Sharing Jack with the world
Life isn't easy for the Cariello clan, and on some days it would be easy to complain, but Carrie Cariello has chosen to focus on how having an autistic child has changed her family for the better.
In the book, Cariello explains that she can't point to any particular moment when she could say with certainty that Jack had autism. She just knew something wasn't right.
Blahnik gave the Cariellos tips on managing Jack's behavior and was able to draw out some language from him. Soon, Jack was able to string two and three words together.
While Jack's chart says he has limited verbal skills, makes only variable eye contact and has difficulty with social cues, his mother knows he's more than a collection of test scores and medical jargon. Writing "What Color is Monday?" was a way to share the Jack she knows with the world.
Joey, 10, Charlie, 7, Rose, 5, and Henry, 4, provide Jack with plenty of opportunity for social interaction, and, in many ways, treat him just as they would any other sibling.
Yet they're protective of their brother and are sources of frequent support as he navigates his world. For example, Jack's refusal to do karate turned completely around when he was able to attend class with his siblings. Jack, his mother said, grasps the concept of family.
Cariello said her public experiences with Jack have been overwhelmingly positive.
From the people who send license plates from across the country (Jack's newest passion), to those who extend small kindnesses to him every day, Cariello said, she's been impressed by Jack's interactions with the world.
Cariello said the boy who assigns each day of the week a color and has very little cognitive flexibility has as much to teach the world as he has taught his own family.
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