- It is happening to him and not to us.
Brandon has taught us more about life than anyone we have met. He has taught us to love him for what he is and not what we think he should be. Families of special needs children often say the same thing—their child has brought more joy and growth into their lives than anyone could ever imagine.
- He can’t control what is happening to his body.
Autism causes a distortion of the sensory perceptions and makes the environment feel unsafe, causing a defensive reaction that at times can be aggressive, even hostile, but this is totally out of his control. His body is reacting to the information (or lack of information) from his brain.
- What he can do is more important than what he can’t do.
Patience is extraordinarily powerful in the world, and in the world of Autism, it is critical. With a time and patience, Brandon is able to do almost anything. People with Autism need a little extra help, more love and patience to shine, but that light is worth the effort.
- Slow Down and See the World
Brandon loves trains, something about the comfort of the cabin, the power of the engine, the steam floating away, the sound of the wheels on the rails, the landscape unfolding in front of his eyes feels just right for Brandon. Sitting beside him while he relaxes gives us an experience that is truly wonderful that we only have because of him.
- Come Play With Me
Trying to teach Brandon the way our society thinks is the best way didn’t work for us. But we learned that this was just a question of how, not if, he can learn. We cried a million tears and had many hours of frustration until we asked him—how can we teach you? His reply was the key, “Come Play With Me.” Brandon loves to swim, so we took him to the pool, he loves the trains, so we visit a steam engine regularly, he loves to swing, so we help him go as high as he wants to, and that is when we knew that Brandon has extraordinary capabilities and endless possibilities, if we just take the time to listen.
- There’s More than One Way to Live
Having Autism means that your brain works differently, but different can be amazing-- just look at how other people on the spectrum changed the world---maybe you’ve hear of them—three of them are named Bach, Einstein and Van Gogh. Autism is happening to him and not to us, but we are a part of his story and it is our responsibility to help find a way to deal with Autism that will give Brandon and others a better tomorrow. Who knows what the Brandon’s of the world can become, but we can’t wait to find out.