Monday, July 27, 2009

Joining In

Asperger's, autism, crowds, school, social skills, summer, playThere was a slip-n-slide. Today was one of those hot, muggy days when the air feels like oatmeal in your lungs. The floors felt like they were coated with dew. Yuck! Gus came home from school completely exhausted, played on the computer for a while during the first rain storm of the day, and then watched his favorite show. In the interim, MM noticed that a couple of her friends were playing with the slip-n-slide across the street. I let her go over - Gus doesn't usually want to get involved.

I asked him after a little while if he was interested in coming out, but predictably, he said no. I told him that if he changed his mind, he could put on a swimsuit and come on out. I didn't really expect him to, but I wanted him to know he was welcome.

Imagine my surprise when I turned around and there he was!

That in itself wasn't the biggest deal, but as the crowd of kids grew to proportions that are typically unmanageable for him, I started to notice something quite interesting. The kids had started arguing about turns. Gus had been taking a turn behind one particular girl. No matter how many of the kids cut the line, no matter where he ran off to, no matter how many times his turn got skipped, he always got back in line behind the same girl and waited without complaint to go down the slide. The kid with Asperger's behaved better than almost all the others out there. There is just no end to life's ironies.

I'm quite proud of him today. He might not be able to stand in line per se, but he's gotten the concept of taking turns nicely. Well done, Gus!


  1. That is awesome that Gus went out on the slip and slide. Even better that he was taking turns. I would be proud too! You just reminded me that I am going to set up our pool. I hope the lake breeze don't turn and cool it off. We haven't had much of a summer but it's a little humid and it's suppose to be in the 70's. I really need some summer swimming pictures of my kids. Hope you have a good day! Oh and the slip and slide sounds like fun. We had one of those.

  2. That's great! I know when I was I was a kid I had a hard time figuring out when to join in if I wanted to. (I'm 21 and autistic)

    My siblings LOVE the slip'n'slide; although one did break their thumb doing the crabwalk on it. LOL, the next day they all wanted back on it!

  3. That is so great, such a wonderful story -- thanks for sharing!


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