My “gloriously autistic” son, Matt Ward, gave us a great holiday gift this year. It had snowed quite a lot on Dec. 31 and we needed to shovel our back deck. We planned to do that after we got back from a “geezer” Euchre card party the afternoon of Jan. 1. Matt was staying with us for the weekend, but he lives in his own apartment most of the time. He stayed at our house that afternoon since he is neither a geezer nor a Euchre player.
When we got back from the party, we discovered Matt had shoveled the deck for us! It was such a happy surprise! We hadn’t asked him to shovel or even discussed that it needed to be done. He has never done a task like that without prompting (or lots of grumbling) before. The best part of the whole thing was being able to praise Matt so much for taking the initiative to help us out when we hadn’t even asked. We could tell he was very proud of himself. Matt is 40 years old and and still growing and changing.