My son had a large role in his school's production of Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale." It has been a whirlwind several months for him, juggling the demands of rehearsal, memorizing his lines and blocking, dealing with mountains of homework. The performances were last week and I could not be prouder of him.
Of all the 7th and 8th graders, in the cast, my son was one of a handful who seemed to speak the language naturally, without hesitation, and with a poise usually reserved for older children.
So many on the spectrum have spoken of acting as a way of belonging and as a way of figuring out how to inhabit a role that has benefits 'off stage' as well. Certainly, I found a place of acceptance in Jr High, High School and beyond in the theatre. Even in graduate school, I gravitated to the theatre group, directing a show in my second year of PT school.
I sat in the audience thursday and friday nights and thrilled to see my son so comfortable in his own skin, and in the skin of Lord Camillo of Sicilia. The lines of iambic pentameter rolled off his tongue, the lines that he and I have been practicing in our kitchen for weeks. And at the end of the play, he shared in the high fives and back slaps the cast traded with one another.
It is a happy star that reigns over my son's life now.