by Ian Aronow

Last week, my friend Kate was visiting from California.  She used to work for our family doing all sorts of helpful things like prepare food, run errands and play my constant companion at home when mom needed a break.  She was there when I started my RPM letterboard mission.  But, she left before I could do a lot of open and longer communication on the letterboard.  Can I tell you how awesome it felt to show Kate how much I had improved?

The day she came to visit with her new boyfriend Chad was magical.  I was totally in control of my caveman body.  Kate and Chad talked about how they met, while I listened and then asked questions using my letterboard.  Being able to have a conversation with an important friend like Kate was absolutely damn amazing!

Then, I banded together with Kate for a lesson on “blue whales and the largest fungus among us!” It was camaraderie and funny puns catching us at all corners.  Joyful, delightful, easy, and oh so perfect!  My mom watched with pride and jubilant smiles.  Dappled sunlight came through the window and bathed our shiny, happy faces.  And that was only the beginning of this incredible day.

After eating lunch in a purposeful and controlled way (Kate can attest to how crazy my body can act around food), we decided to go indoor rock climbing.  It was just like old times with Kate at Planet Rock, but better because I also got to climb with Chad.  AND, I was not doing goofy things with my body.  Also, I felt confident using the letterboard in public.  I climbed really well and had fun–same as always, but my calm body was my favorite part–way better behaved than in the past.  At Planet Rock, many of Kate’s former co-workers (she used to work there), came up to say “hi” to us.  I was grateful that so many of them remembered me when I was climbing there with Kate.  I felt caring vibes instead of way pitiful stares.


After tiring ourselves out climbing, Kate, Chad and I returned to my house for dinner with my family and Kate’s mom, Debbie.  My mom made an awesome dinner and we all chowed down.  My body was, again, very purposeful and I was able to eat without the sensory meltdown that can sometimes happen around food.

After dinner, I suggested we all play “Chickenfoot”– this really fun domino game.  We sat around the table and proceeded to play and just outman each other with puns and trash talking.  In no time at all, it played itself out with me as the winner.

Full of special new memories, the day came to an end.  I was now calling to a more budding real friendship with Kate, instead of being more of an autistic castaway, lost at sea.  Finally, I was making friends with Chad and Kate’s mom Debbie, too.

Life is so much better with friends.  And I will always remember this day.

13 thoughts on “Friends

  1. Debbie Hale

    Ian I posted on your mom”s wall and just know I struggle with all of this technology lol….so I wanted to make sure you knew how much fun having dinner was I so enjoyed becoming your friend. Then you came to my house to visit and say good bye to Kate and Chad… was so fun!! Looking forward to seeing you soon!!! Sending “squeezes” so proud of all your hard work. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Debbie Hale

        Ian my heart is full of happiness too! I will check my schedule an be in touch. I love your blog!!
        You are doing incredible! Keep sharing ….sending a “BIG SQUEEEEZE” YOUR WAY. ❤


  2. I really enjoyed reading this – I can’t imagine how amazing that must have felt to be able to fully participate. My son is 15, we’ve been doing RPM for 2 years and I can’t wait for him to be able to express himself more fully. And to hopefully have more control of his body overall too. This is very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy.

      My mom told me about you and your son. I really want to help you and your son with RPM. I had a lot of help and support from other more “fluent” RPM letterboarders while I was still mastering the motor skills to spell more openly. Please keep working and believing. My mom’s belief in me made the biggest impact in my RPM journey. I look forward to doing an online RPM lesson with you and your son in the future.

      Best Wishes, Ian

      Liked by 1 person

  3. barbaraaronow

    Love the way your personality shines through your words, Ian. I am delighted to finally know your thoughts and feelings and am looking forward to bonding more when you visit us in a few months. I love you…Nana ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ian, this is amazing. I am not sure if you remember me from the short year we had together playing crackers and snacks and building forts, but you made an impact on me. Spending time with you was always a joy and seeing how well you’re doing makes my heart so full. I love your blog and being able to check in to see all your progress! You’re an inspiring man.

    Liked by 1 person

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