Our Story

Wilde is autistic, and very high functioning. He is an avid reader, a whiz at math, and a deeply caring friend. He enjoys a game of chess, has a great sense of humor, and has a clear sense of fairness. Four years ago, when Wilde was 5, Wilde asked his dad for a puppy. Jokingly, his dad told Wilde that if he saved 200 quarters (a quarter was his going rate for chores at the time), that he could buy himself a puppy. Well, being a very literal kind of guy, Wilde took his dad’s comment to heart and immediately began saving his quarters. After a few months had passed, and Wilde was still seeking out extra chores to do, we realized just how serious he was about reaching his goal. We also realized that helping to unload the dishwasher, fold his laundry, and make his bed were not going to provide enough quarters to reach his goal. To bridge the gap, I began having Wilde assist me with small crafting projects, such as making soap (he started out “supervising,” graduated to stirring, and is now able to do pours with little assistance) as well as sewing and embroidering small pieces such as hanks, fleece hats, and baby items. Wilde controls the foot pedal of the sewing machine while I guide the fabric. These creative activities help him practice listening and focusing, gross and fine motor skills, reasoning, and working together. Wilde is also learning about what it takes to run his own small business. After about a year of working and saving, Wilde was able to purchase a boxer puppy, who he named Leia. Ultimately, that one conversation with our son, about buying a puppy, has led to what we have today as The Wilde Project.

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