Birthday Planning

The autistic guy turns 19 next week.

We’ve invited some people he really likes. People he comes out of his inner world to ask about from time to time.

There’s a couple from church who understand special needs via their own adult son. Their gentle disposition toward Joey is something he really likes. There are a number of folks in our lives who are gentle with him – for some reason, known but to Joey, this particular couple stands out.

Then there’s a college student and her sister who’ve been respite care providers in our house. They also have a special needs family member and considerable understanding and patience. Besides which, they are young women just about Joey’s age. Definitely an improvement over middle-aged dad and mom.

Joey doesn’t have a big circle of special needs friends, although he’s always picked favorites at his school and community programs. But when we bring over someone with special needs, Joey assumes that a “program” is about to ensue, and that means work, so he goes in his room and shuts the door.

So his party guests will be his handpicked crew of “normal” folks. And mom and dad, “brown cake, white frosting and presents.”

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