asperger's syndrome, autism, career, faith, flying, independence, transition, travel
Will has been to California and back again. It was a roller coaster experience for Ralph and me. We gripped the edge of our seats, and waited for texts from Will as he arrived at each airport and then at the hotel. I really didn’t sleep well this past week. Thank God for cell phones.
Will flew on three planes on the way out to California, at least one train, and a bus. He got on the wrong train and realized he was going in the wrong direction and came back. The bus route ended a mile and a half from his hotel. He walked in 90+ degree heat to his hotel, and accepted a ride from a stranger to his hotel (Yikes!). I prayed that God’s angels would surround him and keep him safe. I prayed that he would not have a melt down along the way. If he did, I don’t know about it.
He texted us when he arrived at the hotel and when he arrived at his home.
He discovered hotel shuttles, and caught a ride to the bus station. He rode the bus, the train, three planes (with extended layovers) on the way back. He’s exhausted, but it was definitely worth it. 20 years ago, we were told that he was mentally impaired and would probably never live by himself. Now he has done something I and his father have never done: fly in a commercial jet, not just once, but six times in the space of a week.
He went to his training sessions for four days, eight hours each, and did homework for three hours each night. He went out to dinner with his manager to an Italian restaurant. At the end of the week, his manager showed him the work he would be doing once he is certified in the software he trained in all week. Then he went to dinner at his manager’s home, where he told Will that in their culture (India), it would be an insult if he did not eat a lot. Will discovered that he likes Indian food.
This trip was a learning experience for him and us. He learned to use hotel shuttles and room service when the hotel was having a “sizzling party” in the hotel restaurant. He balked at the $2.50 charge, plus 20% gratuity. We convinced him that $2.50 was nothing compared to the time cost of finding an outside restaurant when he was so tired. He just doesn’t want to spend the money.
Will must have impressed his manager for this project because, be still my heart, he would like Will to come back to California for seven weeks in September and October.