The Royal ‘We’

While I am off in San Antonio—visiting the basement of the Alamo, among other things—Clay’s number one fan and my wife, Roe DeLuca, has graced us with a guest blog post. Enjoy.

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you may have noticed an interesting component of Clay’s writing: he refers to himself as “we.”

When he first started using it, I thought he was talking about the two of us, since he currently needs resistance on his wrist when typing to jump-start brain-body connections. However, it was soon clear I was off the mark. He was, in fact, talking about himself.

The clarity of Clay’s deepness and spiritual connection became apparent last summer, when his typing really took off. A few times he would eagerly lift his hand to signal he wanted to say something, and then type some surprising statements. Here is one such exchange:

Clay: “We are sad because we are a wasted race. We waste a great deal of wisdom.”

Me: “What can we do to stop wasting wisdom?”

Clay: “We can start doing good deeds.”

This past November, we invited a communication trainer from Syracuse University to come to our house and type with Clay and consult on communication devices. She asked Clay a question, and he replied with his usual “we.” She wondered why he referred to himself that way.

Clay’s typed reply: “We are a person and a soul.”

“Wow, you are deep!” she replied.

Indeed. Clay’s answer was not something you’d expect from a 15-year-old, especially one with verbal communication difficulties. Yet, I’m learning that Clay is not alone. Autism advocate Bill Stillman encountered so many stories about ASD folks with spiritual and religious connections that he wrote three books on the subject.

“How do you know this stuff?” I ask.

“Just know,” he replied.

The more I get to know my son, the more I am convinced that Clay has a level of conscious awareness that is beyond many of us. He, like his brothers and sisters who are not adept at communicating verbally, are actually much better at speaking the “unspoken language” that Paulo Coehlo writes about in The Alchemist, a language that monks aspire to connect to when they take a vow of silence.

It’s also why, when “experts” in years past told me we needed to change some of Clay’s mannerisms so he would act “more appropriately,” my Italian temper kicked in: What makes you (or anyone else) the arbiter of what is deemed appropriate? And why would we want to change the very things that make Clay so special, gifted and lovable?

So, I have never corrected Clay’s use of  “we.”  I honor and embrace the royal we—actually, the spiritual we—thank you very much.


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  1. #1 by The Domestic Goddess on February 18, 2011 - 9:48 am

    That is amazingly profound. Wow.

  2. #2 by Loret on February 18, 2011 - 10:03 am

    Roe, reading Clay’s pronouncement of how we are person and soul took my breath away–I literally gasped when I read that statement! To have such a deep understanding of the connection of body and spirit is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing. Love, L

  3. #3 by Kathy Perry on February 18, 2011 - 10:45 am

    So amazing. More of humankind should have this ability to actually ‘feel’ the difference and connectedness of the body and the spirit! You are one amazing dude, Clay!

  4. #4 by colleen tarcza on February 18, 2011 - 10:52 am

    Goosebumps. I love the fact he is so wise and reminds us of our humanity . We are spiritual beings having a human experience. KNOW THYSELF…..The Kingdom of Heaven Lives within. Rock on Clay …. xoxo

  5. #5 by Casdok on February 18, 2011 - 11:42 am


  6. #6 by Elaine Helle on February 18, 2011 - 11:53 am

    Thank you Clay for describing spirit. My heart is smiling.

  7. #7 by Gpa Tony on February 18, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    Great job Roe. Clay constantly amazes me with his perception of our surroundings, and life.

    What really blew my mind was when he refers to my mother (Rose) as someone he has conversations with and obtains knowledge from. Clay has never saw, nor met, my mother because she passed away in 1981. Remember that Clay is only 15 years old.

    Give the big guy a hug and kiss from his Gpa.

  8. #8 by Coleen McDonnell on February 20, 2011 - 7:32 pm

    Roe, I am so happy you had and have “the wisdom” to let Clay express himself as “We” . When I was a little girl and would day dream out the window. I always heard the sentence over and over in my head .” We are ALL one, we are all connected “. I think when we go into the deepest state of meditation there is a place “WE” are All one and we are all connected and communicate telepathically .( universal mind) I think Clay can connect to that place of the deepest connection to universal mind ( Where we are All one) All the time. Best way to describe is the ocean is the one(we) and the waves are each an expression of the one (I). Universal mind is one (we) and each person(I) is an expression of univeral mind.

  9. #9 by chris on June 24, 2011 - 11:30 am

    the more “normal” that we psuh our ASD children to be, the less likely they are to have the abstract thoughts that they have, and the vision to see things that we dont see. I firmly believe that a person like Clay or my son are going to come up with earth shattering ideas in the future, AND they will help us to better connect with each other spiritually.

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