A couple of weeks ago, Henry was jazzed! A friend of his from camp had been accepted to his college for next year. They hatched a plan… They would be roommates. Great – I’m thinking – a known quantity….
Then of course, I started asking specific questions. Has she even asked her parents if this is OK? Doesn’t she want to live in residence for her first year? What is her budget per month? He tells me she’s flush! She has a job – so no problem! Of course, Henry’s idea of flush is $100….
We started some research into 2-bedroom apartments in the bustling metropolis of The Shwa. Surprisingly (but maybe not – this seems to be a trend for college/university towns)…. a 2-bedroom apartment is quite expensive. Then he said, OK – I’ve talked to my friend and we’ll get a 1-bedroom and take turns sleeping on the sofa! Uh… no. That would get old pretty darn fast. Then – the proverbial bump in the road…
Her parents don’t think she’s ready to live on her own (she is also on the spectrum). And then I find out that she lives in a nearby town, so can bus to school. Not surprisingly, Mom wants her to live at home in her first year at college. So – what’s the big deal you say?
Well – kids on the spectrum don’t make friends easily. In fact, upon gently quizzing Henry, I find out that he has not really made any friends. Acquaintances and congenial classmates – yes. But somebody that he would feel comfortable asking to be roommates with him? No. So – aren’t there housing campus services that would help him find a roommate? Yes – there are. But would you trust an unknown person, arranging for an unknown roommate for your kid with special needs? No – I didn’t think so.
And this makes me feel very bad for Henry… and sad. I have lots of friends that I can call on in times of need – but my son does not. I don’t need things to be easy all the time – but do they always have to be so damn hard?