Jacqueline and Chris. I am an autistic parent of a 16 yer old girl. From about age one I new something was wrong. But no one would listen to me. My daughter would screech an scream. shred paper into little pieces, and she could no comprehend the simplest things. It was not until about age 12 when we moved to Florida that one of her teachers said to me, have you had her seen by some one. I said n one will listen to me. I just thought this was how she was going to be. The first time we seen some one they said she had bi-polar I thought ok makes since because it runs in my family. After a year the doctor told me no she has autism. I thought finally some one is hearing what I am saying.We did a bunch more testing and found out that she was a high functioning autistic child. She will not touch hangers or anything plastic. we could not figure out for the longest time why she would not touch plastic toys, like the little tiks stuff. We also found out that she had o.d.d. bi polar and inattentive adhd. Relief for us. she started a proper dos of medication in home therapy and sticking to a tight schedule. Autistic kids do not at all like surprises. They do not understand jokes and have a hard time with things we find should be normal. Now my daughter is 16. I got my first hug from her since she was about 1. So I know how it felt for Nick to say I love you. I cried for hours that my daughter hugged me. After she hugged me she did the same to my husband. Her dad and I were so excited. Of course you still have the every day battles of wetting the bed, if she is in a bad mood every one knows. And when she is not comfortable in a situation she makes a noise that sounds like scooby doo. But we now know how to handle things better. We have joined a support group here in Florida and recently I have become on of the board members. So that I can help put it out there that people need to know what autism is. It does not mean jut that the child can not talk. Also using the I Pad is amazing. Apple has alot of apps out there that are very helpful for autistic children. I wish I had the money to be able to afford one for my daughter. But in due time. Any way I just wanted to lt you and Chris know that you are not alone. We both have handled this so well and from a mother i KNOW HOW IT FEELS. Much love from Florida.