A piece of the autistic world

Every autistic individual has something they love.

If someone asked me to describe Brian, Disney would be a front runner. Aside from salt and bacon, I doubt there is anything Brian loves more. Because of Brian, I am lucky to say that I visited Walt Disney World three times before the age of 18.


Brian (a.k.a. Prince Eric) was a groomsmen at my cousin Rick’s (Prince Charming) wedding.

People with autism want to share their world with you. Brian especially enjoys sharing his love of Disney by acting out different movies each day. A few years ago, he started a trend that has yet to slow down.

One of his teachers, Jen, was getting married and wanted to see some of her students before the ceremony began. My mom took Brian to the back of the church. When Brian saw Jen, he lit up. My mom asked Brian, “Who does Jen look like?,” Brian replied, “Cinderella!”

A few days later, my mom, dad and I asked Brian for Disney names. Brian named my mom Snow White, my dad Jafar and yours truly got the best name of all: Woody.

Brian has a method for every name he gives out. If he sees a certain character within you, he will not hesitate to give you that character’s name.

Cousin Abby, better known to Brian as "Lilo".

Cousin Abby, better known to Brian as “Lilo”.

With these character names, comes a great responsibility. Whenever Brian sees you, you are obligated to recite a scene which your character stars. On almost a daily basis, Brian asks me to recite, “Yee haw! Ride ’em Cowboy!” from Toy Story. For my dad, he must say, “The princess will marry me!” 

Autistic people possesses an ability to see people in a unique way. The great part about Brian’s Disney names, is that they vary from person to person. Like most autistic individuals, when he sees something in you, he wants to share it. He wants you to experience that same euphoria. It is this type of connection that can make a friendship with Brian very special.


5 thoughts on “A piece of the autistic world

  1. Jafar

    Beautiful words Tom. Great observation: Brian Inviting you into his world by giving you a Disney name.” Congrats on a nice, effective post.

    Love, Jafar

  2. autismmomgripes

    I wonder what it is about Disney that autistic people love so much. My son has always repeated things from Disney Movies and has been to Disneyland several times. We own every Disney DVD that was every made.
    I think it is cute how your brother gives everyone Disney names. I think they relate to people in such a unique way, and are sent to us from God with a mission. We can just follow along. Like the post. God Bless.

  3. Maureen Nestel

    Loved your blog! So insightful for someone your age! I have no doubt that you are the best brother your brother could ask for!

  4. Laura

    That is amazing! My daughter (who has autism) named all her teachers after Alice in Wonderland characters.

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