Leaked reports of ground-breaking research which appears to de-construct the anatomy of the autie parent have been circulating for some time, but finally, exciting scientific discoveries have revealed that the body of the autie parent is, indeed, different.
A unique evolutionary pathway appears to be emerging in a human sub-group, aka the autie parent, in which accelerated anatomical changes occur which enhance the subject's ability to survive their offspring's diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
It has been suspected for many years that when autie parents return their battered bodies from whence they came, that their anatomy could be identified immediately by the following peculiarities;
(1) Adrenal glands so enlarged that they have developed their own gravitational field.
If you are bothered by small planets circling around your midriff, then you may be suffering from this chronic condition.
Recently my son made like an amoeba and split from the back seat of our (stationary...what a stroke of luck!) car and engaged in a thrilling game of chicken with the on-coming traffic. I was more intrigued by the expressions of the horrified drivers as they watched a seven year old steak of lightening (not nude for once, phew!) being chased AND caught (yes, I've still got it people) by a 40 year old Monaghan Mammy who can still move goddammit when she has to.
Gotta say I felt a little smug that I collared him before he reached the bus he was sprinting towards, which in retrospect was probably in an inappropriate response to a potentially life threatening situation.
I concluded that I am in such a state of perpetual fear, that my horse-whipped adrenal glands have expanded, exploded and, finally, collapsed in exhaustion.
I just don't do fear anymore.
That's not to say I am afforded the luxury of not caring. I still get to worry about his usual wall-climbing, jail-breaking, glass-eating stuff. My engorged adrenals decline to pump out stress hormones in response to a flight/fight situation because they just don't have any left.
I have affectionately named my adrenal glands Elvis, as ladies and gentlemen, they have left the building.
(2) The presence of a gizzard, normally only found in animals for whom storage of food for later consumption is vital for survival.
Eating an entire meal in one sitting is an impossibility.
The ingestion of nutrients is subject to numerous interruptions for essential bum-wiping, urgent laptop maintenance and apprehension of runaway children (see above).
The evolution of a gizzard allows the autie parent to avoid starvation, and in an unforeseen development, has multiplied the sales of antacids exponentially.
(3) The presence of a bladder so distended that it can double up as a handy trampoline.
Scientists speculate that this evolution has occurred in response to the autie kid's love of jumping in conjunction with the autie parent's inability to pee in case said child burns the house down/eats firelighters/pours cooking oil over the dog.
This development is thought to be a clever symbiosis between the parental instinct to protect the child and the child's desire to perform back-flips on his parent's abdomen.
Manufacturers of incontinence products have benefited enormously.
(4) Dermal calcification
(5) Asystole, often in conjunction with sudden onset of hypothermia
In most humans, this condition is incompatible with life, but recent research suggests that the simultaneous freezing of the blood in response to an extreme stressor may allow the autie parent cheat the Grim Reaper until their child has been snatched from the jaws of death.
This research was prompted by the frequent remarks made by autie parents to the effect that their"heart stopped" and their "blood went cold".
The scientific community is divided on this phenomenon, with some scratchy-beardy types unhelpfully referring to the sometimes cold-blooded autie parent as the "lizard with a gizzard".
More investigation is required, but since the subjects selfishly prefer to wait until they have expired to allow themselves be autopsied, the mystery of whether the autie parent is evolving into a new sub-species remains an intriguing one.
Scientists remain tight-lipped until their findings can be verified, but if you spot an adult human (often in the company of a screaming, but ridiculously handsome, child) sporting the hide of a rhinoceros and asking for directions to the nearest defibrillator, then you may be in the company of evoltion as it happens.
You heard it here first.