“About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood. You can see the signs of autism in infants as young as six months.”

Find out more at RJ’s master post here!

When I was given the opportunity to participate in the Autism blog hop, I realized something. I have no characters anywhere on the spectrum. That is something I *definitely* need to remedy and intend to do something about in a future story.

For now, I’d like to offer up a snippet from No Sacrifice. Since the theme for the hop is “food,” I thought you might appreciate a bit of a peek into their… culinary talents.

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse from No Sacrifice.

* * * *

Patrick stared into the pot, frowning. He poked the pasta with the wooden spoon, but it just sat there like a lump at the bottom.

Marcy leaned over and peered into it. “What did ya do to it?”

“I don’t know. I did like you said….” He looked up and smacked his forehead. “I forgot the oil.”

Marcy sighed, picked up the pot, and dumped it in the sink, then refilled it with more water. “Put the oil in first and wait for it to boil.” She shook her head and stepped over to Chance. “Now, how are you doing?”

“Uh….” Chance shook his head, and Patrick leaned over to look down into Chance’s pot. He stirred the stuff in the bottom, but Patrick heard a muffled scraping sound and a few seconds later saw small black flakes on top of the sauce. “I think I burned it.”

Marcy shook her head. “How did ya burn it? You’ve been standing there the whole time!”

Chance blushed, and Patrick really felt bad for him. “I like things a little burned,” Patrick said, kissing Chance’s temple, and Chance gave him a grateful look.

“Y’all are hopeless! It’s jar sauce and basic spaghetti!” She shook her head again and picked up Chance’s pot. “Well, yours isn’t too bad. A little burnt but edible. Patrick, just make sure ya use enough oil so it doesn’t stick, then stir it.”

Chance managed to warm up the premade garlic bread without burning it, and Patrick’s second attempt at pasta was edible, if not good. Marcy tried to explain how to tell if it was done by giving him some kind of lecture on firmness or something. His face must have been blank, though, because she gave up and told him if he threw a strand against the wall and it stuck, it was done. That worked, and they sat down to eat.

Avery pronounced the meal delicious, though Patrick suspected it was just so they didn’t try to cook dessert. He brought out a box of donuts that made the kid cheer and Chance grin. “I started buying them at the grocery store. It’s hard to walk down to the bakery every day with him.” Patrick chuckled. “I’m just glad we survived the meal. I think, uh, I think we could probably make that again.”

“I still don’t know how I burned the sauce,” Chance said, shaking his head.

Patrick shrugged. “I don’t either. But it was still… well, pretty good. That woman has the patience of a saint.”

Chance laughed, then kissed Patrick. “Thanks, baby. Yeah, she does. I can’t believe she wants to try hamburgers with us. I’m almost positive I’ll burn those.”

“You know, maybe we ought to just hire her to cook for us. Make stuff that we just have to nuke.”

Chance considered him for a moment. “That’s not a bad idea. Think she’d do it?”

“I could tell her it’s for Avery—she’d do it for him.”

“That’s sneaky and underhanded,” Chance said. “I like it.”

Patrick grinned.