Nicky’s first party with friends!

From Facebook, by Cheryl Ryan Chan, June 9, 2016:

Nicky is hosting his first party at his house. He has about 6 friends and their parents & staffers coming with them. I got 2 bouncy houses (most will get that). We are barbecuing and everyone’s bringing something.

Nearly 4 years after Nicky moved into his home, we have finally “arrived.” Nicky’s having FRIENDS over for a party! Whaaaat?
It may seem like a long time, but that is sometimes what it takes to get to a place where something like this, which is huge, is possible. That’s okay – it has to be! Why must we put timelines on anything anyway? Once these kids are adults, there’s no turning 22 deadline – it’s life, and so everyone gets to progress at their own pace.

I’m really, really proud of Nicky that he has come so far, but Saturday has its threats, too. Nicky can be territorial. None of his friends have ever been to his house; they are always together at work and in the community. He may be pretty pissed off.

But, all of his caregivers and the families who are coming get it, they live it, and we’ve all made the most important commitment: if we have a wonderful afternoon together, that’s a win. If we get 30 minutes of fun and need to end it then, that’s 30 minutes of win – next time, it’ll be 60 minutes.

Regardless of how Saturday goes, in my opinion, my nonverbal, severely cognitively impaired, behaviorally challenged son is having a party for his friends. The win has already happened.

About Cheryl Ryan Chan

Autism Community Thought Leader & Change Agent. Find me at, learn about what I do at or contact me at
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