Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Autistic Son's Generous Spirit

When you here the word autism, the characteristics of sharing, love and compassion isn't always the first things to spring to mind.  I will admit not everyone on the autism spectrum possesses these character traits, but being autistic doesn't preclude one from excelling in the caring department.

I'd like to brag a little bit about my son Bubby, who is 11 and diagnosed with classic autism.  I think he displays a lot of positives traits everyday,
but today I noticed several when he was interacting with Beans that got me to thinking. (In case you're new to my blog, Beans is my 9 yo profoundly ASD son.)

During the whole Christmas vacation Beans has done a lot of things that I'm sure Bubby had to feel frustrated by.  For example, one of Beans' favorite stimmy activities is tearing paper.  Bubby did his Christmas shopping at the school's Santa's Shop.  He was so proud coming home with his gifts that he bought for everyone.  As I had spoken about on my FB page,  we ran out of tags, so Bubby took upon himself to use post it notes for his gifts. He not only left the person's name on the paper, but he also left them a note.This is quite a big deal for a child that hates writing with a passion.  He even bought Beans 3 gifts, and left notes on all of them, despite the fact that we don't even know if Beans can read.  Bubby was very excited to have gotten Beans some toys he thought he'd like.  He left his gifts under the tree, where Beans found some of them and unwrapped them.  Bubby let it go.

The, Beans ripped up Bubby's new Diary Of A Wimpy Kid calendar he got for Christmas.  All he did was simply shrug his shoulders, and say that it was his own fault for forgetting to lock his closet door where the calendar was hung.  He was very mature about it.

This morning, as I was in the bathroom getting dressed I could hear Beans giggling.  I thought that it was nice that he was in such a good mood, then I heard Bubby yelling "You can't be serious Beans! Mom!!!!"  I went to go see what the matter was.  It seems that Beans has grown tall enough, and smart enough to reach the shelf in the living room where we keep all the stuff we don't want him into.  He had reached up there, and drank most of Bubby's pop.  I turned around and saw a giggly Beans sitting on the couch with the front of this shirt soaked in Dr. Pepper.  Bubby was upset, because the rule in our house is that you only get one can of pop a day.  He thought Beans had stolen his daily pop.  Still, he said nothing to Beans.  Not a name, not a word.  He just asked me for another.  I did let him, but even if I hadn't he would not have said anything to Beans about it. 

When I asked him what he wanted for lunch, he said he wanted "Something to go, because I have a lot of money!"  Well, he had about $20 saved from his allowance, so I said that would be okay, but asked him how I could explain to Beans that he won't get any.  Bubby said, "I will share." I asked him if he was sure that he would share his meal with Beans, and he said he would not mind at all.  So, I went and picked up his favorite meal at our local burger place, and gave Beans one piece of chicken, and a few fries, leaving Bubby most of the meal that he had indeed paid for with his own money.  As per usual, Beans ate all of his in only a few seconds, plus all the veggies I had put on his plate. I came from the kitchen to see Bubby putting more chicken on his plate.  I tried to talk him out of it, as I didn't want him to give up his meal to Beans, who steals everyone's food all the time.  He insisted that he was full, and didn't need anymore chicken.  It was completely unselfish. Most kids would have wanted to at least save it for later, but Bubby never thinks of himself first in that way.  He also does not do anything for brownie points, meaning if he does something it is because he wanted to do it.  Even I, as a child would do things for people so they would like me, but Bubby doesn't do that.  I may get crucified saying this, but honestly, I don't believe he has enough theory of mind to try to trick, or influence others.  He just does what he thinks is right, and fair.  He is genuine. If he gives, it's completely altruistic.  He expects nothing in return. He gives openly.  I think the world is a better place with him, and other true givers like him in it.

Bubby holding his new Minecraft pick axe that he got today.


  1. What a delight Bubby is! And so clear how much he loves his brother. You must be very proud of both your boys -- they sound so sweet.

  2. Bubby is a super-star!!!
    Also minecraft axe? where oh where does it come from!

  3. What a blessing. He's a beautiful child.


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