Wednesday, April 12, 2023


The PDN's "Our View" relative to autism awareness for the month of April reminded me of an article written by one of my very beautiful daughters, a VIBE writer at the time, about her autistically challenged brother (and my son) William. 

The PDN's "View" brought many thoughts to mind that I don't think the politically correct PDN - nor most of the "medical" world - wants to engage relative to the staggering increase in autism statistics. So I'll let that go for now and just share with you what my daughter, Dana, wrote about William, the 10th of 11 children, and every sibling's favorite brother. 

God bless you Dana. And thank you. Lvu always. Dad.



Following is the text of the complete article:

Pacific Daily News, Monday, April 21, 2014

An unconditional love

Autistic brother teaches patience and selflessness

By Dana Rohr

Because April 2 was World Autism Day, I felt the need to share this short and meaning full story about one of my two brothers, who has developmental disabilities, in the hope that someone out there with siblings on the autism spectrum can relate. 

William was born the day after my ninth birthday. There were complications, and we weren’t really sure if he and my mom were going to make it. William’s the 10th of 11 children and he’s kind of our miracle child.

Before William was born, we all took bets on his weight to determine who would get to hold him first. 

I won the bet, but William stayed in the ICU for another two weeks after my mom came home, so I couldn’t hold him until then. 

I saw him for the first time through a window. He had needles taped to his hands, a tiny, round, little face, big eyes, and spiky black hair. 

We didn’t know William was autistic until after he was 3, and still wasn’t talking. 

To be honest, at 12, whether William was autistic or not made no difference to me — and still doesn’t. But there’s something about watching your 6-year old brother spell his name on a piece of paper when you weren’t even sure he’d ever talk or write on his own that just hits you right in the soul.

I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! and standing there staring at him while he went about his business, writing his name like it was no big deal.

William had a language that I didn’t realize only my family understood until I saw other people try to interact with him. They couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, and and all I could think was, “Wow, he wants you to not pinch his cheeks, lady.”


When William turned 7 he started talking. Like, really talking. The dummy part is, I was so used to understanding grunts, mumbles, blabber and gestures, I didn’t even notice.

A friend who hadn’t seen William in a while came over and said, “Whoa, Dana, he’s talking!”

Since then, William hasn’t stopped talking.

These days he sleeps on the bottom bunk of our bunk bed in the room he shares with my sister and I. He wakes up at 5 a.m. and whispers, “Dana: Is anyone there? I’m so hungry.”

He plays with the neighbor kids and our youngest sibling, Gianna, and laughs like a hyena over the most ridiculous things. He’s obsessed with all of us being his “fwends” forever. 

William is autistic, I know. He doesn’t always understand pain, or phonics, or why it isn’t nice to laugh at people when they get hurt. 

But to me, he’s just my crazy kid brother who sings ’80’s songs he hears my sister Angelica and I sing, and eats enough “bread, butter, shelly (jelly) sandwiches to put us out of house and home. 

He’s the baby I stayed awake and listened to cry all night, every night, as my mom tried to soothe him after he came home from the hospital. 

He’s the kid I honed all my my mad babysitting skills on.


I think William was given to us to love unconditionally, to teach us patience and selflessness when he wakes us before the sun has risen or asks us for yet another “bread, butter, shelly” sandwich.

I believe William’s going to grow up and conquer the world in whatever way he decides he wants to.

And I think the more people are aware that autism isn’t synonymous with stupid, the better off the world will be. 

Dana Rohr is a home-schooled senior and a VIBE reporter


As a P.S., and apropos to "William will conquer the world," I would have to agree. William, now 18, lives with me, and his dreams are so big that I will need to live many, many more years to ensure that "William the Conqueror" does in fact "conquer the world." 

He's the best. He really is. 


  1. That was a wonderful to read, keep up the good work Tim

    1. Thank you. I hope Dana will see your comment. :)