Autism affects 1 out of 68 children and millions of families. Garrett and AJ are four-year-old twin boys on the spectrum, and they have a doting 6-year-old sister named Angelina who is neurotypical — and is a great peer model for the boys, according to their dad, Drew. Angelina tells Grover more about her brothers when they join the set of Sesame Street.
The boys have different types of autism. “You would think that because they’re identical twins that their autism would be the same, but it’s very different,” their mother, Tracey says. AJ has more advanced speech, which his dad attributes to his more outgoing personality. Garrett is more laidback, and up until a year ago was nonverbal. When he was given a tablet for Christmas, however, that all changed. He started spelling simple words, like “cat” and “dog,” and then continued on, spelling words like “elephant” and “walrus” — and leaving his parents with their jaws on the floor.
Autism has its challenges, but the family wants people to know something. “All we are is a family that has a lot of fun,” Tracey says. “Even if it looks a little bit different, that’s what we do. What do you want for your children? In the end, you want your kids to be happy. Our kids are the happiest kids I know.”
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C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.