Mike Likes Everybody

I came across some notes I made about Michael during one of the assessments done by his group home staff. Mike is my older brother who is autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal. Everybody seems to like him, though.

It is eye opening to see him from the perspective of non-family members.

Outsider view

This is how group home staffers describe him: Mike presents himself as a friendly and quiet middle aged man. His mood is neutral. His affect is usually flat although he can express different emotions. Michael communicates his wants and needs by leading others to the object he desires. Michael does not exhibit any compulsive, explosive, inappropriate sexual or stereotypic behavior.

Michael’s interaction with peers and staff is minimal. He prefers solitary activities. He appears withdrawn in a group setting and enjoys spending time in his room.

Michael presents himself as being seemingly aware of himself in relation to others. However, he does not show any interest in others’ affairs.

View from fellow resident

I saw one of Mike’s co-residents, B___ watching television and asked how he was and if he took the day off from work. He said that he went to another group home to visit. He said that he has to find another place to live. He told me that he has to move out because of the “problems with Michael”. He told me, “Michael is a nice guy, but he just won’t leave me alone. He gets in my way while I’m watching TV. He takes my breakfast… I told the staff and he still does it.”

mike with bandaged head

It was a strange feeling talking to this person who cut my brother on two different occasions. The staff never told me that B___ was the person, but I figured it out.

2 thoughts on “Mike Likes Everybody

  1. Isn’t that weird getting that fragment of discussion with another resident? It makes you wonder what goes on when there are no staff in the room – a whole other world that isn’t seen.

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