Susan's Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Autistic Email

Today I got this email, from my autistic son’s autistic friend.

Hi Susan,
Have a good birthday.
I like to eat cake.
Follow Directions.
No being silly.

I love this new friend of his. He is a huge 18 year old, but like my teenager with autism, he doesn’t know he’s big. He is very gentle and sweet. He can talk a little, and he smiles all the time. He is like sunshine; he just makes you want to smile. He came over on Saturday and he and my son played Yahtzee. I would never have believed my son could play Yahtzee, (a game with dice that is a bit like poker in that you look for the same kinds of combinations of 4 of a kind or straights). and in fact he needed a lot of prompting, but he rolled through 6 rounds. The friend was very intent on his Yahtzee. He asked for a calculator and added up his dice each time.

After the Yahtzee, Nat wanted his friend to come and sit on the couch with him, but his friend did not want to. Nat had a tantrum, jumping up and down and yelling because his friend wanted to do something else. Very poignant, watching Nat deal for the first time with the age-old problem of having to do what your friend wants, and not what you want. Benji, my 7-year-old, deals with it all the time, and it is no easier. The other day when this happened to Benji, he said, “It’s time for him to go home.” Moments later, he did.

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