Sunday, April 1, 2012


“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.” 

-Dean Koontz


Before there was Autism in our lives, there was the Alphabet.

Back when Autism was nothing more to us than a "Ten Minutes to Wapner" reference from the movie Rain Man, our Little Man showed an an amazing interest in and aptitude for letters. Well before he was two years old he was reciting the alphabet phonetically.  At the time, we were amazed at such a demonstration of  intellect at such a young age.  However, in retrospect, we should have been more concerned when that beautiful little boy woke from his naps - not calling for mom or dad - but reciting a letter of the day along with the sound it makes.  "The "A" says "Ahhhhh."

We are now almost 4 years removed from D-Day (the Date of Diagnosis) and his love of the Alphabet has not subsided.  He can still get lost in letters.

But when life gives you the alphabet, you make alphabet soup right?

Over time, my wife and I have been slowly able to discover ways to use his reading and writing abilities to get around his communication impairments.  Spelling names in sign language helped him learn and remember the names of relatives.   Hand written multiple choice questions have helped us understand his needs and desires. Written lists have helped him understand and prepare for what his day will entail.  Fill in the blank sentences have helped us learn what he is thinking.  None of it is perfect -- all just pieces to the puzzle.

Some day I will write more about the difficult choice my wife and I made when we decided to have another child after our middle son was diagnosed with Autism.  The risk of having second child with Autism is significantly greater when you already have one child with Autism.

But, I will tell you of the happiest days of our lives was when we held up the letter "A" to our typically developing three year old little baby boy and asked him "What's this?"  To which, he responded "C?"


  1. this is a subject I've been hearing more and more about, but don't know much about it. You've started the Challenge with some interesting information.

    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. I love that last part where you were happy your child was wrong. Its the little things huh? Great post, I enjoyed it.

  3. This is definitely a subject which requires so much more to learn from and one which has touched my family also though in a much milder fashion.

    This is a wonderful post in all ways.

  4. Amazing...thank you for sharing part of your story with us...I have friends who are Autistic and see life differently and sometimes better than I do...precious gifts they are.

  5. Just getting back to your "A" post. I love this post. I really like the way you incorporate different strategies to communicate. Mostly, I like the last sentence. I don't get to hear that perspective very often in my "circles", but I can certainly appreciate it.

  6. I loved this post too! I'm gaining some real insight here - thank you :)