There he is. My man. My Bubba. You may think, ok he's laying on the floor just doing nothing. Actually, he's doing TONS!!!! He's coping. Tolerating all of the chaos going on around him. 5 minutes before this picture was taken, Brianna and I were over there sitting with him. Giving him verbal support. It started, not so well. We got there a bit early so that he could run laps, and stim all he wanted in front of the mirror.
This group is for ages 10 and up. The oldest member is in his 50's. There's a few people that Tommy will interact with, but not during this drum circle. This is not an Autism Specific group. So none of the accommodations are ever made (such as there is intense fluorescent lighting, mirrors on EVERY wall, and these drums echo like you can't even IMAGINE!). Tommy's been a part of this group for close to 3 years (off and on). He's never really enjoyed the drum circles, but he enjoys SEEING his "friends". He did so great last night shaking everyone's hand and verbally responding to the words actually coming out of the mouths of others. We even had eye contact.
Brianna and I were able to phase away from him and went to sit on the benches with the other parents/care givers. I initially walked over there because he was mouthing curse words so I was GOING to get my purse and be ready to go. But, after I walked away, he stayed. And, behaved. There was zero interaction during the drumming but.. look at this coping. So proud of him. It's like a dream come true seeing him able to manage again.