So, Grandpa visited for a while last week. In the group mail he sent out to talk about how the trip went, he described msk as "still noticably autistic, but making strides in socialization and remaining very cheerful." Reading this made me feel good; it had been a nice, low-key visit.
In the past I've felt kind of guilty that people's assesment of msk always seemed to get on my nerves. I'm talking about the occasional visitor, not strangers in a store or the people who really get to know him and us over time. Somehow, regardless of what they say, it seems wrong. Sometimes they minimize his disability - "in a few years no one will think of him as autistic, they'll just think he's a unique individual." That seems unlikely to me, and besides, we live in the now, not hoping for the future. They exude pity - "oh the poor thing; how hard for you; I'm praying they'll find a cure." Actually, it's our normal day to day life, and I've come to terms with it and am generally pretty happy. Those are the typical statements, at least from friends. I know they mean well, but they leave me feeling frustrated and misunderstood.
In contrast, my dad's description seems simple, to the point and accurate. I smile when I think of it. And he sent it out to the whole extended family. As my high school student says - Epic Win!