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Be Brave: An Autism Brother’s Birthday Wish

CJ birthday

By Cathy Jameson

I found this note in a pile of papers in my office I needed to sort through and file.  It was a prayer request written last Christmas by Ronan’s very devoted younger brother, Little Buddy.

That request is something Little Buddy has added daily to his prayers and for years now. He knows it would take a miracle for Ronan to talk because of what has happened to his big brother.  It doesn’t stop Little Buddy from saying that prayer every morning as he starts his day, at school with hs classmattes, and again every night as he ends the day.  

I welled up when that note slipped out of the pile of bills, EOBs and importnant school papers. My heart ached but was also bursting with pride as I read Little Buddy’s words.  I haven’t been feeling my usually hopefully ever after self lately, and reading that little note added a few more tears than I expected. 

I don’t like these emotions, but at least I recognize them and can start to work through them.  I put some of the sadness on hold yesterday because we had some celebrating to do.  Yesterday, Ronan turned 11.  Since Little Buddy is always kind and generous toward Ronan, I asked him to help me with this week’s post.  He was thrilled to be asked to share with you a few things about his big brother. Here is a conversation he and I had on Ronan’s birthday: 

Cat:  Tell us about Ronan.

Little Buddy:  Ronan is my 11-year old brother.  

Cat:  What do you think he will wish for on his birthday? 

LB:  To talk.

CJ Bday 2
Little Buddy on the right helps Ronan learn to navigate the AAC device.

Cat:  What do you think he’d say to you today if he could talk?  Go get me a S’mores cookie…cuz I love ‘em!

Cat:  What would you want Ronan to say? 

LB:  Anything, I would want hear him say anything.  I’d cry no matter what he says.

Cat:  Tell us what Ronan can do:

LB:  He can spell a lot of words.  He can read.  He can say a few, but only a few, like amen, Daddy, Mommy, again, yum.  He will probably need more words when he grows up. 

Cat:  What does Ronan like? 

LB:  He likes to be tickled by Daddy.  He likes zerberts on his belly.

CJ b day 3
Freeze this moment! Ronan (right) plays LEGOs with Little Buddy!

Cat:  Tell us what he doesn’t like

Little Buddy:   Ronan doesn’t like when he doesn’t have his ipad.  He doesn’t like the doctor’s office either.  He always makes the Sign of the Cross when he hears the word ‘doctor’, so we spell it out or whisper it if he’s near.

Cat:  What makes Ronan special? 

LB:  He’s my brother and he’s a lot of fun.  I like being like the “older” brother even though I’m only 9 and a half and he’s eleven.  I like it because it’s fun to have a younger brother and it’s better for Ronan to have a big brother helper.

CJ b day 4
Goofballs! Ronan on the right in Mommy’s floppy beach hat with Little Buddy showing off his new glasses.

Cat:  What do you want to tell Ronan right now?

LB:  I wish you could talk so we can play games together like Scrabble.  I know you work hard to talk and I wish you could talk this very second. 

Cat:  Little Buddy, I heard you wanted to sing a song to Ronan.  I really liked the lyrics because they reminded me of some of the moms and dads I get to work with.  Why did you want to sing this song to Ronan? 

LB:  I heard this song and I want to sing it to Ronan because one part of the song says “Let the words fall out…” and I thought of Ronan. 

CJ b day 5
Our good friend Lori sent Ronan a crucifix. Little Buddy asks for miraculous healing for Ronan every day.

Cat:  If there was one thing you wanted to say to Ronan, what would it be? 

LB:  I want to tell him this:


Be brave. 

Love, Little Buddy

Cat:  Thank you, Little Buddy.  You are an amazing brother.  Mommy’s very proud of you and what you are doing for Ronan. 

LB:  Thanks, Mommy.  I just love him.

CJ b day 6
Cat’s boys: Ronan and Little Buddy



Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.


Cherry Sperlin Misra

I love to hear about these two very special boys. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to both of them.

Roger Kulp

Another great blog post about how ASAN gets it wrong on nonverbal autism. http://autismjabberwocky.blogspot.com/2013/12/asan-on-non-verbal-autism.html

"The presumption in all of these statements is that, even though a person is non-verbal because of autism, their language ability is intact. That they can still understand language when someone uses it with them and will be able to demonstrate that ability if given the proper assistance.

Unfortunately that presumption is badly wrong and, quite frankly, very damaging. When a person is non-verbal because of autism it is because autism is disrupting their ability to receptively understand and expressively use language. This disruption is pervasive and will likely impact their ability to use language in any form.

What the video seems to be referring to is a form of verbal apraxia which is another disorder that is sometimes (but rarely) co-morbid in autism. In this disorder the person has problems speaking, i.e. verbally using language, because they have problems producing speech"


It's my experience that the development of siblings of Autistics suffer developmentally!! How very sad.

I hold the CDC/FDA, the supposed Medical profession and the greedy, profit driven at all costs and non caring Vaccine Developers responsible for this scourge.

A plague on the houses of the people in these organizations that deny the obvious cause and keep funding bogus studies to bolster their lies.

Mama Bear

Bears are so proud of both your boys. May they always be "B.F.F."

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Buddy and Mom!


He makes the sign of the Cross when he hears the word "doctor."

Me too (well I should anyway).

Loved the post - what sweet boys.


Dear Little Buddy,
I always look forward to your Mommy's posts, but today it was extra special because you helped. You did a great job. I hope you and Ronan and Mommy and Daddy have the best Christmas ever.

Roger Kulp

ASAN would say the parents of these children have not taught them that being nonverbal is a difference they should accept and embrace.This is the subject of their latest PSA.



I bet every parent of a nonverbal child wishes their kid could use language this well.Of course there is no mention of any of the medical problems,or other serious disabilities that go along with nonverbal autism either.

tara mcmillan

Brave and Beautiful. Siblings have so much to share with the future generations. I strongly believe they hold the key to turning this mess of a country around.... slowly but surely bringing our kids out of this holocaust that has pulled them in.
Happy Birthday Ronan!

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