Autism and Valentine’s Day: An Exhausting Love Ritual

It’s an act of love on Diego’s part -and mine

I need to clear my schedule and find zen to help Diego with his yearly Valentine making ritual. It takes forever and, unlike Diego, I don’t have forever. Our perceptions of time don’t match up and I must move things along if I want to get to anything else at some point.

Each Valentine is a four-page booklet. On pages 1 and 2, I drew small boxes for Diego to form legible letters spelling H-a-p-p-y V-a-l-e-n-t-i-n-e-s d-a-y, like so:

Happy Valentine's Day

Heart colored in

As soon as Diego mentioned anything he wanted me to write, his associative thinking kicked in.

Valentine's card

Every chance he gets, Diego tells people to come for a visit and what he’d like to do with them. He always mentions things he knows the other person enjoys.

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

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