You may be asking yourself: Why the name, “A Wish Come Clear?” If you’ve wondered about the origin of the phrase, you can watch the video, or read on below!
The phrase is in fact my younger brother Willie’s brainchild. He has autism, and his favorite humor involves purposeful mistakes. He loves plugging the ‘wrong’ word into the ‘right’ phrase, such as, “A dream is a wish your…fart…makes!” or “I’ve been dreaming of a wish come…clear!”
Willie’s ingenuity always amazes me, yet what’s more astonishing is how our silly games got us through our worst times. You see, when Willie entered puberty, he began to engage in aggressive and self-injurious behavior. These behaviors often occur with greater frequency in individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, and they are heartbreaking to witness.
I remember car rides when all my parents and I could do was keep trying to make him laugh or he’d be banging his head against the windows. Granted, we had to time it right; we couldn’t just toss a joke in anywhere. We learned how to watch for signs of anger, how to spot a violent train of thought and give Willie’s mind other material to work with in time.
It seemed as though he couldn’t use the angry part and the funny part of his mind at the same time. He could apologize and then throw a fork at you; he could take deep breaths and then punch a hole in the wall. But he couldn’t laugh and do those things. So many times, it was the humorous mistakes, the ‘wrong’ phrases, that saved us.
July 2013 update: My family’s story has been featured in an independent documentary film, My Brother. The film is 14 minutes long, and it’s about the process of finding meaning and beauty in challenging relationships.
If that’s not sufficient motivation to watch: I sport several completely embarrassing outfits and hairstyles along the way. (There are hula skirts. Enough said.)
October 2013 update: A Wish Come Clear has a new video trailer, thanks to the marvelous team at Armosa Studios! Press play to learn more about our community.