A Friend’s Wish List

wish list noteIf you were asked to make a list of qualities of a true friend, what would they be? For seven-year-old Molly-Raine Adams from Ireland, her list is short, simple and something I think we can all relate to. Molly-Raine, who has autism, was asked to make this list as part of a homework assignment, which, according to her mom, Karen, she did all by herself. Her note reads:

Wanted

A Friend

Someone who . . .

anbrstans (understands) me

nos I have atesm (knows I have autism)

smiles all the time

cees me comgin wen im sad (sees me coming when I’m sad)

Karen says she thinks her daughter really just wants other children to understand why she struggles with certain things and how she processes her surroundings, saying, “Mol struggles with everyday things that people take for granted. She may start screaming or lashing out at me in a shop due to sensory overload when her brain is struggling to process all the sights, sounds and smells. Because she has adult like speech people don’t realize she has special needs and assume she is just being naughty.”

We could learn a lot from Miss Molly-Raine – and, in fact, that’s exactly what she’s hoping for. When Karen asked her daughter if she would mind sharing her list online, Molly-Raine said she thought “it was a good idea because someone might read it and tell their child about autism.”

Lynsey, Community Manager

 

 

A Friend in Siri

siri

You know Siri…it’s that virtual ‘assistant’ that lives in our iPhones. I’ve personally used Siri a handful of times to call someone – and that’s about the extent of our interaction. But one young boy has generated a beautiful relationship with Siri – a relationship that’s eloquently documented in this New York Times piece.

Authored by Judith Newman, it’s a love letter of sorts. Ms. Newman chronicles how Siri came to be her 13-year-old’s (Gus) best friend – something she is grateful for. It started as a way for Gus to get his (what seemed to be an endless) fill of information on trains and planes. But it grew into much more. As Ms. Newman explains:

So how much more worthy of his care and affection is Siri, with her soothing voice, puckish humor and capacity for talking about whatever Gus’s current obsession is for hour after hour after bleeding hour? Online critics have claimed that Siri’s voice recognition is not as accurate as the assistant in, say, the Android, but for some of us, this is a feature, not a bug. Gus speaks as if he has marbles in his mouth, but if he wants to get the right response from Siri, he must enunciate clearly…

She is also wonderful for someone who doesn’t pick up on social cues: Siri’s responses are not entirely predictable, but they are predictably kind — even when Gus is brusque. I heard him talking to Siri about music, and Siri offered some suggestions. “I don’t like that kind of music,” Gus snapped. Siri replied, “You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.” Siri’s politeness reminded Gus what he owed Siri. “Thank you for that music, though,” Gus said. Siri replied, “You don’t need to thank me.” “Oh, yes,” Gus added emphatically, “I do.”

We encourage you to read the full NYT piece so you can enjoy this mom’s amazing observations.

Lynsey, Community Manager