Pokémon GO! Love it or hate it, it certainly has Aspies on the move and talking to one another and that can only be a good thing, right?
I ignored Beloved Aspie when he uttered the word Pokémon after many years (during which he had matured through Dr Who and Star Trek and Marvel and DC Superheroes). I dismissed it as a passing notion, maybe he’d seen an article somewhere, and anyway, it’s for kids – he won’t go down that road again.
Two weeks later we have time travelled back some seventeen years when Pikachu made his (her?) first appearance in our lives – in the shape of a small rubberised toy, a lunch box, a school rucksack, bedlinen…back then it was something fun he could safely talk to other kids about in school.
When he hit his teenage years and Asperger’s pulled him under, Pokémon became a conversation between me and him. I learned their various tricks and powers whilst Gameboy became the only source of entertainment and protection from the outside world. Pokémon even had a whole scene to themselves in the first play I wrote and performed. (From Within)
At 27, Beloved Aspie is a charming, eloquent, socially engaged young man, working on his independence skills while living at home. So it was with a little surprise that I heard him announce one afternoon last week, “I’m just popping out.” I asked if he was going to chat to our neighbour. “No, there’s a Pokémon up the road. I have my keys and I will observe my road safety.” And he was gone.
The other day I invited him to join me for a walk, it was a half-hearted offer, he usually says no. His eyes lit up -“Yes.” Apparently these Pokémon are everywhere! He got some fresh air and exercise – I got a laugh.
The weekend was the same with him joining the Hubs and I for a day out. On the way home he announces in the car, “That was a great day.” Was it the sunshine, the Oreo marshmallows, the pizza, the new belt he needed, our fabulous company?
Of course not: it was the woman he chatted to while catching Horsea where she was sitting and the young men he chatted to about their quests in the shopping village, and the third Eevee he caught.
Frankly, it’s all good in my eyes – thank you Pokémon Go for socialising our Aspies, and all the other socially shy or awkward teens who are coming out to play, too.