Skip navigation

Calls to Action

How Harold Ramis Helped Boy with Autism Laugh for First Time

February 25, 2014

The Denver Post's Laura Keeney wrote a touching blog about her step-brother Billy who has autism and her memory of hearing him laugh for the first time. Keeney credits recently-deceased Actor/Director/Writer Harold Ramis for this "miracle" as she puts it. Read an excerpt from her post below.

"The autistic mind is fascinating. Billy was sweet and awkward and kind and loving and creative. He would look at art and recreate entire painting by masters with uncanny detail. He didn’t talk, but would mimic others’ actions in an attempt to understand his surroundings (the most hilarious was when a 4-year-old Bill took a beer from the fridge and sat on the stoop drinking it because he had just watched '' and that was a thing to do.)

And, as with many along the autism spectrum, he would become obsessed with certain things that others might think are random or oddball: Car washes, the Titanic, and, interestingly enough, 'Ghostbusters.'

My first memory of hearing my brother’s laugh was when we watched 'Ghostbusters' together.

Do you remember the first time you heard someone’s laugh? Heard someone’s voice? It’s something we take for granted. But I remember. He giggled and laughed and cried from laughing and it was magnificent. And it’s a memory given to me by Harold Ramis."