There have been studies done (of course there have been) on “abnormal” gait and arm posturing in children with Asperger’s and/or high functioning autism (which are the exact parameters of Jonah’s diagnosis—along with sensory processing dysfunction). Doctors and psychologists use the abnormal gait criteria, to some extent, in diagnosis.
According to the clinical psychologist Nicole Rinehart, autistic persons “have a much more variable bouncy gait.” Check. The right arm often swings across the body, rather than back and forward. (This was a marked trait in the toddler Jonah, along with his strange—though highly amusing—staging of tricycle accidents.) The pelvis shifts differently (the article uses “oddly,” which I think carries a negative connotation). Check.
So I mention this study mostly because I find the analysis interesting. I don’t know what it means in terms of helping autistic people except that in some situations, maybe it can prompt earlier diagnosis. For my purposes, it’s just background. I find the way Jonah moves to be certainly intriguing, often entertaining, but most essentially, beautiful. He can be such a whir of motion that it’s hard to pick up on at times. You just see that the way he moves is all his own. I have become accustomed to his difference because it’s not actually different. It’s Jonah.
A photograph will pick it up though. The capture reveals the beauty in J’s loping frame. Here are a few illustrations, for beauty’s sake.