Saturday, September 11, 2010

Island Hopping

In 14 days of college, Son2 has become a person we do not know. When he lived with us, he was chatty with us but totally quiet around others. He had no friends. He didn't go out with others. And he was a slug. He liked to swim, but pretty much any other activity that required any physical effort was met with massive moaning and complaining. It took an act of god to get him to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail.

Until today. Today he and a few of his new friends (yep, he has new friends...we are still in shock!) left the campus, traveled to the ferry, took the ferry across Long Island Sound to Block Island, rented bikes, and biked all the way around the island. They got some lunch and took the ferry back home.

Our kid did this. Not just other people's kids. OUR kid. It is entirely possible the pod version of him has taken control (sorry for a reference to a movie that might be too old for some of you!).

So what is this like? WEIRD! We are proud of the fact that he is working so hard to make friends. We are excited that he is being successful. But heck, we can't skip over the fact that we are a little concerned. We aren't calling and checking in on him all the time. And we don't have paid spies following him around campus. But it is hard not to worry about a kid who is so enthusiastically embracing the world when he has so little real world experience under his belt.

But he did it. At least he called when he was on the island and we know he did most of it. And we assume he made it back to campus cause we've had no frantic calls from a stranded boy on an island. So we just look at each other, shake our heads, and wonder where this kid came from.

As Daughter says - "that is NOT my brother!"

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Where to begin?

It has only been 11 days since Son2 moved to college but it feels like a lifetime! Try to imagine a group of kids - all with some special need and all with some social skills deficit - living and learning together. Sounds like a good plan. But then imagine that same group of kids - with somewhat limited abilities to set boundaries, lots of inability to inhibit impulses, and the first opportunity many of them have ever had not to be the "weird" kid in the resource room - and you start to see the big picture.

It would be fascinating as a clinical study.

It can be a bit scary and challenging as the parent!!

In just 11 days, he has made friends and then decided they weren't such great friends. And then made more friends. And he has watched - and reported in detail - all the making and changing of friends going on around him. Boyfriend/girlfriend pairs have formed...and dissolved. And formed again. Every social interaction is on hyper speed. Limitations on the abilities to inhibit and discriminate seem to open the floodgates for social happenings.

And yes, one girl who had not really talked to Son2 at all for the first few days finally spoke up. Her first words - "wanna have sex with me?" He politely declined.

Classes are going well. He seems to enjoy it for the most part. But make no is college being done at an incredibly intense level.