When Joshua Littman and his mother, Sarah, first came to StoryCorps in 2006, Joshua was a seventh-grade honors student who was having a tough time socially.
Joshua has a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. Kids with Asperger’s can miss social cues and often have obsessions. For Joshua, it was animals.
Joshua started college in fall of 2011, and found himself struggling again. So Sarah brought him back to StoryCorps, where they talked about what it has been like for both of them since Joshua left for school.
Click here for the transcript.
Joshua Littman (JL): Well at least you had the dogs.
SL: Yeah well, the dogs aren't my kids. You know…
JL: But they snuggle with you when you're feeling upset.
SL: They do but it's not quite the same. Does it bother you to think of home?
JL: I miss it.
JL: I miss the dogs and everything.
SL: You miss the dogs?
JL: And you, and…
JL: What? Wouldn't you miss the dogs?
SL: I miss the dogs but I think for even political sake I might say, "I miss you mother" first. [Laughing]
JL: So how was it when you went to college?
SL: I think I was a lot more excited about leaving home than you were. I did have some rocky times where I was homesick but I made some really good friends in college, and that's ... I guess that's why I want you to get out of your room. Is it just you've been feeling overwhelmed a bit?
SL: So, that's ok. Maybe when you get your feet under the desk a little more as they say.
JL: Yeah well, I have no idea why am I'm in college. 'Cause I … I don't know why I'm there.
SL: Well, remember how a few years ago you hated sushi?
SL: And now, like all you ever wanna do is eat sushi.
SL: Sometimes you have this resistance to trying things and then, when you try them, you end up really liking them. And really I just want you to do more of that when you're at college. Just like take that chance.
JL: So how would you react if, like, I failed?
SL: Failed your classes, or…?
JL: Failed my classes, failed college.
SL: Well, if you came to me first and said, "Look I'm having a really tough time." That's one thing. But if you just sort of announce to me that you failed, then I'd be upset. Because I know how much potential you have. Is there anything you wanna tell me?
JL: What do you mean?
SL: Or was that a hypothetical question?
JL: That was like a hypothetical question.
SL: All right.
JL: So, do you think I'll move out of the house when I'm done with college?
SL: What do you think?
JL: Well I don't know, like, maybe I'll move to Denmark or something.
SL: Well that's where you were telling me that's where people are happiest, right?
SL: Hopefully you won't move so far away that it's really hard for me to come to visit you. You know, I'm really so happy to have you home. I miss you a lot when you're not there.
JL: Yeah. I miss you as well. As well as the dogs and everything.
SL: Yeah. Make sure you do write to me, okay? 'Cause … 'cause I love you and I worry about you. Make your old mom's life a little easier. Deal?
SL: All right.