"I want to stay here and hang out with my friends..."

Home, for Alan, has always been the light at the end of the tunnel every week. He could come home, eat with us, watch tv in his room, visit extended family. Since his placement in the waiver apartments, we have been encouraging him to participate in activities with his peers. We have a monthly activity schedule and go over it every week to see if there is something he is interested in. It has always seemed that he felt that this was some sort of punishment.

This Thursday morning, at 5:10 am, Alan called. "Hey Mom," he said breathlessly, "I don't want to come home this weekend, I don't want to do that. I want to stay here and hang out with my friends. And I need $20 for our trip on Sunday. When will you be bringing that?"

I was surprised. I told him it was fine for him to stay there, and that I would bring the money after work.

When I arrived at his apartment, he was putting his clean clothes away, having finished his laundry. His waiver staff told me he has been passing his room check every week. His room was spotless, bed made, and he was clean and looked great.

I'm loving this new twist. I am sure we will have more lows and more highs, but this is something I will treasure forever.

"I want to stay here and hang out with my friends." I've been waiting a long time to hear that.


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