Last night, though, I had left home early so I could go by Home Depot to pick up fresher D batteries for the game-cam and see if another battery change would clear the little screen so I could see what I'm entering for the security code--and another surge-protecting power strip--and that took less time than I expected, even having to use the self-check out thing. I HATE self-check-out. But I did it, slowly and inefficiently and requiring much help from the clerk, because it wants people to be faster than I am, and to know already how to do it.
And that led to being in the parking lot of the pizza place 10 minutes before his shift was over. I parked where I could look in the big windows but was far enough away I didn't think he would notice. It's been many months since I had a chance to do this, and the difference in his body language as he works is quite different. He's quick, decisive, busily doing what he's supposed to do (cleaning up after people leave)--moving smoothly, not jerkily, obviously knowing exactly what to do and how. There were no hesitations: this goes here, that goes there, this is the bottle of cleaning spray and the wipe for the table, and that is the bottle of cleaning spray and wipe for the seats, carry the child seat back to its place in the far corner, etc.
He was also clearly aware of the other people in the place--and his body language suggested awareness of differences between customers arriving, customers leaving, and other staff. He moved out of the way, checked behind himself before backing up, and so on. This may seem normal to you, but I've seen adult men with no diagnosis move as if no one else were around, or as if it was other people's job to anticipate their movements and get out of the way. Here's an autistic young man who's picked up that much social awareness. I was too far away in the parking lot to see his facial expression, but knowing him so well, I can recognize his body-language equivalents of smiles and worried expressions. He smiled at people (his managers have said how hard-working he is and also how he's pleasant to be around and polite to customers.)
Celebration time for me in the car. This is the kind of thing we hoped for (not busing tables in a pizza parlor exactly, but the ability to do that--and other things.)