I went out with my HFA/AS (high-functioning autism/Asperger's Syndrome... I hate when I can't pick up on people's abbreviations, so I try to redefine each post for those who may not know). Do you want to hear about what we did? Oh, great! I'm so glad you want to know! That's just what I wanted to tell you!
First, I had a therapy appointment bright and early that morning with my mom at 9 A.M. You can read my previous post to see a bit of what went down there. After that, we had to stop at the store to pick up Halloween candy for the trick or treaters. I made sure to get some without peanuts. Now that I have to watch with food intolerances, I'm much more aware of the many kids out there who can't eat peanuts. So, we got Milky Ways along with our Butterfingers.
We got home, and Mark and his mom Carol had beat us here. Mark has been in the group since it started 2 years ago. Mark draws cities from all over the place; they're big, like 12" x 40" or something. He has them shrunken down to postcard size and keeps them in a photo album. He brought them to show me, and they're really pretty. They live kind of far away and his mom isn't as familiar with around here as my mom is, so they met at my house and we took them to the event. It wasn't very far away at all (I was surprised). We went bowling! I bowled once in college when I had a torn ligament in my right hand, so I had to bowl left-handed. Before that, it had been since pre-school. I bowled in the 80s left-handed, so I thought I might be okay. Well, not so much. Bowling-wise, the day was a disaster. My first game was in the 80s, but my bad ligament thumb started to hurt, and my second game, I scored a 25!
That's okay though, because we hardly even cared about the scores, except to laugh at them. The bowling alley was noisy, so I spent a decent amount of time just hanging out by myself and not talking to anyone. I talk much better when it's quiet than when there's a lot going on... then, I tend to be silent. It's just too hard. My brain can't sort through everything. I was having fun anyway. It wasn't like, invading my brain, kind of loud. Just too loud for me to talk the whole time. Even so, especially the parents seemed to understand that and came over and started conversations with me. It's so nice to know that they get it and not have to worry about how you seem or if your eye contact is off (mine always is). I got to talk to M's mom about group homes, and sent my mom over to talk to her and they talked for a really long time. My mom and stepdad met a guy their age who has autism or Asperger's, which I thought was cool, and they hung out with him. I didn't really stick with one person; I was with all different people the whole time, and my mom and stepdad.
After bowling, we walked down a block or so to a restaurant. I generally try to eat healthy, but the only thing on the menu I could eat was fries, so I eat fries with cheese melted on top. I didn't feel so bad because they were homemade there. I try to worry more about where my food comes from than about its calories, per se. Anyway, we sat with Mark and his mom and M and her mom and talked about sensory integration issues, which apparently M has too. It turns out that one of the women in the group, C, is going for her PhD in OT and is already trained in the Alexander Techinque. C has Asperger's and went through Alexander Techinque herself and found it extremely helpful for sensory integration, so M's mom and my mom took her information. If I ever do have money, that's certainly something to keep in mind as an option.
We headed home to trick or treaters after that. I was exhausted. It was a good day.
This is totally in its infancy, so don't get all wound up now, but it bears mentioning that I'm going on a date with one of the guys from my group. Justin is 28 and works in social work with MHMR. Yes he has autism, and he's also super smart and outgoing and nice and kind. When you have autism, dating isn't one of the easier things. So far, we both think we're pretty lucky.