We have two children with autism, both on the severe side, both considered nonverbal. They live in a group home together with two other children. We try to have them over for a visit every week.
This is what an average visit looks like.
- I show up at the group home. Abby is usually watching out the window beside the door and so she sees me right away. She grins and does wild hand gestures. Logan hugs me and says, “Hi Dad.”
- We get into the car and Logan says to me, “Turn up music please.” He doesn’t seem to care what kind of music, but when I am driving it is classic rock.
- We arrive home and Logan and Abby run into the house. I am working on getting them to close the car doors first. It is coming along.
- They immediately head for the television. We have often watched DVDs but Abby has been frequently changing movies soon after they start and so we have switched to Netflix.
- We then sit down to a Veggie Tales marathon. Our three younger children claim they hate Veggies Tales, as they are too old for that now, but they are glued to the screen while Logan and Abby are here.
- There are frequent interceptions of mostly Abby (but sometimes Logan) as they try to find food in the kitchen. Neither of them ever feel full so we have to be careful and only do controlled snacks.
- Logan grabs his superhero books and reads them while watching TV.
- Abby starts grabbing toys, books, DVDs and anything else to create a display on top of Faith’s bed.
- There is a lot of hugging, laughing and smiling.
- Both Logan and Abby tell me, “No thank you!” when I try to sing.
- Then they get picked up to go back to their group home. But not before we get a hug and kiss from our children.
That is what a typical visit looks like and it always gives us great joy.