When Baby Birds Fly

Earlier this week, the boys and I drove to Plano. We checked the route to SMU in Plano.

(We did some other cool stuff, like eat a terrific lunch at Whiskey Cake Kitchen Cafe, and buy some shirting fabric to make Michael two more custom dress shirts … his mother is his secret tailor.)

But SMU in Plano is home to the place where Sam is hoping to do his internship this spring.

Some dedicated parents and professionals have started nonPareil.institute, a computer workgroup for young adults on the autism spectrum. Sam wants to volunteer as part of a practicum he needs to complete his computer technology certificate at North Central Texas College.

We’ve been taking this whole thing in baby steps. It has been extraordinarily difficult to find help in searching for an internship for him. First of all, state resources meant to help … major vacuum there.

The college isn’t quite yet set up to assist students like Sam in the search — in the past, they have had their hands full just managing and approving the opportunities students found for themselves. Hopefully, that will change as the program grows and matures at the Corinth and Flower Mound campuses.

Job fairs at nearby UNT? For UNT students only … no sharing. I suggest renegotiating boundaries there — just like they’ve done with scores of other resources college kids need to succeed.

A friend in the computer business heroically, graciously did a little bit of legwork for us, enough for us to understand that Sam couldn’t just walk into the door of a company and offer himself for a computer hardware tech internship. He would have to find out who the vendor was that provided the service and take it from there.

Holy cow. That seemed like asking someone to find out who brings the bagel cart every morning and then finding out if they’ll let him arrange the cream cheeses before the carts head out the door every morning.

I think. I don’t know. Computer tech isn’t my world. My world is “content creation.”

But, as luck and Divine Intervention would have it, someone caught a presentation by the nonPareil people at an autism conference and they passed the materials on to me. I shared with NCTC, an advisor at NCTC reached out, and finding the waters warm, on Tuesday, we drove there and walked around the building to get a vibe.

No people vibes, just driving and building vibes.

As I said, baby steps.

That was enough to get Sam pretty jazzed. He called the director and left a message. And applied for a tolltag.

That just about made me weep. I was girding myself for driving him there two times a week. But Sam says, “I can make that drive. I like this area. I could even get an apartment here.”

I reminded him that internships don’t pay, and the rent at Chez Wolfe can’t be beat. Especially at the SO NY Lofts at Tennyson and the Tollway.

Baby steps, son. Baby steps.


  1. Runner Susan on December 31, 2010 at 6:46 pm


  2. Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe on January 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I pray for miracles every day.

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