Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Kai

A woman emailed me a couple of weeks ago. She had just discovered my Patch articles. She said that she and her family had recently moved to my town. She has twin boys, about a year older than my son. And one of her boys is named Kai. And her Kai also has autism.

Now that is what I call a remarkable coincidence. And you can’t just let coincidences like that pass.

And so, my wife and I met the woman and her husband for coffee one morning. It turns out that Atsuko is, like my wife, a native of Japan. And her husband Mike is, like me, originally from the Chicago area. It was as if we were meant to be together.

Yesterday, we had them over for dinner. It was the first time our boys would meet. Two Kai’s in the same house. What would that be like?

Our Kai was happy to have company over. And both of the twins seemed happy to be here.

Our Kai immediately took charge. He wanted the boys to play the Mario Kart game he had received for Hanukkah. The game had sat idle for much of the past month since we received it, but Kai suddenly took an interest in it this weekend. And he was thrilled to have some new players to watch.

Mind you, Kai did not want to play the game himself. He just wanted to watch the boys play.

New Kai is less verbal than our Kai. But he was able to communicate his wishes pretty well with his one or two word phrases. He wanted to be Luigi. His brother Aidan chose Mario.

Aidan is neurotypical, and you couldn’t find a better brother for a child with autism. Aidan is compassionate, patient, and understanding with his brother. And he showed those qualities with our Kai as well.

It was interesting watching the three of them interact. Our Kai was acting like the supervisor, telling the boys which course he wanted them to race. And the twins cooperated for the most part, and enjoyed the races our Kai had them do.

When Aidan wanted to play a different Wii game, I helped negotiate a compromise with our Kai. But for the most part, the boys played by themselves. And they played together longer than perhaps any play date we’ve ever set up for Kai.

It allowed us grownups to have a surprisingly relaxed time to get to know each other, a time that we enjoyed very much.

New friends + happy kids = a wonderful evening.

All thanks to our two Kai’s.

10 comments:

  1. That was quite a coincidence. What a pleasant surprise their visit must have been. Everyone having a good time together must have been a good day indeed.

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    1. Yes, it was wonderful! And by the way, the boy Aidan, reminds me of your son, particularly with how he treats other kids.

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  2. Phenomenal
    what a coincidence and what a great experience

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    1. Phenomenal is a great word to describe it. I love when a coincidence leads to something wonderful.

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  3. Wow, that's amazing! Very happy for you all, and I hope it's the start of a few long and happy friendships!

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  4. WOW!! That is so great - so happy you have found each. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! That is exactly how we feel.

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  5. Wow. Isn't that remarkable. Big smiles here!

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    1. Ha, it really was remarkable. Thanks, Betsy!

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