So I get a call at work today from the Principal of the middle school near our house, telling me there’s been an incident involving our house and one of the students. I was confused. First, because I thought the call was about my daughter, and I wondered if she was in trouble for something. I mean, why the hell yes does the Principal call you. It took me a moment to realize that ths wasn’t the Prinicipal of the Elementary school, where my daughter attends.
Then she tells me there is a police officer with her and they put me on speaker phone. Now, I’m getting a little concerned.
Turns out one of the autistic students at the middle school somehow got out of the school, made his way down the block, and found his way into our house. I left the back door to the garage open. My bad!
Anyway, apparently there was no damage done to the house. The kid just came in, helped himself to an icecream sandwich from the freezer and watched TV. No big deal.
I could tell that the Principal and the Officer were cocnerned that I might be upset, but I wasn’t. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I was just glad the kid was all right, that he wasn’t hurt, and that they found. In fact, I was impressed with his choice of movie. He managed to find my copy of Repo Man that I keep in the office on a shelf with my other GenX books and movies. So…he’s got that going for him.
Actually, in a way I’m glad our house was open, because the kid was known to be a runner, and who knows how far he might have gone before they found him had he not stopped in at our house.
When I told my wife about it, she thought it was pretty funny. So do a lot of people upon hearing the story.
The Principal was relieved and very grateful that I was so understanding. There might have been a time when I would have been more concerned, just because I used to be so unfamiliar with people who have autism, but for the last four years I’ve worked with a guy who is autistic. He’s quirky but intersting, and funny sometime too.
He processes books here at the library as well as shelving books and he is quite good at both. His autism is actually a benefit in this case, his need for order makes him good at what he does.
I remember realizing that the guy I worked with liked me when he started giving me coupons to fast food places. I used to have a pretty good collection. And though being autistic means he doesn’t like physical contact and rarely engages in it, one day passing him in the staff lounge he wanted to slap me high five and I did. I took that as I big compliment.