I’d like to share this with you.
It was 23 years ago my friend and his wife had their daughter. Her name is Sarah and I’m her God Father. The next year they had James, he was different. He didn’t talk and feeding him was always an issue. He was diagnosed with autism when he was very small and it was devastating for my friends. They tried everything, eating all organic, they got him into a special program. They wanted their son but he was locked away before their very eyes. That’s a heart breaker because autism can tear peoples lives apart.
James liked to take a stick and rhythmically tap on things, that’s what he did. It took years before he truly began to acknowledge people. I remember the first time he high fived me; I put my hand up and he put up his and it was magical. He slapped my hand, but then he was gone again, tapping his stick. Eventually James would always recognize me; when he saw me he’d come sit with me and he always wanted a hug. The first time I heard him speak was when his Dad held the front open too long and in a clipped harsh voice James said: “close that door”! I laughed so hard and James saw me laughing and it made him laugh too.
Today James still lives with his Dad but he’s come a long way because there are people who care. Autism isn’t going away and I hope we find an effective way to bring autistic people into our society. They deserve to have that “break through” where they realize the world around them.
Thank you for all the work you are doing for The Social Tree, people like you make the world a better place to live in.
All the best Bill.