Last week, on the evening of April 10th, Sweet M went on her first overnight. Yes, away from home. Without us. To another state. With her class. On an overnight field trip.
Yes. On her own. Well, sort of on her own. With her aide. Without us.
She was terribly excited about the field trip. When we first talked about it she said, "So I'll stay in a hotel?" "Yes," I said. "And there will be a swimming pool?" "Yes," I said. And then she paused and asked, "M____, do you think I could ask my teachers to help me with an embarrassing problem I have?" "You mean your nighttime diaper?" "U-huh." "I'm sure you can. We both will ask them."
And so she went on a sleepover field trip. She put on makeup with her suite mates before they went to dinner. She ate food she won't eat at home. In a restaurant. At a table. With other kids eating other "stinky" food. She swam in the pool. She went to the colonial village and visited the blacksmith. She rode on the bus.
Her aide told me that she sniffled and whimpered a little bit, in the middle of the night, probably homesick, but that she got through it without waking up the other girls in her room.
Changes at Autism's Edges don't really happen overnight, but sometimes it seems like they do.