Alex J.

Born on April 6, 2006, Alex was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old. When he was eight, he came down with a form of brain cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma. “Alex is always playful and happy,” his mother says, and he wants everyone he is with to be happy. He makes the best of any situation.

Because of his autism, Alex only recently began talking. Now, he likes to pretend he has called someone on the telephone, and he has lengthy “conversations” with them, laughing as he does so. It is one of the many forms of make-believe that he likes to play.