Today on CNN, a new app for i-pad was discussed because it provided the gift of speech for those who suffer from autism.  AutisMate was used by an 18 year old young man who had never spoken, but was now able to communicate through this new app.  His joy over being understood, and his happiness at being able to be part of the world at last was heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time.

I saw familiar mannerisms; the child-like joy of a man who will likely always be a child, but who will now be able to be more independents.  My heart swells with happiness whenever I see these kinds of stories.  Parents are happy beyond words when they can finally communicate with a child who has never spoken a word.

Lacy was not mute, but he did not connect with others the way one would think of connection.  That is why whenever he allows it, I hug and kiss him.  I hold his hand and look at his fingers.  I sit next to him and feel the comfortable companionship.  The connections used to last for a while - an hour or so - but now only minutes.  There was a time when Lacy would sit with us and ask questions about a television show, or go to a movie and enjoy the humor on the screen.  Time was when he and I could sit on a bed and watch a movie, or when he would reach out and tickle me when I was not expecting it.

These simple connections mean so much to families who have autistic children.  While others might be recounting football games and soccer matches, families of autistic children will tell you with excitement how they sat with their child and talked about dogs, or the television, or worked a crossword puzzle, or even how their child allowed a kiss or hug.

Whenever this kind of connection occurs, we stop and enjoy the moment.  Everything else can wait.  We are connecting, interacting in a meaningful way.   That's nothing to ignore.

As I said, we still experience those connections.  There are times when we can sit with Lacy on his bed as he rests and touch him, or talk with him, telling him how much he is loved.  Sometimes when we go to see him, he is happy and welcomes us in with open arms.  He tells us about how he has conquered his fatigue that day, or how his knees are not as weak because he took several naps.

Enjoy connections.  They will give comfort in time of sorrow, and memories that will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in AutisMate, I will put the link in my list next to this post.


  1. I am interested in AutisMate as I didn't see the news post about it. I know several families that could benefit from something like that. Yes, our boy is very affectionate in a lot of ways and unusual in his autism in that way. He has times he rejects us or tells us that he can't take being touched or talking becomes too much and he is silent for the rest of a day. So, every connection becomes an event. I so get that. Praying that Lacy keeps connection with you throughout this journey.


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