Hello, my internet family!
It has been a few years since I put a call out for assistance when my Autistic/Asperger’s son attended his first Comic Con (Wizard World). You all showed up in superb form and were extremely helpful with your stories and pictures and advice. You all made his experience so much richer because he knew what to expect. The staff and personalities at the event were all very understanding and helpful (Thank you, Billy Patterson, Alan Tudyk, and Sean Patrick Flannery).
I’m asking for help again. Isaiah is now 15 and will be attending his first gaming event next month at SXSW in Austin. What advice do you have for a young gamer who has difficulties with crowds and loud noises but wants desperately to be part of all of it?
The better prepared Isaiah is for what to expect, the more he will enjoy himself. The more fun he has, the more he will want to do this again!
I cannot tell you how excited I am that Isaiah wants to participate in an event such as the one presented by SXSW! Because of Isaiah’s autism, when he was younger it was difficult to get him to participate in family gatherings such as birthday parties or dinners that included more than just his sister and me. Participating in large scale events for more than 30 minutes was unheard of. Isaiah would often run away or hide in his room. He seldom if ever spoke to people except in a form of echolalia that involved lines from Harry Potter movies. He has made so much progress in the intervening years! Today, at the age of 15, he will carry on whole conversations with people, even strangers, when it comes to gaming or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He likes stories and he likes characters which is why he gravitates towards games with storylines such as Assassin’s Creed and Infamous.
My hope, as his mom, is that this progress will continue as he gets older. He’s an amazing young man with a big heart and a curiosity to know more as he conquers the world one convention at a time.