I spent Wednesday evening over at Mark’s house. I went there after decompressing for an hour once the school day ended. We went up to his room and played video games until his father came home for dinner. We would have played in the living room with the bigger TV, but his brother was watching it and we couldn’t risk upsetting him. Mark usually beats me whenever we play anything on his console; I mostly play PC games but I can’t drag my desktop all the way to his house. We play computer games together online, but in person its better just to use a console. The problem I have is that I’m still much better with a keyboard and mouse than I am with a controller, even after years of playing with Mark. But he can practice every day, and I only come over once every few weeks on average.
It was Mark’s mother’s turn to make dinner since she had to take his brother home from school. The food was fine; having Mark and his brother as children and me as a semi-frequent guest means that both his parents avoid making meals that may evoke sensory response issues. Well, there were a couple of times in the past where Mark’s brother found something upsetting, but they have very little control over that. After dinner Mark and I went back up to his room to finish the game we were playing, then after about half an hour I went home. I might have stayed the night, but I knew that if I did I would risk being woken up if Mark’s brother had a meltdown and I didn’t want to deal with going to school sleep-deprived.
Mark doesn’t like to talk about his brother much. I think he mostly view him as an annoyance. He’s even more different to Mark than Paul is, just in the opposite direction. I don’t know if there’s any hope of him living outside of his house or in a group facility, but the odds aren’t in his favor. Less than a quarter of the people who go through the lower schools get any kind of job in order to pay for at least part of their care. And since their care involves many more people and a lot more money, I can only think of a couple prominent savants that can pay all the money they need to in order to live independently. Government-run or charity care facilities have been getting better over the years, but you’d still rather not have to live in them. The quarters are cramped, the walls are thin, and most importantly the staffing is inadequate and you know that’s not going to get any better. Well, unless we get a whole lot more qualified immigrants with the patience to deal with people like him. There might always need to be somebody to help dress him, feed him, and clean him, and that’s not an easy job. I don’t know how his parents do it, or how long they’ll be able to keep it up.