I got a call from Joey's new summer teacher today. I was pleased to find her proactive enough to call and want to talk about Joey. I had made a powerpoint to use at his IEP meeting, and she had a copy of that, but wanted to be sure there was nothing else she should know. I mentioned a few things, like the ASL and that if he's having trouble, I need to know, and I was happy to answer questions or help. She seems like a very nice lady. She's training to be the future autism teacher in the lower elementary.
I joined a gym. Partly because for the price of preschool, I get the opportunity to hae 2 hours of childcare twice per day. That's four hours, whenever i want (and can use it). They also have a nice kid's pool with sprinklers and stuff. And Mom is buying it for me, because she's a cool Grandma like that. It's been a big hit. Joey and Andy have been having a ball while I get some exercise in, and then splashing the pool together. Since I go in the morning, and they have lots of adults to help with the kids, the kid room has kind of "assigned" a staff member to stick with and shadow Joey, and that has worked out beautifully- and wthout me really requesting it (I just warned them that he is autistic.) He's been loving it there. But I had to tel them that he was going back to school, and they at least acted very sad.
That is one of Joey's great strengths- he charms the people who work with him. As my Mom always says, "Joey loves the world and the world loves Joey!" I have rarely met children who exude that whole outlook the way Joey does. Joey loves living, being with people, doing and being and laughing. Everyone is his friend, and it is hard to prove otherwise. I know that eventually this may be a problem, but right now, it is a whole way of being that makes people want to help him, want to know him, want to listen to what he has to say and share and be. I will be very, very sad when he discovers he can't go through life that way. He should be able to, it should be the way the world is... but it isn't.
People remember Joey. They ask abotu Joey. They want to know Joey and see Joey and be with Joey. I've seen him charm the governor of Virginia. I'm seen him charm his teachers, his therapists, even the grumpy Sunday school teacher. He has charmed the entire Saturday church service. I think it must be because people do wish the world was like this. It is so much more pleasant when the world is full of friendly faces.