We were tickled the other night when friends came over with their batch o’ boys. The guys are really fond of our son with autism, aren’t freaked in the least by his mannerisms (and his tendency to ignore or walk away from them when they try to be friendly) and they have teen and young adult female kin… Joey isn’t super demonstrative but he’s absolutely more social when girls show up.
I (Tim) was passing by Joey’s room and caught this picture of the beanbag mountain of boys hanging with a very relaxed Joey…
Sure, Joey was trying to convince them to help him overcome our VCR protection system. But they wouldn’t be fooled and a good time was still had by all.
One manifestation of Joey’s comfort is that he will come and sit with the others to eat. We had a pizza spread and Joey sat himself the group table rather than go off and eat by himself in another room.
We have our share of self-serving reasons to look forward to Joey’s placement in a group home. But we have his best interests at heart as well. His social life and skills will be enriched. He loves us and vice versa, but he gets bored at home, doesn’t want to “do stuff” with us because he perceives that as “work,” and spends a lot of his time nagging us about movies he wants or protesting our VCR protection thingy. That’s not all autism – that’s normal teen/young adult differentiation. He needs his own life with peers.
While the waiting goes on, we are grateful for friends who enrich Joey’s life, just by being themselves and sharing good times with him.