I say that last word with a lot of respect and downright awe.
He has friends.
He can co regulate himself to the point where he has friendships with people who are not related to him.
That's what I mean when I say the word normal, and I long for the ability to have that type of relationship for my boys more than anything in the entire world.
When parents say things like, "I hate autism," or "I wish my child was normal," I think what they really mean is more like the above statement. They want their kid to be able to make and keep a friend.
It's not that I want my child to be a totally different person. It's not that I want any of that quirkiness to go away. I just want him to be able to understand another's perspective. I want him to be able to fit in and make new friends. Not everyday. Not even every year. Just once. Just one friend. I'd start with that.
To me, that would feel like winning the lottery. Really.
I'll explain more about my new friend, Zach, and how it relates to us tomorrow.