Peter headed down to Orientation at Pace University today. Last night he went to see THE GREEN LANTERN with his friend, Matt, at midnight. This morning he got himself up, fed and dressed and I dropped him at the train. He didn’t want or need me to go with him to Orientation. He knew how to get to Pace on his own and he was clear about his scheduled meetings.
For many parents of teenagers, this may seem like a string of amazing accomplishments. For the parent of someone on the spectrum, this is an example of the truly inspiring growth which Peter has achieved in the past year.
I can’t quite believe that Peter will be heading off to college in the fall. This is such an exciting, and heartbreaking, achievement. Heartbreaking in that I will truly miss having him around on a daily basis. He isn’t always the easiest person in the world, especially when communication is called for, but he is a great housemate. Peter has no problem pitching in to clean the kitchen, take out the garbage and generally be useful. He loves to go to the grocery store and does an excellent job of getting the items we need and not purchasing anything not on the list–for someone with impulse issues, this, too, is an accomplishment. Peter is good company and loves to watch NCIS with me when his dad is off at class. He is also ready to give and receive hugs at a moments notice.
Peter is currently taking Calculus 2 at Westchester Community College. He has made a group of friends both at WCC and at the Devereux Foundation where he was taking some evening classes earlier. It is great to see him making plans to do things with his friends. He loves to travel into Manhattan and explore the city and go to clubs. In my life I have never had a desire to go to a club, but Peter is exploring all sorts of activities. I don’t think he dances, he is more the wallflower type, but it is an exotic and foreign experience for him. His friends seem like nice kids and they, too, are all following their own paths to adulthood. Peter may not be your prototypical teenager from an upper middle class suburb, but he has found a social circle that fits his own personality.