The Diagnosis

by: KK Duke

In this story autism is discussed. I know a bit of information regarding the disease, but I don’t know everything. Please forgive me if I state incorrect information and feel free to e-mail me with correct information. Thanks!

Jesse was obviously distracted while he prepared dinner for his family. Daisy, who was helping him, inquired as to why.

“What’s wrong Uncle Jesse?”

“Unh, what,” Uncle Jesse said, coming out of a trance.

“I asked if anything was wrong. Why did Doc Appleby call?”

“I will talk about it later.”

Daisy had a look of concern in her eyes. It wasn’t often that Doc Appleby made phone calls. And why so quickly after Luke had taken KK there? What was wrong with the kid? Daisy was concerned.

“Daisy please set the table; dinner is almost ready. Also, call Bo in from the fields”


Uncle Jesse kept thinking about whether he should tell the kids about KK. Should he even tell Luke? He was so attached to her; it would break his heart once he learned that she was autistic. He had to tell someone, someone more than Doc Appleby that knew what the best course of action would be for her.

The rumbling of the General soon could be heard. Luke got out of the car and then took KK out. He couldn’t wait to talk to Uncle Jesse about what had happened.

From the kitchen, “Luke, is that you?”

“Yes,” Luke stated as he walked in the door with KK. “Give me a minute to lay KK down and I’ll be right with you.”

Uncle Jesse had decided that it would be best for everyone to know and understand what they were up against. He knew a little bit about autism because he had a friend that had a son that was diagnosis with it when Luke was little. From what he understood was that the person was locked up in their own world and didn’t show any emotion. Physically the person was there, but emotionally they were off somewhere else. He also knew that Luke knew the same information as well regarding autism.

As dinner commenced, Jesse tried to listen in on the conversation, but really wasn’t interested in what the kids were saying.

“Uncle Jesse, what’s wrong?” Bo asked.

“Kids, we have to talk. I know that some of you, looking at Daisy and Bo, are not too happy with KK right know. I’m hoping that in time that we will become adjusted.”

“I love her Uncle Jesse, but that screaming business…” Bo stated.

“I know Bo. Kids, we may have a bigger problem on our hands with KK,” Uncle Jesse stated. He could see the nervous reaction on Luke’s face.

“What did Doc say on the phone then?” Luke asked.

“Luke, he didn’t have the heart to tell you when you were there. He could see that emotional bond that you have with her. I don’t want to be the one to tell you this but they believe she has autism.”

“What?” Luke couldn’t believe his ears. This couldn’t be possible; after all she had spoken to him.

“I thought those who were autistic couldn’t speak?” Luke asked.

“Most do not.”

“Well then she doesn’t have it. She spoke her first words when I was with her at Hazzard Pond with her.”

A sigh of relief came over Uncle Jesse’s face. He hoped that KK would continue to speak.

“I’m confused,” Daisy piped in. “What is so bad about having autism? I’ve never heard of it before.”

“Most that have autism never speak and live in a world within themselves. Kids, Doc just said that the doctors had suspected that about KK, they hadn’t diagnosis it or anything. The other thing is that she has to have an operation on her right leg,” Uncle Jesse was interrupted.

“Excuse me for interrupting you but did Doc tell you that it was a broken bone in her right ankle?” Luke asked.

“No, he just said it had to be operated on in order for her to walk.”

“Uncle Jesse, I ain’t trying to accuse anyone of anything, but I don’t think she broke it,” Luke stated. “What I think happened was that someone did it for her.”


“That’s what I’m thinking.”

By this point and time Daisy and Bo were lost. They were not told the gruesome story that went behind the death of KK’s mother and her now absent father.

“Wait a minute,” Bo interjected. “What do you mean abuse?”

Uncle Jesse knew that he needed to tell Bo and Daisy and even Luke about KK’s parents John and Peggy and his own brother Jackson. It wasn’t fair to them to hide the secrets about the so-called black sheep of the family. Jackson, in Uncle Jesse’s mind, was a misunderstood young man that never was corrected. John grew up to be just like his father growing up. Not giving a care in the world about anyone but himself. How he ever got married and stayed married was beyond Uncle Jesse. She must have felt that she could change him in some way but instead was killed. “Killed for what?”, he had thought to himself a few times during the week they waited for KK. He also thought about KK. Would John ever learn that KK was still alive? If he did learn, would he try to harm her? That was a chance that he was willing to take, but what about the kids? Would it be fair to put them in this situation?

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