Friday, August 05, 2011

A.J.!!!! (Term 7, Continued!)

I was thinking tonight that my Term 7 posts wouldn't be complete without mentioning A.J.! A.J. was a returning camper, who I got to know a little bit throughout the week. I honestly don't know his diagnosis, but my guess would be that he falls somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum. I had seen A.J. the past few years, but just in passing, and honestly most of the time he was crying. So, I would say "Hi", but kept on walking. I didn't want to make it worse for him. This year was different. *grin*

I can't remember the first moment that I saw him this year, all I remember is that he smiled at me while he was with Mitchell (His CIA) and Mama J! My guess is that Mama J was the Cabin Mom for his cabin, but I'm not sure. Most of the time they have Cabin "Dads" for the guys, so I'm not sure how Mama J was connected to the cabin. But, I do know that almost every time I saw A.J., I saw Mitchell and Mama J with him. (Gotta keep the rule of "3")

A.J. was a blessing from the Lord! He didn't really talk, but signed a little. Truthfully, he made up his own signs, so it was his own little version of "sign". But, he would laugh and smile around me, so that was fun. I would ask him yes/no questions, and he would respond, so that was cool too. One time at the pool, Mitchell asked me if I would try to get him in the deep end of the pool. I said, "sure." While he didn't go in the "deep" end, he went a little deeper with me encouraging him. That was cool!

There was also a day that our cabin didn't go to the pool for free time. Madison requested that we go to the Arts & Crafts room, so, that's where we went! After a little while, A.J. showed up with Mitchell & Mama J! We had SO MUCH FUN! A.J. would laugh and smile when I would talk to him. I was glad he was there! A.J. had a wig for the party that night that was SO cute! It was fun talking to him about the wig! *grin*

There was one night I came out of the restroom by the dining hall, and A.J. was sitting on the porch. I looked at Mama J to see if everything was okay. Apparently he had just been upset and they were giving him time to cool off. I asked if I could talk to him. (He had his back to me.) She said yes, but warned me to keep my distance, as he had just hurt his CIA. I started talking as I approached so that A.J. wouldn't be startled, and A.J. started smiling! I kept my distance the whole time we were there, but it was clear that the time was what he needed, because by the time Mitchell arrived back, we all walked to the evening party together.

There was also a night I went into to eat at the dining hall, and his staffer turned to me and said, "Can you help us move A.J.?" I said sure. I didn't get him completely where they needed him, but he did follow me away from the problematic situation that could have been a lot worse if he hadn't moved! I LOVED being used by the Lord in A.J.'s life! He became a special camper to me throughout the week!

The last morning I took a picture with him, as I wanted a picture to help remember him. I find it amazing how people can touch my heart. A.J. never said my name, or carried a full conversation with me verbally, but his smile and laughter and "yes" and "no" responses were definitely a highlight of my week! *grin*

You might say I'm a fan of A.J.! I REALLLLLLY hope he returns next year. He came so far from where he was last year. He went from crying a lot last year to smiling & swimming this year! I can't wait to see what he can do next year! *grin*

AMAZING...with so many INCREDIBLE people in my little corner of the world! *grin*

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