My two great guys – Autism – Update 2014

This is a slight update of a 2012 story. Enjoy!


It is truly awe-inspiring when in the midst of a deep sorrow, deeper love shines through. It never ceases to amaze me.

Today, we lost Squeeky, Andy’s pet guinea pig. Squeeky never did much; just eat, jump, squeek and poop. He sometimes purred when we stroked his hair and even sometimes went “popcorning”; we just thought he was nuts, but we found out that this is not uncommon in guinea pigs.

For the last couple of days Squeeky did not seem like himself, and we were deciding to wait it out or to take him to the vet. He suddenly passed this afternoon. I was the one who discovered him.

My wife and I immediately went into damage control mode. She took Reynaldo to a bedroom while I called Andy upstairs to tell him the sad news. Why did we do that? Frankly, Reynaldo’s reality (as seen here and here) makes him a tad unpredictable and we were afraid that he would say something insensitive, making things worse. We wanted to avoid that.

Boy, was God planning to give us a lesson!

I told Andy that Squeeky was gone; understandably, he got very upset and started crying in my arms. Liza and Reynaldo joined us. The four of us hugged! Reynaldo was all “there, there; poor thing…” while he had his hand on Andy’s shoulder, consoling him; he showed genuine concern for his brother’s sadness!

It gets better.

Reynaldo then went out of his way to try helping Andy. He was very vocal about it too. He wanted to take Squeeky to the vet to see if they could “do something for him”. We gently told him that it was a great idea and that we appreciated it, but that it was too late for that. Reynaldo did not quit trying to make things better; he then said something like “I need to make Andy laugh” and started pretending to be an “Angry Bird” because he knew that Andy loves that game. He kept trying to cheer up Andy and to a certain extent he did; Andy was able to smile a little bit.

Do you want to know why I find this so remarkable? Some time ago, I posted a story about something bad that happened to Reynaldo; the story ends describing how Andy(he was 4 at the time!) was there for his big brother.

Today, Reynaldo was anything but autistic, he was not “absent” (which is what autistic means). He was here, right HERE, with us, united with his family in a moment of sorrow, clearly doing what he thought was best to help and console Andy.

Today, Reynaldo was there for his kid brother, fully and truly embracing his role as the big brother.


The picture of the boys (above) was taken in 2012. Here’s a 2014 update:


Want to see more of the things I write? Go here for some other posts. By the way, I wrote a book!


TFB is available as an ebook (Kindle, Nook, as well as in iTunes). The price of the Kindle version was just reduced by Amazon… (:-)

The hardcover is available at Amazon and at the Oxford University Press’ website.  There’s even a 20% discount code from OUP.

This is a popular science book, which I hope to be enjoyed by laypeople and biologists alike.

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  1. Goes to show you what a great dad you are. You mentioned that reynaldo was there for his kid brother, fully embracing his role as the big brother. Who do you think taught him that?


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