Max keeps his body healthy for the day, he can earn a Popsicle, as well as two small gluten-free cookies that closely resemble cardboard in both appearance and taste. And when things really go well, he can earn a smoothie.

Our wonderful autism consultant, Jeanne, was making a visit as we finished up our dinner. Max sat back from his now empty plate, his tummy round and full, and yelled, “Smoothie!” “You earned it Max!” I cheered as I jumped up to head into the kitchen. It was then that I heard a soft and knowing voice.

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