Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life.
One of the very first things James expressed to us on the letterboard was a deep longing for friends. He said it often in those early months of RPM when he was finally able to share all that had been on his heart during years of silence. The first “wish” list he made after learning about the story of King Midas was 1. I WISH FOR LUKEMIA TO END. 2. I WISH FOR PEACE. 3. I WISH FOR FRIENDS PLEASE. This summer when his sister was leaving for a month she asked him what she could pray for on his behalf and he said FRIENDS.
Gratefully I can report that James has had lots of opportunities this summer to meet new people and connect with old ones who he hasn’t been with since he started RPM. He has been to a camp with all typical teenagers and he has been to a camp with teens with autism. He has had the chance to hang out with some “20 somethings” and with a 70+ year old, with whom I think he had one of his best conversations. I asked James to write about his experiences this summer meeting new people and to share any thoughts he might have.
I ENJOY MEETING NEW PEOPLE AND SPREADING RPM. CAMP ALLOWED ME TO SEE HOW NORMAL TEENS INTERACT. IT WAS IMPORTANT TO LEARN THAT I AM NOT SO DIFFERENT. THEY ALL HAVE STRUGGLES TOO, BUT WE MUST KEEP TRYING TO REACH OUR DREAMS.
I ALSO REALIZED THAT I HAVE ADVANTAGES SO I AM LUCKY DESPITE AUTISM. BEING WITH OTHER PEOPLE WITH AUTISM SHOWED ME THAT I COULD HAVE OTHER ISSUES TOO. I PREFER TYPICAL TEENS DUE TO THE NOISE, BUT PEOPLE WITH AUTISM ARE ABLE TO TEACH ME TOO. REALLY I PREFER YOUNG ADULTS LIKE KEVIN AND AMY BECAUSE THEY ARE CALMER, SMART, LESS REACTIVE AND PATIENT. I HAVE MET SOME TEENS I AM HAPPY TO CALL MY FRIEND. I HAVE LEARNED THAT TRUE FRIENDS ARE WORTH THE ENERGY TO CONTROL MYSELF, BUT ALSO THAT THEY WILL UNDERSTAND AND WILL HELP. THE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO DO RPM JUST TO TALK TO ME MAKE LIFE WORTH ALL MY STRUGGLES. THANK YOU ALL.