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Visiting Tom
Windycon09
gmcdavid
Tom, our severely autistic younger son, has been living away from us for the last two years. We go to visit him most weekends. Today I went to see him.

I was rather nervous about this because mia_mcdavid was out of town. The last time I tried to visit him without her he completely freaked out. He threw a huge tantrum and I had to leave. He is very much a Mama's boy. mia_mcdavid has never had trouble visiting him without me. While rationally I understood what happened, the rejection was very hard to take emotionally. I was quite shook up afterwards.

However, we knew I had to try this again, and this seemed liked a good time. Because of trouble at his former group home (mia_mcdavid has posted about this) , Tom is now living in a crisis center, with well-trained staff around 24x7. So if he had another meltdown excellent help would be right there. Mia saw him last weekend, and explained to him that she could not seem him this time, but I would come alone. Since Tom is essentially non-verbal it is very hard to tell how much he understands, but Mia and I know it is much more than he lets on.

The preparation seems to have worked. I called ahead and told the staff I would be taking Tom out to lunch. When I got there we had no problems. Tom walked straight to the car and got in. So off we went. Tom actually does quite well in restaurants, and with 13 years of practice Mia and I can quickly explain his dietary issues (no gluten--wheat protein, no casein--milk protein) to the staff. We also have a good sense of what kind of restaurants have a kitchen and waitstaff that can work with us. So lunch went quite well. The only issue was that Tom was quite hungry and finished his lunch well before I could finish mine.
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I am really glad for you and Tom, that your visit went well!!

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