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Hating Hair Dryers, Loving the Weather Channel

Courtesy of Trisha Banks

My son’s name is Braxton. When he was 4 years old, he was diagnosed as high-functioning autistic.

Initially, the diagnosis just didn’t make sense to me. After further discussion with the therapist, I began to see it very clearly, though. The delayed potty training, the underdeveloped fine motor skills, the lack of ability to accept changes in routines or schedules, his refusal to have his nails clipped or hair cut, and his extreme sensitivity to loud sounds like hair dryers and vacuums. They weren’t little “Braxton-isms” that made him unique. They were characteristics of autism, and I had no idea until that very day.

Braxton is in fifth grade now. He has overcome so many challenges in these last six years. He has basically “outgrown” most of his ASD tendencies. He is very smart and makes mostly As.

He watches the Weather Channel and news constantly, and knows more about history, geography and current events than many adults. His dream—one I’m certain he will achieve—is to be a meteorologist. He has even job-shadowed a local meteorologist and was allowed to assist him on TV when doing his forecast.

Braxton’s autism does not hinder him. It does not define him. It is merely a part of him. It hasn’t made his life easy, but he has pulled his strengths from it and is all the more amazing because of it. 

By Trisha Banks, mom of Braxton, 10, Brilee, 6, and Brayton, 4