her S


{Image is a photo of Brooke in our friend’s pool on Monday afternoon, just moments before the following conversation took place.} 

“When I was a baby, did you make me austistic?”

“No, sweetheart, God did that.”

“Why did God make me austistic?”

“I don’t know, love. He just did. I guess He knew that autism was part of the recipe of what would make you so awesome.”

“I’m glad I’m austistic.”

“Me too. Because I’m glad you’re you.”

The extra S is not a typo. This is how she says it. It is her identity. Her word. Her S.

This is an ongoing and currently oft-repeated conversation. There are slight variations to the script as she works her way through it bit by bit. Thankfully, there’s no hurry.

She often asks others if they are austistic too. I’m overwhelmingly grateful to have a life filled with people who say, or about whom we say, yes.

When she asked that question of our friend, J, our host at this gorgeous pool, she answered, “You know, Brooke, I’m not, but sometimes I wish I was so that I could remember things like you do.”

Best. Answer. Ever.

Her identity.

Her word.

Her S.



18 thoughts on “her S

  1. Awesome. I love Brooke’s austistic self.

    Hope your surprise birthday party tonight is fantastic. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.

    Love you,

  2. Great answer from your friend. Thanks for sharing this; I know we’re following you down this path as our 7 year old autistic girl is beginning to become more aware of herself no and I think the questions will come soon. Whilst we are very open with the word autism in this house, it’s difficult getting to this point where she may begin to understand it (or at least understand that she is different to the masses) and your words are giving me lots of ideas on how to explain to her, so thank you very much xx

  3. Happy Birthday Jess!!!!! Mine was last week here at Ronald McDonald House with Quentin. My third one in a row here in Seattle!!! Well worth it. We also had a surprise party with him planning, me calling dad to buy the needed items and bringing them over and then partaking in everything that Q loves, from the pink frosted WalMart cookies to the cheese pizza with no cheese, to the DVD of Toy Story 1&2 ( that we watch 15 times a day). It was the best surprise party ever! I love my autistic son!

    • i’m so sorry that it’s been so damned long there, but damn, woman, your stories laways make me smile. i love that kid. and it sounds like he throws an awesome party.

  4. My son overheard a conversation I was having with someone regarding his most recent evaluation. I had told them that the doctors say he is “no longer Autistic” because he can make eye contact (still can’t hold it) and because he can carry on a conversation. These are the only reasons he is “no longer Autistic”. It’s such a mess and chaotic, but that’s another story. My son started crying and when I asked him what was wrong, he replied “If I”m not autistic anymore, then that means I’m not extra special!” He was so heartbroken. I had to explain to him that he would always be special, and he would always be Autistic. God made him that way and it was okay and would always be that way. Things get easier in some areas, but so difficult in others.

    • I am so sorry your son has had this experience. So he manages holding eye contact (sometimes) and he can hold a conversation? Wow. That sounds like, hmmmmmmmmm…… Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism!

      My two AsperTeens, son & daughter, & AspieMum (me), are here to say, “It’s all Autism Spectrum Disorder neuro-Diversity!
      Welcome to Planet Aspie, debarking the Good Ship Classic Autism (or whatever came before).

      Doctors can be ill educated about the biological basis of Autism & ASD people are wired differently/NeuroDiverse.

      Neurology doesn’t change just because one has developed further along the spectrum to where they started. ASD is a Developmental Delay. We develop, uniquely.

      Autism is Uniquely Human. 🙂

      ❤ your blog.

  5. Hi this is not exactly appropriate for this post, but I have two reasons to comment in. First, I wanted to thank you. My son was diagnosed with Autism a few months ago (just shy of his 3rd birthday) and your blog has been a blessing. I feel like reading what you’ve written has been like a turbo-boost for my emotional processing (there has been binge reading and wine involved). Many times my wife and I have read a post of yours and commented on how it clarified our muddled thoughts. So thank you for sharing your story,it’s been a comfort for my family.

    Second reason to post is that (during said binge reading) I noticed that one of your old posts has Brooke’s real name in a photo. I don’t want to call out the specific post here since you’ve gone to such effort to maintain privacy, but feel free to e-mail me or ask me to leave another comment here.


    • Thank you!!!’ If you could leave another comment, but change the name (put a period after the K in Dan K for instance) it will get caught in moderation again and only I will see it. THANK YOU!!!!!’

  6. Wonderful! So glad she has a mom who builds her self-confidence. I really believe God makes some kids extra special so we can step up and be extra special parents.

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