The boy who couldn’t say “good-bye”

People tend to have a lot of questions about “feelings” when the topic of Autism comes up, the most obvious topics covered are the temper tantrums, the lack of eye contact and the refusal to hug or show love.

The questions range from the simple “why” to the more absurd “do they even feel love?”

Cameron is a very special boy who’s overcoming the odds, going from mild-severe Autism to… well, many people question if he was ever Autistic in the first place. However, he still is extremely reluctant to hug anyone, kisses are even more rare, temper tantrums still get the best of him…  in short, he still has Autism. But he’s doing so well.

One thing that has remained constant and I suspect always will for the rest of his days, is that he absolutely refuses to say “good-bye” to someone when it’s someone he loves and someone he knows he won’t see again for a while.

If he knows he might see you in a day or two, or if you’re just some random person, he might say it… more than likely you’ll get a “thank you” or a quick “bye!” to get him out of there.

But if you’re someone he knows, someone he cares about… there’s a very good chance that he won’t even want to be in the same room with you. And it’s not because he’s mad, or sad, or scared. And it’s not because he doesn’t feel it.

It’s because it hurts too much. It’s because he feels it all too well, on a scale you and I will likely never even imagine. He doesn’t say “good-bye” because he can’t say “good-bye”.

I have yet to hear him say it to someone and mean it… to someone he cares about. I doubt I ever will.

Do they feel love even thought they don’t hug you, or kiss you, or look you in the eye? In my opinion, if you were to put the amount of love Cameron feels into a scale and the amount of love you feel into a scale… an observer would be more inclined to ask you that question instead of him.

And you know what? Those that know Cameron, they get it. And they know they’ll never hear him say “good-bye” and they are just fine with it.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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2 Responses to The boy who couldn’t say “good-bye”

  1. Daan van Dongeren October 8, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I can find myself in this story. It has been really hard to share my feelings with others. Anger would eat me up inside. Love would never be shown to the ones your really love. And everything in between. There are things in your head you want to “send” out to others, but the signals you are thinking about would never be received by others the way you meant it to be. It took me a couple of years to get in line with my best two friends, so many misunderstandings. But friendship and understanding is key, a lot of people gave up on me, but these two friends they just wont. It is so great to see that Cameron has been diagnosed with Autism at a young age instead of lets say around 16/18. Along the way Cameron will know how to deal with his feelings in a “better” way, in his own way of course. You hear and read it a lot, someone with autism that is struggling with their feelings towards others, but when they do, a simple wave, smile or good-bye can be loaded with so many love.

    And with the Story’s i have been reading about Cameron and how you deal with it i truly believe Cameron is going to grown up as a strong boy.

    It’s great to see Parents/Bloggers like yourself are working so hard to get #AUA out into the world. And i thank you for that.

  2. Liz Ditz October 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    What a sweet boy. Kristina Chew’s son Charlie seems to have the same strong reaction to departures of loved ones.

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