Bubba, 14 years old, who has Asperger Syndrome, was not diagnosed until he was 13 years old. I wondered if this was a bad thing until an encounter he had with a Vietnam vet in our local Burger King. I must tell you that one of Bub’s specialty topics is military so when he sees someone who could be a veteran he isn’t shy to ask.
I had gone to wash my hands before we ate and Bub was supposed to do the same. Of course he beat me to the counter and as I approached the conversation I heard the man say “I’ve tried to put all that behind me.” I’m now thinking “Oh no! What has this kid said now?” I see Bub turn the conversation around to the aircraft that moved people during that war. The veteran was happy to tell Bub that he was very familiar with that!
Bubba goes into his little professor mode and told him all the stats on it. The man turned to me and said, “This young man is very smart!” I told him, “Yes, this is one of his specialty topics.” This was to let him know that Bub has an advantage over most people because it is so easy for him to learn, but only if it’s in his specialty range.
I didn’t get to process what the man said right away, but when I did I was floored. He said to me, “You know, nobody has ever asked me about my time over there.”
Who am I to say that this isn’t God’s will that this young man, who doesn’t have the same boundaries that most have, affirms others who haven’t gotten that before?
It still gives me chills when I think of it. I felt the presence of God among the people at Burger King that day.
By Alissa Tschetter-Siedschlaw
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.