In the book, grab your copy if you don’t remember, Max makes mischief (of one kind and another) so his mom sends him to his room without any supper. His room turns to a forest and a boat takes him to where the Wild Things live. Max is a wackjob, so he becomes King of the Wild Things. And they have a Wild Rumpus.
So how is this about Casey? Well, Casey is Max. He’s wild. And every once in a while a forest grows in his room and a boat takes him to where the Wild Things Are. At least, I hope that’s where he goes when we can’t get to him. A place where he is king and can be as wild as he wants, or even needs, to be.
He has these cycles where he’s so hard. He makes mischief. He pulls hair and spits in faces. The autism seems to tighten its grasp around him. Where we lose the real Casey for a time. This time, he’s been gone for a lot longer than usual. It reminds me of when he was four. His entire fourth year was something of a nightmare. He’d rage for hours every single day. He’d throw chairs. He’s punch. He’d bite. He’s back there now, but now he’s about twice the size. It’s so hard to see him struggle so much. It’s like it pulls at my heartstrings and then takes all of my guts with it. The hardest part is knowing that Casey doesn’t want to feel this way. That he doesn’t want to be terrible or mean. I know that under the wolf suit of autism, there’s a sweet boy who loves with his entire being. The boy that crawls into bed with me in the morning and waits for me to open my eyes. When I do, his face is two inches away from mine, he says “so much” and kisses my eyeball then runs out of the room.
At the end of the book, Max gets lonely and wants to be where “someone loved him best of all.” So he gets in his boat and the Wild Things get mad. They want him to stay. But Max chooses to leave and go home where his supper is waiting for him.
I hope Casey will come back soon to where he’s loved best of all. I hope that soon, whatever grip autism seems to have on him will loosen, and he’ll be able to leave the Wild Rumpus. Even if only for a little while.