You can find BJ in our back yard decked out in cape and with sword protecting our little kingdom and ensuring a safe night’s sleep for all. He will then come in and reward himself with some tunes from the kitchen radio and dance moves that get us all moving. And BJ of course delights in his movies but more than the movie itself he is enraptured by the behind the scenes and commentary. So we know all the actors, actresses, directors, producers, and music guys. In fact more often than not, at bedtime, we must include blessing on Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and all the kiddos-they are after all family. I must note however, with his love for movies, there must be strict monitoring over what he watches. BJ has an ““Incessant’ draw to the villains, which require at all times, diligent attention to what he sees.
You may be saying right about now that this does not sound like the 24 year old you know and you would be right. BJ has autism and intellectual disability. Many the qualities describing BJ above truly do bring joy and delight as we watch him soak up life and much that it offers. But I'm sure it will come as no surprise that there are also challenges that as a mom are sometimes seemingly too much to bear. As the studies show -autism moms have a stress level like that of a combat soldier...hmmm...
BJs own particular set of sensitivities make it difficult to leave the house. The everyday sights and sounds, people and crowds instead of getting easier for him to handle have, as he's gotten older, become just too overwhelming; and just between you and me; heaven forbid we are out and he witnesses a parents dealings with an unruly child. At that point, it's pretty much every man for themselves. This is why for the most part we stay home. We are however very thankful for our local Baskin Robbins and Subway. They generally are quiet spots where BJ can go with either us or his buddy and enjoy a treat or meal.
Even so BJ just like us wants a friend who is someone other than a parent. With his autism he often has explosive behaviors which are difficult and challenging, but I always say that it's the sad and lonely that is the hardest to see.
We have been blessed in finding a couple people who have been fantastic buddies for BJ. In walking and grabbing an ice cream while on the way along his favorite topics of conversation; his life has been enriched enhanced. On the days he knows there is got a buddy coming a smile of genuine joy can be seen on his face. His buddy times have become a crucial and fulfilling aspect of his wellbeing.
This is why I am here. Many of life’s most wonderful things are free; buddy time is not. It costs to hire and we are hoping you might consider our BJ and the joy this brings him. I thought long and hard about actually doing or not doing a Gofundme. Then I see BJ when days on end there is no buddy and this results so often in late night outbursts due to frustration and loneliness.
So here I am in hope that maybe I have tugged at your heart strings a little? Yes! I suppose so; but more than that in hope that you might think on BJ a moment and the joy you can add and become part of by contributing to his buddy fund.
So if you're out and about in Glastonbury any afternoon; stop by Baskin & Robbins or Subway and maybe say hi to BJ; where they treat him like the champion he so often thinks of himself as and that is, oh so special.
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