Ryan answered two readers’ questions on friends today.
Emma wrote: When having over friends (not autistic) what is a good activity? We are navigating play dates with our 7 year old RPMer (not much open ended communication yet) and would love advice!
ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS OVER. ACKNOWLEDGE LAUGHING EACH TIME BY A FUN ACTIVITY. LIFE IS GOOD WITH FRIENDS. GOING OUTSIDE IS A GOOD IDEA OR A CAPABLE GAME TOGETHER. What do you mean by capable games? APPLICABLE. You mean ones that you can participate in? YES.
We haven’t tried it yet, but we recently got Apples to Apples for Kids and I am planning to be Ryan’s “scribe” so that he can play with friends and family. Ryan has also played Tic, Tac, Toe and Dots with other kids. We also might try Headbandz if we can get Ryan to keep the heaband on his head!
Jeanne wrote: It is so amazing to read these posts. Ryan, is there someone that you correspond with on an RPM and they respond back, kind of like pen pals?
YES TO PEN PAL NAMED FOX. YES TO AUTISTIC LIKE ME. I HAVE KNOWN FOX FOR ALMOST A YEAR. (I asked him how do you know that? Did you remember the month that you met him? YES. OCTOBER). HE IS MY BEST FRIEND. I LIKE TALKING TO HIM BECAUSE CAPABLE OF BEING MYSELF. HE MAKES ME GLAD TO HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE LIKE ME.
So Ryan and Fox had their second Skype session Wednesday after having written letters back and forth to each other since December 2014. Fox and Ryan met at HALO in Austin, Texas when they were both there to see Soma for Rapid Prompt Method (RPM) Camp. These camps are for out of state students who come in and have 2 sessions a day with Soma for 4 days. On the second to the last day that they were there, they were both doing open ended well with Soma, so she had them participate in a joint session for just a few minutes. This is where they met and this was the first time for both Ryan and Fox to communicate with someone outside of their family and providers (it was actually Ryan’s first time corresponding with anyone directly). They both remember this interaction and a fantastic friendship has formed.
I asked them if it was okay if I could share a tiny bit of their interaction from Wednesday.
Ryan: HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. BACK TO SCHOOL SCARES ME. NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT.
Fox: ME TOO. I LEARN BETTER AT HOME.
Ryan: ME TOO.
They had a lot more to say to each other for about 25 minutes. They talked more about school, their visits with Soma (and nerves associated with the visits), climbing trees, and traveling. I can’t tell you how much it means to me for Ryan to have such a wonderful friend who is like-minded and is as smart and caring as Ryan. I am looking forward to watching their friendship continue to grow. Not to mention that I gained a good friend with Fox’s mom, Lisa, in the process.
Fox has a blog too. We would love for you to check it out as he just recently began his blog like us.
You can find it here: Fox Talks With Letters