Avery’s Attitude by Thumper

by Admin on February 15, 2011

“What is your favorite color,” I asked 8 year-old Avery.
His answer. “The color of puppies.”
Hi, I am E.D. “Thumper” Thornton, owner of Mind to Motion Pilates Plus in Green Valley, Arizona and a great uncle to Avery Campbell. Avery is an incredible young man affected by autism.
I would like to share a quick story with you about my own son, Tommy, and I. Several years ago before I retired from the Tucson Police Department, Tommy requested that I take time from my busy schedule to help him make a birdhouse. I worked the area of Tucson with the highest crime rate and my shift was the peak time frame for violent activity. But, it’s amazing how a little voice with a large request can change priorities.
“Sure we can,” I answered, thinking how I could rearrange my schedule. “What time do you want to go?”
“When you get home,” Tommy answered without hesitation.
“Don’t think so, son,” I smiled.
“Aw, why not?” he answered quickly.
“Because it’ll be dark and the stores won’t be open.”
“Well…we can get breakfast until the store opens. K?”
With full bellies and little sleep on my part, off to Payless Cashways Lumber we went. We bought plywood, pine boards, small piece of plexiglass (cut in half), and the needed hardware. Back home, we laid out the materials and equipment on the picnic table and began our building experience. We measured, sawed, sanded and hammered. Or birdhouse took shape and soon we attached it to the six foot pole. Tommy and I admired our handy work and enjoyed refreshments as we anxiously awaited the arrival of birds.
“Whervesthebirbs, Dad?” Tommy asked through licks of Popsicle. “Canucallem?”
“They’ll be here…eventually,” I promised as I desperately searched the sky. Here, birdie, birdie.
It wasn’t long before my promise came true. A couple of curious small birds landed on the dowl rod railings serving as perches. They immediately flew away sensing that we were too close for their comfort. We moved to the picnic table farther away and waited. Soon, another appeared and began to munch on the birdseed…then another and another. I think I was more excited than Tommy. Looking back, it was probably the fact I was doing something with my son that created my excitement.
Shortly, a large bird (probably a pigeon, as we had a few meandering around the neighborhood) took his place on the farthest perch scaring the smaller birds away.
“Tommy, grab that rock down there for me,” I demanded as I pointed to the ground at his feet.
“Why, Dad?” he asked taking a break from his Popsicle.
“Because I’m going to throw it at that big bird. He’s scaring the other birds away!”
“Dad,” Tommy said, not looking at me.
“He doesn’t know he’s big. He’s just a bird that wants to be friends with the other birds.”
I don’t believe I moved. I was dumbfounded, speechless. He was right. His simple, innocent logic was priceless. I have never, ever, forgotten that moment. Amazing!
Many years later as I type this I understand his statement more than ever.
Avery doesn’t understand that autism makes him “different.” Unfortunately, society does that for him.  Just like the big bird, Avery just wants to be friends. He would not understand rocks being thrown at him anymore than the bird would have. And we have all witnessed in our lives “rock throwing” in varying degrees. These may be words, these may be actions, but they all hurt.
Avery has opened my eyes to the affects of autism. Evidence suggests that autism knows no cultural, ethnic, or geographic boundaries.  It affects 1 in every 110 children (or about 1% of children) in the United States and converging research findings from around the world suggest that autism may affect 1% of the global population.

The Autism Society recognizes the power that 1 person, 1 organization, 1 idea or 1 event can have on autism. Today, with the prevalence of autism rising to 1 in every 110 American children, everyone can make a difference and support the 1 mission of the Autism Society. With that in mind, we have ordered wrist bands (yellow, “the color of puppies”) that proclaim “Avery’s Attitude,” in honor of an extraordinary child with an extraordinary attitude. If you would like to help in creating more awareness for autism, we are gifting them for a suggested donation of $10. However, any donation would be greatly appreciated. They may be purchased at our studio or request made from our website. All donations (100%) will go to the Hamilton County Autism Support Group. If you have another nonprofit autism organization you would like your donation to go to, please make the request and we will honor it.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Campbell February 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Uncle Ed,
Thank you for your support! Spreading the word about Autism is a family mission . . .thank you for helping us do this! The Power of One can be amazing!!

Love You,
Matt, Nancy, Avery, Isaac and Emma Campbell


Karen Salvador February 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

We are so excited to help Avery! For clarification, our website is not set up with any kind of paypal account so we are unable to accept donations directly through our website for the bracelets. But anyone who wishes to contribute just needs to email us and we will make it happen.


Karen Salvador February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

Please send your donation and bracelet requests to us at Mind to Motion, c/o Avery’s Attitude, 518 E Whitehouse Canyon Rd, Suite 150, Green Valley, AZ 85614. Thank you to everyone for responses beyond our imagination when we began this!


Karen March 1, 2011 at 8:35 am

The wristbands are here!!!


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: