by Fred Flint
Dylan is a beautiful young man of 24. Affable, with an engaging smile, he seeks out social situations where he knows he will be comfortable and free of stress. Although he has struggled with speech and language all his life, he compensates well and communicates his needs and his aspirations successfully. Dylan likes most sport activities and has played Challenger baseball since the age of six. He has also participated in Special Olympics basketball and bowling. However, Dylan’s true passion is painting. He thrives in this expressive state and at times it is difficult to keep him stocked with art supplies.
Here's how Danielle, Dylan's sister, describes her brother:
“Dylan likes things to be very predictable but he has trouble expressing his exact expectations clearly. He wants the future to be precisely as he's planned it out, but he can only express a rough sketch of his plan. He often wants to express to others stories or events that have happened recently, but becomes easily frustrated when others don't immediately understand what he's trying to say. Sometimes he's only looking for a word or a phrase and he'll excitedly finish the story from there. But other times I'm at a loss because he looks to me to tell others what happened at an event he attended that day without me. His sense of time is incomplete in that he's able to understand that something is happening in the future, but is unsure of when exactly in the future the event is. If he has a dentist appointment in January he can't fathom having a vacation that month as well because the vacation would prevent him from getting to his appointment. He takes a while to trust and will only believe one "truthful" person at a time. Right now that's my dad. If I tell Dylan that we're going to visit Grandma in January he'll remind me of his appointment. I'll assure him that his appointment will be first, and a week later we'll leave for Grandma's. They won't conflict. Though I've never lied to him, he won't believe me. It will take a call from Dad (and only a call from Dad) to convince him that it's ok to plan a trip to Grandma's and calm his nerves about missing the dentist.”
I am proud to be Dylan’s compass.