The Story of an Autistic Boy & His Family
About Parker's Pages

About Parker's Pages

As it says in the home page, my name is Sue. I go by Sue Booton. Others know me as Sue Gillespie Booton. Gillespie is my maiden name. When I got married, I decided I didn’t like my given middle name, Louise, so I made my middle name Gillespie. Now, I’m thinking I like Louise again. Some call me Susie, Susan, Sues, hey you, and possibly other names behind my back that I don’t want to know about. This website really isn’t about me per se. Well, I guess it is. It’s my perspective as mom to Parker.

Before Parker, who is 9, and before Claire, who is 10, I was a pretty serious dancer/singer/musical theater person. Yes, I did it professionally. No, I wasn’t on Broadway. I always get asked that. Yes, I lived in NY for a short while and yes I toured all over the US and even other parts of the world. I loved it. I worked really hard as a kid and teen to train as a dancer and later a singer. It was a fantastic part of my life and I had very fulfilling years in my 20’s. Now I’m 42 and I still love it. Even today, living in Omaha, NE, I dabble in a little professional theater every now again. I don’t know if I’m that good anymore, but some people occasionally allow me on a stage every now and then. Usually it’s at a theater called The Rose. It’s a children’s theater, or “theater for children and families.” It’s fun and I still love it.

But, this site really isn’t about that either. It’s about how me, my husband Tim, and our daughter Claire are living with, learning from, loving, putting up with, finding patience for, and loving our boy, Parker. And let me say, that, no matter how many times he may frustrate me or how many days I get down about his condition…he’s cool. There’s no doubt about it, the kid’s really cool.

The stories I tell are all real. I mean, I don’t think I could make them up myself…I’m not that good! No, they’ve really happened and I need to write everything down for therapy. The stories are dedicated to the lady I met at the store when Parker was messing around and having a major meltdown. I apologized to her, telling her he had autism. I’ll never forget when she said, “Oh, when did you decide that?”

“When did I DECIDE that?” As if we all woke up one day and decided that is what he would be.

Then, she said, “If kids are ADHD, can’t you say they are autistic, then get free things?”

I’m like “WHAT?!?!?”

I just smiled and kindly said, no. Then I told her that autism was a condition diagnosed by a doctor. And, no, we didn’t get “free stuff.”

I’m assuming most of the population out there isn’t as ignorant as the store lady. But, I also know there are lots of people out there that really don’t know (or maybe don’t care to know) about the day to day life of living with a kid on the autism spectrum. I wish they cared to know, because, there are A LOT of these kids out there. And, in years to come, they are going to be ADULTS. Many of them, possibly my son, will not be able to take care of themselves, and we all will be part of their care. Don’t you want to know about the people around you who need help? If you are someone who has never been around an autistic person, can you describe autism?

If you look up the term “autism”, I would say Parker’s picture should appear. He’s probably right in the middle of the “spectrum”. He understands everything anyone is saying, but really struggles in speech. His words are pretty limited. He can verbally express his needs including what he wants to eat wear or what to do. But, that’s about it.

My greatest wish in the entire world is to just sit down with him in a heartfelt conversation and have him tell me how he feels about things. I mean about anything…trees, his favorite movie, swimming, going to school, even having me as a mom. But, I don’t know if that will ever happen, because he just can’t do it.

When he feels overwhelmed, he tends to flap his hands around, make funny faces and jump up and down. He really doesn’t care where he is or who is near him when this happens.

He also tends to make strange sounds every now and then. We this happens we say “Use your words, Parker.” Then he almost always begins to speak to us in English. Funny, how he forgets to speak English a half hour later.

So, that’s what this site is about. It’s about the normal, day to day, boring, exciting, gross, loving, embarrassing, funny life of being the mom of Parker.