The summer of the soul
There’s a persistent misunderstanding that adults with autism or intellectual disabilities remain children all of their lives. This is a convenient but often demeaning illusion for those who have a hard time seeing them as fellow adults; as peers who happen to have disabilities.
In some ways, it’s an easy mistake to make. Many adults with developmental disabilities lack the normal inhibitions about showing emotion. This can be a blessing as well as a curse, and nowhere is it more of a blessing than at Christmas. The childlike joy Matt has in all the festivities of Christmas, and especially in the music, is a welcome adornment to the season in our home. Now more than ever, I feel such joy at having a companion who is not only filled with the same enthusiasm for the holiday as I am, but who is also unafraid to show it. Delight is much more fun when shared.
Yesterday Matt and I enjoyed listening to the music from one of our favorite versions of Dickens’ classic story, The Muppet Christmas Carol. As with so much of what is crafted by talented artists who work with children in mind, it would be a mistake to underestimate the sophistication of such offerings. The offbeat humor and exceptional performance of Michael Caine would make the movie worth seeing even without the music, but the Paul Williams songs are unforgettably wonderful. Almost every line of every song could be a theme for a blog post.
I hope you are able to enjoy the holiday season with the heart of a child, along with the deeper appreciation, and responsibility, that goes with being an adult. Let’s all bask in the glow of this summer of the soul, and give the children in our lives something warm to remember for years to come.
One year ago today