His Hands Tell Me When He’s Happy


Christmas was one week away, the excitement building as we prepared presents for friends and family. We laughed as we changed the words to our favorite Christmas songs, drank Egg Nog and opened the next door to find out what shape the next chocolate was in our advent calendars.

As we talk about Santa and what each of us is hoping for, I lean over to my son Cameron and say “Do you know how I always know when you’re happy?”

He said “No, how?”

I replied “Your hands tell me.”

He smiled and said “because I flap my hands!”

At that point, he began bouncing on his toes and flapping his hands so hard that I thought he might fly.

Beside us, sitting up against my hip, was my dog Spirit. She is Cameron’s best friend and, I think, Cameron is her best friend too.

I said to Cameron “Cameron, do you know how I always know when Spirit is happy?”

He said “No.”

I told him “Because her tail tells me.”

Again, the excitement building as he flapped his hands really hard, “She wags her tail!!”

I explained to him that Spirit doesn’t have hands so she wags her tail but I imagine that it’s very much the same feeling. There’s just so much happiness inside that it has to come out.

I told him that I know some people might bug him about it, some people might say silly things or tell him that he shouldn’t… but I’ll never stop him from showing me how happy he is.

He got up and gave me a big hug.


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Stuart Duncan
I am the father of 2 great boys, Cameron (Autistic) and Tyler, his younger brother. Founder of Autcraft.
Stuart Duncan

Stuart Duncan

I am the father of 2 great boys, Cameron (Autistic) and Tyler, his younger brother. Founder of Autcraft.

0 thoughts on “His Hands Tell Me When He’s Happy

  • My mom used to know my emotions the same way. =) I’m glad you have such a good relationship with your son and that he has a good friend in his canine pal. Dogs are great buds, too!

  • So glad you encourage your son that way.  I think it is such a expression of feeling, and even an outlet. 

    My 18 year old son flaps his hands when he is happy or excited. It is definitely an expression for him of great joy, excitement, and happiness.  He can play music with them he is so good at it and has taught other kids at church how to hand clap.  I keep telling him we need to put him on youtube as I have never seen anyone able to “play” their hands so well.  BTW, he doesn’t have Autism, just to let you know he too has found it to be a way to express himself.

  • I love this post.  I hope your son always uses his hands to express his happiness.


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