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A Torrent of Words, Some More Cherished Than Others


I set my alarm to go off early. I need some quiet before the noise begins. I make coffee. The silence shatters as Brendan walks in.

“Its only 98 days until the video game comes out!”

I think back to when I thought autism meant non-verbal. I have since learned that autism is a communication disorder, even for those who can talk.  

“There are three main characters. The rest are bonus. You put spheres on them and then play. There are villains too! The last time I checked it was 104 days. It’s been 6 days since I checked. The starter pack is just the video game and the main characters. You can collect more. We have to wait for 98 days to get it.”

Brendan quiets, retreats inside his mind. 

“How was your sleep?” I ask, desperate to connect. 


“Any dreams?”


“Guess what?” I ask.


“I love you.” I say.

“Yes.” he says.

I want to talk to him about last night when he played the lead in his class play. He knew every word of every line. It was a night I never dreamed possible. I want to find out if he was nervous or excited. Those conversations don’t happen, though.

I refill my coffee cup.

“Mom, did you know that Sasquatch’s legs are long and their arms are short? Or their arms are long and their legs are short. I can’t remember which. They howl and live in wooded areas. They are located in Georgia, Australia and Ohio. Yeah. The highest they could be is at least 15 feet … ”

I sip my coffee and tune out the words.  I interrupt.

“I love you, Brendan.”

“I love you too, Mom.” 

And that’s when all the other words fade away.

By Bonnie Zampino, mom of Brendan, 9