Andrew started middle school a few weeks ago, and we have had several of his friends over to play—oops sorry, "hang out" after school. I always ask Andrew's friends if they know that David has autism and explain that he may not talk very much, or if he does, he may be difficult to understand. Without exception, Andrew has told them about David and it always seems to be no big deal. Telling one of Andrew's friends about David having autism is like telling them that he has blue eyes, or blond hair. And it certainly is not nearly as impressive as the fact that he is allowed to have a trampoline in the middle of our family room or that he can score the Super-Mega-Bonus combo on the SpongeBob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom game for the Playstation2.
I guess I should not really be surprised by the fact that Andrew's friends do not see autism as something that defines David and seem to regard it with a certain nonchalance, as just one of his many traits, a single piece of a complicated puzzle. Who would have thought that we would all have something to learn from 10-year-old boys?