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My Son Bubba

This is a letter submitted by Jessica Anderson about her son Bubba.

I’m writing to tell you a story about my son Bubba.  He is 18 years old and a senior at Southern Lee High School in Sanford, NC.  He was diagnosed with autism when he was 5.  He is considered high-functioning, because he is verbal; however, there are alot of behaviors (walking on tip toes, hand flapping etc.) that are a part of who he is every day.  He has been the team manager of the varsity boys basketball team for 2 years.  He is the biggest UNC Tarheel fan I have ever seen, and even the kids at his school would say the same thing if asked.  His coach (Gaston Collins) and all his teammates are wonderful and supportive.  This year, in the last game of the regular season Bubba got to dress for the game against Douglas Byrd, and it was senior night.  He played in the last minute and scored 2 points.  A moment he will never forget.  This story is not only about Bubba, but it is also about a school that has allowed this young man to come out of his shell (or his world) and socially interact with his friends.  I can’t say enough about that school, his coach, and his teammates.  Douglas Byrd also needs to be given alot of credit, because when Bubba was put into the game they did realize at first, but when they did, they didn’t block his shots (it took 4-5 times to score).  That is a wonderful act of sportsmanship.

In closing, I would just like to say that without Southern Lee in my son’s life these past 4 years, I don’t think he would have become the young man he is today.  Autism will be a part of his life forever, and that one basket has allowed him to feel like he can do anything.  I know that the severity of autism can be profound with a large spectrum of signs, symptoms, and behaviors, and I feel this story could be so inspirational for some of them.  Not just because of Bubba, but also the wonderful affection showed him by people in general.

Attached you will find a wonderful news story recently run about Bubba.  Maybe I’m just a proud momma wanting to brag a little, but the way he has handled this has been very inspirational.

Thank You for your Time,

Jessica Anderson

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This video appeared on ABC Inc., WTVD-TV/DT Raleigh-Durham, NC


“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

  1. Tara
    March 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    This is such a sweet story it made me cry! I am 31, and have worked with special needs children since I was 19. I was the kid in highschool who befriended them and stood up for them when they were picked on. I have gravitated to Autism, beccause they are such amazing children! Hearing that awareness is on the rise and children are starting to accept them and treat them the same warms my heart! Thank you for sharing this story!

  2. Debra Baierle
    March 4, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I loved this story, my 14 year old son Gabriel has Autism PDD, high function with the same behaviors, but his classmates show him the same love and respects and include him in everything. He will be going to high school in September and I have been a nervous wreak, but seeing this story gave me new hope :)

  3. Kory
    March 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    As a mother of a child with Autism, I wish everyone could understand what that meant to Bubba and your family. You are bragging, as you should! You’re a proud mom and you should be extremely proud of everything he does however small it may seem to some. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. High five to Bubba…way to go!!!

  4. Michelle
    March 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Thank you for sharing. Your son looks like he is doing very well. I like to see success stories like this because I have a 4 year old on the spectrum and it gives me hope and shows me that the children can grow up and be okay.

  5. joan osborne
    April 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Great story! How lucky you are that this happen. not so for so many of these kids I know , My Grandson Morgan is one who is may fun of by teachers and students. He is also high-functioning and we encourage him to do anything he wanted Try to play football coaches say it was a waste of their time. Music teacher Didn’t want to have him march (they alway go to state final) He wouldn’t be able to stay in step. Finally withdrew him from public school and now he is at Oakstone a school in Columbus Ohio And doing great He may newer be a star in sports or in music but here he can be just like other HS student

  6. Donna Marks
    February 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for sharing that video

  1. March 4, 2011 at 6:35 am

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