CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB)– Thirteen year old Donovan Pitman and his 11-year-old sister Charlotte are like best friends.
“She sometimes gets him more so than I do because they formed a bond and all she knows is Donovan and yes autism is a part of who he is but it’s not all of Donovan,” said Molly Pitman, Sweet Charlottes owner and ‘Love without words’ author.
Donovan was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old, and was non-verbal until he was 6. Their mother Molly says sometimes it wasn’t easy to reassure Charlotte that her brother loved her, even though he couldn’t say it.
“Things that happened in our daily life, simple activities and experiences really allowed for her to recognize and feel and know that she was loved,” said Pitman.
Molly translated those moments to paper, through a children’s book called ‘Love without words.’ Her children’s bond is also the inspiration behind Sweet Charlottes, an all-inclusive preschool and play center for kids of all abilities in Clarence.
“It’s 9 children and they vary in their needs so we have a couple of kiddos that are on the spectrum, a couple of kids that have IEPs or other needs and some kids that just need to be loved,” said Pitman.
Every time Charlotte flips through the book it’s a reminder that her brother has come a long way.
“I never thought he’d be able to say I love you to me and now like everyday I get to talk to him and he talks back so that’s a nice feeling to have,” said Charlotte Pitman, Donovan’s sister.
On November 13th at 9 am Molly will be reading her book during a story time event at Barnes and Noble in Clarence. A percentage of sales will benefit the Summit Center.