Autism: How Do I Explain My Kid To Your Kid?

SnapLast Tuesday on The Thinking Moms Facebook page we posted a question from a mom who needed help. “How do I explain your kid to my kid?”  I thought it was a great question, to read the great advice given from our Fellow Thinkers please click here.   I was faced with a similar  question four years ago by my then five-year-old nephew, Shayne:  “Aunt Jill, why doesn’t Alexander talk to me?”  It broke my heart.

When they were younger, at all our family functions Shayne would always hang around Alexander.


Back then, he did not ask questions, he did not even notice there was an issue.  But as Shayne got older and asked the question it was time for me to give him an explanation.  I knew Shayne loved electrical and mechanical things. I swear he would make a wonderful engineer someday.  So I explained that some of the wires in Alexander’s brain had not connected yet, but, if we keep talking to him and continue to do all the fun things with him, the wires will connect and he will start talking to him.  Looking back, I remember watching Shayne try so hard to help Alexander.  One time he came up to me and said, “Aunt Jill, I don’t think the connectors are connecting,” but I told him keep trying.

The other day my sister-in-law, Kim, called me and was telling me how on the way to taking Shayne to school they had the radio on, and a mom was talking about the “Starfish story.’  Many of you may have heard of this, I had never. 


Kim told me when the story was over, Shayne said to her, “Mom, Alexander is my starfish.”  We both started crying and were talking about how this nine-year-old little boy who has the hugest heart “get’s it.”  Kim went on to say that she believes this Starfish story also represents what the Thinking Moms are all about, and I agree.

A couple days later, Kim called (yes we tend to talk on the phone a lot) and told me that Shayne said, “Mom, no one needs to tell me that Alexander is getting better because I can tell. He comes up to hug me when he sees me now, and he is talking to me more.”  I love this kid!


~ Snap

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7 Responses to Autism: How Do I Explain My Kid To Your Kid?

  1. weldon boggus says:

    Ran a dayhabitation unit in texas- had 3 clients that were”autistic – non verbal” info from folks that had worked with them for years within 2 weeks all were talking to me and asst. Conversation on their terms but daily conversations- its all in there just give them a way to let it out!!!!!!!

  2. Mama bird says:


  3. Cobra says:

    Starting my morning off with tears, happy ones!!!!! xoxo

  4. Karen says:

    I am sitting up with my son right now. It is 2:10 am. He’s been wide awake for about an hour (so far) – alternating between giggly (yeasty?) and self-injurious. He may or may not fall back asleep for the night.
    I’m sitting with him, reading this blog post, tears streaming down my face. My beautiful boy is my starfish. 🙂

  5. Julie says:

    OK, that kid is getting one big smooch from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! What a person he is turning out to be. I love him, and I don’t even know him!

  6. Kay says:

    Awesome…..simply awesome! 🙂

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