I spend a lot of time wondering what Jack's peers think of him. Do they know what autism is? Do they like him? Is he just a "spaz"? What does an NT six or seven year-old really think...
So I asked one to write for me.
Bella is Jack's cousin, my brother's kid. She is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. She knows the word autism, and she knows her cousin Jack has it.
I could not be more proud to be her uncle. It is very humbling to admit how jealous I am of a seven year-old, but, Bella, I've never met anyone who has their shit together like you. Uncle Jordan loves you, thanks you, and, most importantly, is proud of you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, "What Jack means to me", by my niece Bella...
It isn’t easy to play with him.
It is harder to get his attention.
He likes to line things up…like Tao’s heels.
Sometimes he doesn’t want to play games the other kids do.
I feel concerned when he has a meltdown. I want to help him and I can’t.
I have to remind him to clean up.
Usually I can get him to do it.
I like that he makes giant towers out of legos.
He likes to play outside with me when we play family.
He likes to look at and pick the roses in the garden.
He likes to play shoes with me in Tao’s office.
I really like when we go to Tao’s ocean and climb on the rocks.
Oh yeah and
Lake Tahoe we swim.
We both like to make whip cream and strawberries.
He is not as calm as my other cousins…I’m never sure if it is because he has Autism or Jack being Jack.
I like when Jack visits because we have fun.
Sometimes he squeezes my hand too tight.
I taught him Mine Craft. He loved it.
It does not matter if it is Jack being Jack or Autism.
I love Jack.
Ed. Note - Some of the letter was dictated, some of it handwritten... The only edits I made were correcting spelling errors (which are adorable, btw).