Tuesday, November 5, 2019

That's my boy: part teen and part child. Who isn't?

Max brought this home from school the other day, a sum-up of who he is. I pored over it.

His favorite book: Fire Fighter Skills
Favorite thing to do in summer: camp
He wants to be: a fireman
He is good at: driving
His favorite subject: English
His wish is to: Move to Los Angeles
His favorite thing to do in winter: Disneyland
If he had a million dollars, he would: Buy a house in Los Angeles
His favorite things to eat: steak and pizza

It really captured Max.

At almost seventeen years old (!!!), he enjoys stuff other teens do—eating large quantities of filling foods like steak and pizza, traveling, going to camp. He has career aspirations. He is mature enough to know that he is good at reading and other English skills, and less so at math (chip off the old block).

And then, there's that child-like part of him in which he mixes fantasy with reality. Max can't actually drive, although he'd like to. It's something he's been mentioning recently, because he knows that everyone in Los Angeles drives. When we went out to dinner the other night, he stood in front of the driver's side door and asked, "Can I drive?" I think he'd be pretty good at it—well, if his bumper car skills are any indication—but I'm just not sure about the written test. When I googled, it seems like you can get extra time if you have special education needs, which gave me some hope.

I also pondered the fact that most of us have immature sides, although that can be more visible and questionable in a person with intellectual disability. Sometimes, I can't stop giggling (like when Max scared the speech therapist out of her wits), a habit I've had from childhood. I am also slow to admit when I'm wrong. Just like Max, I still have some growing up to do. Don't we all?

Max is a teen who's a mix of ages. And that's perfectly OK—although hearing "I'm moving to Los Angeles!" dozens of times a day is getting a little bit old.


  1. Some people with down syndrome have been getting driver's licenses in recent years. There are actually some driving schools/programs that specifically work with people who have developmental disabilities. Typically there is an indepth assessment of the ability of the student to safely drive, discussion of what modifications might be needed, and a lot more driving practice with an instructor than might be typical. Max might need to take longer and practice a lot more but maybe seeking out a program like that would be helpful and a way for him to feel like he is at least making progress towards that goal. I have a physical disability and it took me years of practice driving to feel prepared for driving alone. Lots of people need multiple tries on the written test as well and typically it can be offered in alternate formats.

    1. Encouraging to hear, Jamie! I am definitely going to look into local programs for him.

  2. Replies
    1. I know, right? It keeps getting better and better. Using his iPad is faster but he really enjoys writing.


Thanks for sharing!

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