Monday, February 28, 2011

Nazir's Wish of a Lifetime

ALBANY, N.Y. -- It was a warm early-summer evening, and as we walked down the sidewalk towards the house, we saw him standing on the porch with his mother, waiting.
We walked up the porch steps and a sheepish smile crossed the young boy's face and his big, sparkling brown eyes danced. He quickly turned away, shyly burying his face in Mom's shoulder. When she urged him to greet us, he turned and gave each of us a high-five and another bashful smile.
We followed them inside, and I watched as Mom hoisted him up into a piggy-back. She climbed the narrow staircase up to their apartment, carefully navigating around some scattered toys.
Once inside, we all sat down at the dining room table, and Dad joined us. We shared some brief introductions and small talk, getting to know each other a little bit. The young boy sat quietly, listening to us talk and fidgeting just a little, but he didn't say a word. I admit, I was nervous. I never had to communicate with an autistic child before that meeting. Quite simply, I had no idea what to expect. I did some research about autism before the meeting, but sitting at that dining room table across from the boy, I surely felt like I was in uncharted territory. But I will say this, although his lips spoke not a word, his big brown eyes sang a thousand, and melted my heart within minutes.

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