Last night, my family hosted another blogger and her son for dinner. Confessions of an Aspergers Mom is run by a wonderful woman who I have known on-line for some time. My wife is pretty close with her as well. I will write a different blog about how important she is to my family at another time, because I want to talk about her son.
"Red" is 17. Red has Asperger Syndrome. Red struggles with the same things that most High School Seniors do.
And Red is amazing. Red drew some pictures for Julie and I, and showed us some of his editing projects he'd done on-line. As a professional in both comics and film, I was impressed with his skills in both departments.
I wrote a thank-you note to his mom today. Thanks for the visit, thanks for the wine, thanks for the laughs, etc. But most importantly, thanks for bringing Red.
My boy is six. He doesn't understand the importance, the power, the struggles of being autistic yet. But he will.
The most impressive thing I can say about meeting Red is how much I loved who he is. Creative, polite, intelligent, and autistic.
We throw around the term "peer role model" a lot in our business. Unfortunately, that never means other individuals with autism.
Well now it does for us.
Jack I want you to know that there are other kids, other girls, other boys, other young men and women, and other adults like you... and some of them are amazing. When you read this, Jack, I want you to remember Red. I want you to know how interested he was in you... for you. How much he wanted to interact with you, and didn't care at all if you "behaved". How he met you and simply said "I have autism, too".
I cannot thank Confessions of an Aspergers mom enough for visiting. I will continue to pick your brain about what you have done to raise such an exceptional young man. I will continue to lean on you when we need support ourselves. And I will continue to lean on you when I need a good laugh.
But I really want to thank Red. Thank you for showing my boy that he is okay, that he is not alone, and that he is loved.
Last night I met a young man in whom I saw no disability... only triumph.
And that, my friends, is pretty fucking cool.
Jack and "Red" - 6/25/13