Reflections of a Grandfather on Father’s Day

Marguerite Colston is the Director of Communication for the Autism Society of America and the mother of Camden, a 7-year old boy with autism. Margi is one of our new friends from the Autism Society of America and has been generous with her time, advice and wonderful stories of Camden. When talking of Father’s Day, she immediately offered that her father, Camden’s grandfather, would love to share his thoughts about being a grandfather.
— Ellen Harrington-Kane

Reflections of a Grandfather on Father’s Day

By Bill Kirst

My grandson, Camden, is 7 years old and has Autism. But you know, he doesn’t even know it. I call him affectionately the “little guy.” My wife and I live in a condo on the 5th floor, and when he visits us, he always sees the trip up and down the elevator as an adventure. When he arrives on our floor and I open the door, he accelerates past us and goes into his routine — bouncing on the sofa, turning over the toy box and running back and forth down the long hall to the bedroom. He smiles at me like the cartoon character Stitch as if to say, “Grandpa, see if you can catch me.”

On special occasions such as Father’s Day, my daughter always dresses him in a classy outfit — such as corduroy pants, a button down shirt and a white sweater vest. Wow, does he look like Prince Charming — and he is!

On each and every day, but especially on special occasions like Father’s Day, I reflect on our family situation and pray for him and his mother — my daughter. While he will not grow up to play little league or later serve his country — as a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, I am blessed to have him as my grandson. He is and will always remain my hero and my “little guy”.

And some day I hope he will have his own condo — so when the family visits him, they will enjoy the ride up and down HIS elevator!


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  1. Ellen Harrington-Kane Says:

    I am the Assistant Vice President of Medical Rehabilitation and Autism for Easter Seals headquarters. I have met many families with children with autism as well as individuals with autism. Your son is very fortunate to have a mom who has such compassion herself for her son and his experiences. As a parent I know that we always feel there must be more we can do for our children–but by getting your son diagnosed and into treatment, you have given you son the gift of communication. You are doing a great job! I encourage you to find a support group where you can meet other families who have travelled your path.

  2. Cynthia MccClean Says:

    My 6 years old son Devaunte’ has Autism; the doctors say he is a highly functional with his situation. It’s hard at time because children and adults can be cruel. My son is affectionate and loving. Most children do not understand that compassion. I have him in occupational and speech but sometimes it seem as though I am not doing enough. I thank God for Devaunte’ he can now talk, somethings he need to slow down for understanding. Continue to keep my family in your prayers.

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