Monday, July 21, 2014

Someone I'm With Has Autism

What a great idea!

"Hey Carrie, it's me, Sandy. Listen, I had an idea for you --"

Sandy is a dog trainer. We started to work with her after we got our new puppy, Wolfie, because we have no idea what we're doing.

"Oh, I'm so glad you called! I'm kind of worried he doesn't like his food. He isn't eating it as fast. And when he chews it he kind of makes a funny face, you know? Like he--"

"I'm not talking about Wolfie," she cut in impatiently. "I'm reading your book--"

"You are? That's so nice! Did you get to the part about dogs? I know, it's so sad because Wolfie isn't in it. But we didn't have him yet! Maybe I should write a new book, just about him. I could call it The Wolfman. Or Wolferoni, that's kind of his nick--"

"No, it's not about dogs," she said brusquely. "I'm reading the part where you say you wish you had some kind of sign to tell people about Jack and his autism."

She went on to explain that she took care of her mother, who had Alzheimer's, and how the Alzheimer's Association issued family members little business cards they could give to people at the hair salon or the grocery store or the library.

"They said, 'The person I'm with has Alzheimer's. Please be patient.' This way, my mother didn't have to feel self-conscious but I could help people understand her a little better."

"Huh. That is a good idea," I said thoughtfully. I went back to chatting about puppy food and house training, and although I didn't forget the business card idea altogether, I didn't think about it too much more. Until we went on vacation.

Read the whole story at HuffingtonPost.com

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