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Written by Marilyn B., Sprout Volunteer

When my son was diagnosed with Autism I thought this would be a death sentence. However, after 14 years of living with my son who has Autism, I have found at least ten joys that parents of typical children might not have.

  1. No bullying problems. He could care less of what people think of him as long as his needs (the things he wants) are met. I here so much about cyber bullying and I think to myself wow my son has no interest in this. The opinions of others do not matter to him, to me they do, but not to him.
  2. He never forgets. If there is a movie that he wants to see and he is told it will be at the movie theaters on May 1st. Come May first he will tell you Thats the day of the movie.
  3. He has a set schedule, you do not have to prod him to get up, brush his teeth, ect. not like dealing with the typical adolescent boy. All I have to do is tell him that it is 7:00am and he begins his routine.
  4. He knows who his friends are and who his enemies are. There is no crossing the list.
  5. He only says I love you when he means it, if he does not love you, he will not tell you.
  6. He hates to be touched. When he was in 5th grade a girl hugged him and he punched her in the stomach. He has a girl friend now but, he does not touch her.
  7. He knows what he likes and dislikes, so he is very easy to shop for. People will ask me what to give him for Christmas or his birthday. I often suggest a roll of Aluminum Foil. You would not beleive what this child can do with a roll of aluminum foil.
  8. He will only eat earth tone colored foods (browns, whites, dull grean and dull reds). This might sound like a draw back but really it is not. You can allways find a roll, or potatoes (baked or mashed potatos). I would rather have someone like him than a picky eater that will only eat certain brands. Other than Smith Hot Dogs he is not interested in brand names.
  9. There are no fights at bed time he has a routine and at 8:30 he knows it is time to go to bed so he goes into his room, turns on his t.v. and he is asleep by 9:00 pm.
  10. No matter what the challenges, he is my boy, my gift, my joy.