So fortunate am I that my area has an age 14-22 camp during school vacation weeks specifically for autistic kids. J’s done it successfully for several years, but with W., his disrobes, bolts and impulsive behavior led them to provide shall we say a less than welcome regard for my most special guy. Surprise surprise.
And as I ponder over the still-lingering beautiful memories of my own autism camp, the parents retreat, I’m mindful of how much I got out of going away from the known and meeting new people, opening up to new perspectives etc.
W’s very real gains in clothing tolerance and fewer bolts lately made me go for it and sign him up for this week’s full camp – not just begging to allow him to accompany his brother for a day or two this week. – Unfortunately the daily activities lineup doesn’t get published until after signup and funds payment, so I learned after the fact that the agenda fits less with his interests than most earlier camps. Meaning I may get one of those dreaded glares at pickup time, or the calm yet persistent request that I move over to this corner here and wait a minute until The Director can regale me with a litany of my guy’s escapades.
But just for today, I’m trusting that preparation, maturing – as much as a developmentally delayed guy can – and the fact there’s a restaurant trip in the mix may prevail. Today camp is going ice skating, something we did long ago with both boys but nixed due to their fears when their feet are not solidly on the ground. I just printed a pic of ice skating from Google Images to help explain the event. For J, he may not love it but he’ll try. For W. – heck if I know. I just hope the rinks is cold enough that he keeps his pants on. Said only half-jokingly.
So here’s to camps, autism camp, parents camps, and all ventures into to green world that take us out of our element and make us try something new. Here’s to adventure, learning, and something out of the ordinary. Here’s to uber-parents being able – or trying, anyway – to let go and let others help. Here’s to pathways to normalcy, and living opportunities while we can- meaning that in 13 months I wont’ have this camp option, so I should take it while I can.
And here’s to hopes and prayers at that at pick up time, the stories they tell won’t be bad – especially they get to tell them to Dad, who owns pickup today. 🙂