I visited with wm for the first time since January! I walked in the door & tears came to my eyes. My son had grown almost 3 inches & now is taller than me. Physically he looks so mature - he has whiskers growing (which seems young to me at 13 but husband pointed out to me the beard he had at 15). We enjoyed lunch at Applebee's - wm has 2 hollow legs as he finished off his meal & then asked to finish mine. I gave him my fries & half my sandwich & wm finished that off as well. Then he asked for desert. My son is going to be a tall & skinny. He was appropriate in his manner toward me - respectful. However, he very childish. As with kt, we have to remind wm that we know he can be a 13 y/o & have seen him acting as such. I had to remind him to use that 13 y/o part in the restaurant. When wm remembered to "act" his age he was an enjoyable young man; when he reverted to 6 or 7 it was a great deal more difficult. However, wm was easily redirected to "being 13". He held doors open for me (husband only had to remind him once) & offered to sit on the inside of the table so it would be easier for me to get in & out with my walker. He showed me the latest book he is reading; told me about his testing over the last week & showed me the latest gameboy game he is trying to beat. All in all, it was a good visit. This young man, who we've cried tears of blood over is finally settling in a bit at group home (after almost 3 years). He's accepting that we are a family of different addresses & realizes that he needs a lot of help - actually verbalized that to me yesterday. What I've noticed is that wm needs to a lot more nurturing & positive reinforcement. Everyone has been really tough on him (he's needed it) however, you cannot continue to beat down on a person with-o building the spirit back up. That is one thing I can do even if I cannot visit. There are so many negatives in my son's life, I know that I can show him the positives in life. I've done it here with kt. wm will likely always need some kind of help through his life - structure & guidance. The type given in group home settings. Yet I can see wm finishing vocational training of some type & earning a living. I don't mean to sound so "Pollyanna". It may be that it's been too long a wait between visits with my son. However, because of that length of time I can see the positives that wm has made that those dealing with the daily antics cannot. Even husband hasn't recognized some of the steps I pointed out to him after our visit. Thanks for listening - it was a pleasant visit with my son. It was eye opening to see wm making positive strides. I'm realistic as to his abilities, but I'm more hopeful for wm than I have been in a very long time.