It sorta’ emerged or unfolded in its own flexible way – but we did have a loose plan for today…
H spent some time in the morning collaborating with his online friend, L. They Skype and facetime and hang out on the same servers. They have become good friends. Today among other things, they explored ideas around creating a Minecraft server.
H has a few friends online that he likes to hang out with. These are positive connections. Mostly they play Minecraft – but they do other things as well – and I am blown away by the opportunity for H to develop his ability to communicate his perspective and to understand that of others, and to problem-solve, negotiate, and collaborate.
I am also impressed by the acceptance these kids extend to H. They have advocated for him with others – and they have supported him in advocating for himself. There are multiple ways to build connections and community, when we are open to the opportunities…
I recently overheard H respond to another kid who used the word Autistic in a pejorative way – and rather effectively hold him to account. H asserted that he was Autistic and there was nothing wrong with that – and he found the way he was talking insulting and that he needed to stop.
I liked the way H handled it so matter-of-factly… and then I heard this kid humbly apologize… and say he wouldn’t do that again.
Sometimes there are misunderstandings… so there is so much room to practice social repairs and find the middle ground with others… and it is FUN!
I see him creating a system of support, and learning to ask others for help when he needs it.
And he is at the helm with this…
I think that is empowering…
The next part of the day was a bit more adventurous…
We headed downtown where word on the street was that Paramount Animation is filming “Monster Trucks,” a $100 million live action/animated hybrid, directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Epic) to be released in 2015.
We watched them set up and shoot some scenes – which was to culminate in a jump of one truck over a number of vehicles.
H is interested in movies and film and special effects – so this was an opportunity not to be missed.
We watched them shoot multiple takes… and, truth be told, H also ducked into a couple of his favourite stores that were nearby, like the Card and Collectibles Shop where he visited with his friend, Gord.
It was pretty cool…
I should explain that I met her with her family in Philadelphia, and I simply must to write her name with that little heart as I absolutely adore her (and her wonderful Mom).
It was in Philly that we conspired that she and H might like to play Minecraft together… as they have many interests in common.
H was game (pardon the pun) and a friendship is unfolding. It is interesting the connections that we can make and the different ways friendships can unfold when we are not stuck in a particular paradigm.
This afternoon B♥ and her younger sister are hanging out with H and cooking up plans of one kind and another.
At one point the trio sounds like they are working together to build a TARDIS.
Then they are rescuing chickens from wells, or considering the possibility of creating a Hunger Games world.
It is dynamic and changing… and they are teasing and joking and having great adventures.
I hear a lot of laughing at my end…
“Yay!” for the unstressed joy of play…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)