Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Social Caterpillar*

*or "Facebook: Blessing or Curse?"
This is my low-tech snapshot of a snapshot of Neil with his first girlfriend, Lauren. They were preschool buddies, and when Neil saw her at the park one day, he fell to his knees and started eating grass in an effort to impress her. He's always kind of been that way--he loves his friends and he'd do anything to make them laugh.

Of course, lately the laughs have been hard to come by since he's a little short in the humor department. But he still loves his friends and has really missed being with them at school each day. Dividing his time between hanging with Mom, and therapy sessions with the sweet elderly folks at Kessler is just not filling his social needs. He makes up the lack by texting. His thumb flies day and night, almost non-stop.

High-school students are busy this time of year. His peers are getting ready for finals, graduation, summer jobs, and college. As they become overwhelmed with Neil's messages, I think they are finding it harder to respond to each one. So he is looking for more people to correspond with. Enter, Facebook. Neil hadn't shown much interest in it as the screen is hard to see, and the website very busy and confusing. But when he finally gave it a try and realized he had 71 friend requests, he decided it might be worthwhile.

So now he has some new friends, too--friends that we don't know. I hope they are as kind-hearted as the ones who have been so loyal throughout his recovery. Some of these new kids don't know his circumstances. His abilities to pick up on social cues, to judge, and to understand subtleties aren't what they used to be, so I worry that he might get hurt.

On the other hand, as Neil continues to sharpen his mind and skills, these social interactions should be good for him. Communicating with others has got to get better with practice, right? He's reaching out--trying to emerge, and we'll see what beautiful creature develops.


Meredith said...

I can vouch for at least one new friend...Tessa is one of my YW girls and she is darling and asks about Neil weekly. Yes - there are kind hearted people out there who love and adore Neil even if they don't know him!

Debbie C said...

I am so looking forward to cheering for Neil tomorrow night at graduation......can't wait to see him!!

HMStammler said...

Congratulation Neil! Your Dad told me today is a pretty special day!! Have fun with your friends..."Biggest Kid at Heart!" That's awesome!!

Pam McCarthy said...

Hi, Neil you were Awsome last night!!! I cried (along with a lot of other people) when they called your name and everyone stood up and cheered for you! You will never know how many people were thinking of you and praying for you. If you ever feel down, just watch the video of the CHEERING!! and it came from the hearts of the entire class and audience. Thank You Neil. Mrs. McCarthy (Teddy's Mom)