Reading the story about the little boy with autism made me think of a wonderful encounter that my mom, husband Daniel, and I had with a little boy who looked about six, or seven, and his mom on the Princess Cruises ship, the Ruby Princess during the 7-day East Caribbean cruise. We went right around the week of Christmas, and the weather was perfect during all seven days of the trip. It did rain, and get cold. But, only at night. I get teared up just thinking about it now. It was the first formal night on the ship, and my mom, Daniel, and I were all dressed up in our best clothes. We were waiting in the big lobby area of the ship, for my brother and his family to join us for dinner. The woman, and her son came up to us, and said to my mom, "Excuse me. Is she your daughter?" My mom replied, Yes, and she is able to talk." The woman smiled as she said to me, "My son wanted to tell you something. I hope you don't mind my saying this, or I hope you won't feel uncomfortable. But, my son has autism. He kept telling me over and over that he wanted to talk to you." I smiled at her, and I said, "No problem. I work as a preschool teacher assistant in a day care center, and right now one of the little boys in the classroom has autism. As you can see. I also have special-needs, and I use a wheelchair. So, I can relate to any child with special-needs really well." The mom smiled at me as her son said to me, "I remember you!!" His mom looked surprised as she replied, "Do you remember her from another cruise line?" He goes, "Yes." I said to him, "Were you and your mom on the Carnival Splendor ship doing the Mexican Riveria cruise about two years ago during the first week of September?" He goes, "Yes! And you were on that ship too, with him (pointing to my husband) and some other people." I smiled at him, and I said, "Wow. you have such a great memory. Those other people we were with, were his sisters." We talked some more before my mom told the woman and her son that we had to go meet up with the rest of our party, for dinner. But, that moment left me feeling very happy, and inspired. I never knew about autism before. But, in one of my college classes that I took to get my degree in early childhood. I learned that there are many different kinds of it, and that a person can have a mild form of it. Or, a severe form of it. Right now, there are three kids in my classroom who all have autism, and they have various mild to severe forms of it. There's one little boy about three years old, and two twin girls, who all have it. I just love the little boy because he looks to me as his "protector" when the other kids want to be rough with him because they don't understand why he can't communicate to them. He does understand questions that me, and the other two teachers ask him, and he'll respond by nodding his head. It seems like he has a mild form of it. I'm still learning about autism. So, maybe one of the parents on here can give me a better understanding of the mild form of it. I know it has a name to it. But, I can't think of it right now. One of the twin girls has a severe form of autism. She definitely displays all of the classic signs of severe autism. Her sister has a mild form of autism. My heart goes out to both of their parents who are trying very hard to give their daughters the best life possible. I can truly relate to that because my mom did the same thing for me when I was their age to the time I was in my teens. Anyway, I just wanted to share my wonderful moment on the Ruby Princess ship that I got to experience for the first time last year. I also wanted to mention that the little boy was also fascinated with my manual wheelchair. Before we said goodbye to them, the little boy pointed to my blue frame, and said, "Mommy, blue color!!" His mom was almost moved to tears because that was the very first time that he was able to recognize the color blue.