Fanmail: WTB? benefits youngster with Autism

fanmail from a thankful sister
July 6, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I wanted to express how your site and the work you do has affected my life in such a personal way. My little brother, Brian, was diagnosed with autism when he was very young. He’s had a lot of trouble learning to use language and doesn’t really engage with other people. I’m his sister and around him all the time, and he used to hardly ever connect with me. About a year ago, though, I started researching because of my own interest in insects, and I started bringing bugs I caught into the house in small cages during the day to watch them. Brian was aware of them right away and kept asking me what different bugs I caught were, and he got really frustrated when I didn’t know. When I stumbled across your site one night, I was so happy it was easy to use to try to identify bugs, had so many resources, and, of course, let me send in pictures if I couldn’t figure one out for myself. Since then, Brian and I have been able to catch bugs together and find out what they are. He l oves it. He’s talked to me more in the past year than he has in his whole life. He sometimes tells his teacher about bugs he finds and takes worms off the sidewalk to put them in the grass (his first sign of empathy, I think). These are h-u-g-e steps for him. Even his psychologist is blown away by the changes he’s experienced recently.
I wanted to express my gratitude for the work you do and how important it is for me and my family.
the picture is Brian at a butterfly habitat near our home

Brian with Gulf Fritillary and Morpho

Dear Jenny,
This might be the only time in the entire time we have been posting letters that we are totally without words of comment.  Your letter made our day.

9 thoughts on “Fanmail: WTB? benefits youngster with Autism”

  1. Dear Jenny,
    What a wonderful sister you are, Your letter just warms my heart. Often we forget to express our love but your love for Brian shows throughout your letter. Thank you for making my day much brighter. All of my very best wishes to you and your family.

  2. Just wanted to thank you for shedding light on my house centipede (who thankfully prefers my dark and somewhat damp basement), as he (or she) has been coming up through the vent occasionally (maybe twice in the last 4 months) and causing me grief as to what he is… I’m happy to know though that he is eating my silverfish (though I’m not really sure why silverfish would be pests- are they harmful in anyway?? I’ve seen one in my house since we moved in) and that he would eat bedbugs should they ever happen in our household. I will fondly say hello to him if and when I see him again… and finally I was able to identify a cicada as each summer early on I see a few while out with my kiddos :)… Thanks!!

  3. Hello all,

    I am a total newbie to the site, but love it already.

    I live in Goa, on India’s west coast. Our house is surrounded by light woods and we have a large tropical garden which seems to be home to hundreds on creatures. It will be great to sue your website to learn more about them.

    I am posting here a photo of a moth in our home. I see that you have answered my question about its identity. Thanks!

    How do I post images here? Can someone let me know please?

    Sucheta – Goa India

  4. I truly hope the lady wanting you to help her do her sons homework read the post from Jenny!! Hope that mom noticed that Jenny was researching bugs just for fun!! And Mom was doing it for her kid for school!!!?!? WOW!

    • Hi Rene,
      We kind of doubt the woman who wanted insects identified for her son’s homework ever returned to our site after getting our response.

  5. Hello Bugman,
    My 8 year old son has ADHD and PDD-NOS, a form of autism. He has LOVED bugs ever since he was very little. He walks with his eyes on the ground at all times looking for new kinds of bugs he can find. This summer he surprised me and saved a bee from our swimming pool. The bee stung him, but he saved one of gods creatures that was thirsty. Thank you for doing what you do.


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