Not a very happy post yesterday, “Bad Day. My Bad.” Sorry about that. Indulge me to add that it’s Sunday again, and today has not been much better than what I described in that post, although I’m pleased to report that at least I managed the behaviors more skillfully. I’m noticing a weekend pattern—bad night Friday, drowsy yet agreeable Saturday, killer Sunday—that may be linked to a new therapy we’re doing.
More on that later. This evening, let’s celebrate.
Wednesday this week I strolled a sidewalk with Martin and his friend, en route to a neighborhood playground. Martin’s friend, despite some behavioral issues, is verbally much more advanced than Martin. He and I were engaged in conversation, which momentarily diverted my attention from Martin.
How did Martin use the freedom? He approached a girl stopped on a bicycle and called out “Hi!”
Let’s break that down. Martin observed his surroundings, was aware enough to spot a child, decided to engage that child, and spoke in a clear and appropriate manner. He even paused a bit and waited for a response.
Another first, this whole activity package. Only this one time have I seen Martin, unprompted, initiate such interaction with a stranger.
Perhaps he won’t do so again for months to come.
But he will do so again sometime. And then again. And again and again. And then another novelty will become commonplace, and we’ll be one step closer to typicality.
And the girl stopped on the bicycle? Alas, she did not provide the response Martin had sought. She was older, perhaps seven. She turned up her nose and pedaled away, ignoring Martin’s overture.
I suppose we can’t expect the whole world to join us on our recovery journey.