Tuesday, 1 March 2016

To the boy who showed interest in my son's special interest

Anthony Karting
This post has been featured on The Mighty Site.

You wrote him a short note saying you thought karting sounded interesting and could he tell you about it. All we can say is thank you.  Thank you for giving Anthony the opportunity to write. Thank you for providing him with motivation.  Thank you for allowing him to show what he knows.  Thank you for giving him confidence in himself.  Thank you for showing him someone cares about what he thinks.


As a boy with autism, Anthony's interests tend to be very focused and he has difficulty engaging in conversations or meaningful tasks not associated with what he's interested in. Some people with autism can turn their special interest into an advantage, such as a career, valuable hobby or a way of relaxing.  Anthony reveals in talking about and doing anything to do with his current special interest, motor racing.  But what happened when one boy took an interest in Anthony's topic, was, to us, amazing.

Anthony has no problem talking about racing.  Indeed, sometimes you can't stop him.  This currently includes being able to script all the highlights of the 2015 Formula 1 Season from the television.  When he appeared to his class for Show & Tell in his full karting gear, it was deemed the 'best ever' by the class.

What Anthony really struggles with at school is writing. Anthony has autism, ADHD, SPD and hypermobility.  In short this means he finds it difficult to hold a pencil, feel what the pencil is doing, concentrate on what he is supposed to be writing and finds it physically tiring. It's no surprise that Anthony has never written more than a single of page of work at school in messy writing.  He is also very concerned about getting things wrong so will make sentences short, using small words so he is less likely to get tired or make a mistake. This has limited his practice and confidence.

But, thanks to a friend of a friend from school, Anthony has suddenly surpassed himself.

Following this kind gesture, Anthony was able to let go of worries about getting everything exactly right, he was able to write as he would talk. He produced three pages of words which talked about karting and showed the world that he isn't stupid and has an understanding of principles such as counting, friction and forces.

I have transcribed his letter underneath.


To Henry,

This is my Kart. It's black, it's very good and its got a full tank and it's got a speedo.  I wear a rib protector and a karting suit and I wear karting shoes and I wear karting gloves and I wear a balaclava and I wear a helmet ad a wear a neck brace. These are the tracks I have been to. I have been to Surbiton, Daytona, Clay Pigeon, Rye House, Camberley, Barford Meadows and Thruxton.

My Kart goes very fast.  My kart has got an engine and it's got pedals. It has a radio just for information. Sometimes I drive on my own and sometimes I drive with boys and girls. You have to be a bit older to practice at some tracks. My kart has got very grippy tyres and it has got worn-out tyres and it has got dry tyres.  The dry tyres are very slippery because they are very cool.  But when I get them very hot they're going to be faster than the worn-out tyres. My kart has got three engines.  You do have to be a bit older to do kart races.

Love from
your friend



23 comments:

  1. Sometimes it just takes someone to spark that inspiration. A pen friend is a great idea - could he write to him regularly? Lovely post, and a great letter Anthony, full of enthusiasm.

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    1. Aha Clare, apparently another letter is on its way😀

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  2. Thats fantastic. You must be very proud

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    1. Certainly very pleased. Thank for commenting.

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  3. This is amazing - this kid really knows his subject! And what an amazing gift. A simple gesture from one child to another. When this kind of thing happens it always blows my mind. High five to both Anthony and Henry! #SSAmazingAchivements

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    1. When he likes something, he really likes it. Indeed, I think they both did a good job 🙌

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  4. That's so wonderful and lovely that a friend had tapped into that interest. I'd like to hear your son's thoughts on the F1 season as long as he's not a Hamilton fan - lol #SSAA

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    1. Then, perhaps you wouldn't like to hear his thoughts! Unless of course you means his scripting! Thanks so much for commenting.

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  5. What a lovely gesture from the other child indeed. It is wonderful to hear stories like this as it reminds us how one small simple act from someone can have a huge impact on someone else's life and sometimes without knowing it. And Anthony signs it off as "your friend"...you can tell what an impact Henry has had on him. #abitofeverything

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    1. Absolutely, we never know how our actions impact on others!

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  6. That is just so lovely! Thanks so much for spreading this feel good event throughout #coolmumclub! x

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  7. I absolutely have tears in my eyes now. This is totally amazing. Isn't is wonderful what interest and the right motivation can do and well done Anthony. What a fab friend. My big lad used to be F1 obsessed! TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

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    1. Awwh Catie. I was pretty emotional myself

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  8. Oh yay - what a special friend! Anthony did such a fabulous job writing this letter. It's amazing what a little friendship & interest can do for someone! Thanks so much for sharing with blogger club uk x

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  9. Wow that's amazing. Firstly what an amazing interest, you never know where this will take him. Secondly I love that someone wanted to know more about his hobby and he was able to tell them all about it. I can imagine how proud you are.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)
    x

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    1. It was lovely. Shame his 'hobby' is a bit on the expensive side. His teacher said that whatever we were spending was so worth it!

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  10. What a great post! Really warmed my heart reading it...my son is the same. Totally obsessed by things that interest him and struggles to write so when he is inspired to write, it's amazing. It's great that autistic kids have interests because it goes some way to make up for what they miss out on elsewhere.
    You must be one very proud mama. :) #SpectrumSunday

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  11. Oh wow. A lovely gesture from the other kid and well done to Anthony for the detailed description. I bet you were over the moon.

    #SpectrumSunday

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  12. I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, it's great that Anthony has someone to write to about his interest. But is what this other kid did really that remarkable? Would it get such high praise if he wrote a note like this to a typically developing child? And if not, what does that say about our expectations for people who interact with peers with disabilities? And what message will it send this child, to be given such high praise for an ordinary friendly act just because the target of that act has a disability?

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    1. I definitely see what you are saying. I don't think this boy wrote Anthony a letter because of his disability as such but that he was interested in karting. After all friendships are often based on mutual areas on interest. Perhaps if anything the high praise may teach him that you never know what impact your actions may have so to think about whether something is a nice or not nice thing to do, whether the act happens upon someone with disabilities or not. And I think that's a pretty good lesson really.

      Thanks for commenting, all views are welcome.

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  13. How lovely that Anthony received a note from the other boy encouraging him to share his interest in karting. Love how having that enthusiasm for the subject helped Anthony to write about it too.

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I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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