I have made it a point to keep him away from the computer and cell phone as much as possible and to increase our quality time together snuggling, talking about things that bother him, things that he wishes for, and things that he dreams of but he is in puberty now and needs his alone time/privacy as well do I so we each have our space every day that we keep to ourselves. I believe that both are important and essential because I nurture our relationship and bond helping it to grow and progress while respecting one another's individual needs for space and privacy.
While we were having one of our bonding moments talking to one another cuddling, Griffin confessed to me that he had secretly been liking 2 girls one named Sonya and one named Kathleen and he didn't know which one to marry. I had to hold back the grin and remain serious as to not hurt his feelings as I explained to him that he is too young for marriage and sex that right now all he should be doing is talking to girls.....but not about sex or body parts. With autism one has to be very straightforward and clear there can be no ambiguity no blurred lines. I told him that he can talk to both of them that he doesn't have to choose between them. He told me that he liked Sonya because she was fat and that he liked how she was squishy. Then I had to grin I couldn't help it. He said that he thought that she was very pretty. I told him that was very nice. I told him that it was nice that he sees her for the person that she truly is and that he has a big heart. Of course then I had to explain what "a big heart" means because with autism individuals take things literally. With autism and Asperger's individuals don't read between the lines when one tries to drop a hint or beats around the bush, speaks sarcastically, the individuals do not pick up on it like neuro-typicals do. There is just a confused person when one does that to them.
There is so much on the Internet that is great for him to see and enjoy because he laughs so hard most the time as he watches old commercials from the 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's. He is so into advertising icons and representations of commercials from old TV ads. He even has the songs/jingles memorized and the features of the cereal boxes, candy wrappers, etc...He also loves old TV shows like Andy Griffith, and Full House.
Griffin is a "Furry" that means that he has a fascination with the world of furry animals such as animated animals. He still has a room full of stuffed animals and is closely bonded to them, keep in mind that his mentality is that of about a 4 year old even though he is about to turn 12. He has a Big Bird in which he is very tightly bonded to that he has had since he was 2 years old that a young man so kindly gave to him in a Goodwill store in Anchorage, Alaska. We were shopping but didn't have enough money to buy it but Griffin grabbed it and wouldn't let go so the clerk gave it to Griffin....I will never forget him. Griffin is lost without this stuffed animal and in fact all of them. If I tried to take away any of them he would know exactly which one was missing and would go bezerk until I got it back. Being a Furry means that an individual grows up loving furry things more than the average person, usually these people (who have their own community and website: look up "Furries") dress up like animals, sometimes they isolate themselves exclusively into their own community because nobody else understands them.....which I completely understand how that goes. They have conventions where they dress up not saying that Griffin will ever go that far but when I looked up the definition and description he fit it. Mostly because he is so fascinated with animation, animals, animated images and videos, cartoons, and comics. Not to mention Sesame St., Barney, Kratt Brothers, his love for birds & cats, and anthropomorphic (animals dressed up as humans) characters such as Arthur.
His therapist told me yesterday that he will have to be in a group home when he grows up due to his adaptive skills being so low (those are his skills of how he can take care of himself as an individual without assistance). And I told him that "I know that, I have accepted that....." But that doesn't mean that I don't worry about it. He will be safer in a group home, I only hope that we can find one before I pass away that will treat him right and that he gets along with the other members. Group homes have a high turnover rate and one never knows how the members are being treated when they are having meltdowns and they are not being monitored by their superiors. Also there is a possibility of Griffin running away from the group home, that is not uncommon at all. But I have got to let go of that for right now because that is in the far future and I have too much to deal with right now. However, I do have to think about how I am going to pay for his group home or someone is. That, I do have to do NOW. I have to organize funding on services for him now so that it will be set up in the future. Most people think that it is too far away to think about but really the way the system works, as slow as it is, one has to start now in order to get what we need in 6 years or so. He may not need a group home at 18 years old, he may still be with me but I have got to be prepared.
Here are some pictures of Griffin with his cat "Dot" who he loves dearly. She loves him too.