13yr old does small town Conneticut
February 25, 2011 7:48 AM   Subscribe

13yr old boy going to live with US host family: advice needed

Mefites, if you have a half-Irish, half-German, easy_going Aspie visiting your home from his UK School (yeah, confusing I know) what would you like him to take away from the experience?

So my 13yr old PS3-mad, mild-to-moderate Asperger's son is going to NYC & Connecticut for 4 weeks with a school group. For weeks 3 & 4 he will be staying with a Host family living near the Long Island Sound. The family have a girl in Grade 9 (how old is that? Wiki is not helping me here).
He is a great traveller but is squicked out by being placed with a girl (he's at that stage!) and there's no possibility of changing this.

Some issues I need your advice on:
What can I say to him about the girl issue to make him feel a bit more positive? He has an older sister he adores and she introduces him to new music all the time so for the moment I'm emphasising all the great new music he'll hear about.(??)
How much information should I give the family about his ASD? We'll be e-mailing the family before he goes to thank them for this wonderful opportunity and to pass on some UserNotes on our son. He basically passes for nomal until you realise that you have to be very explicit when giving him any kind of instruction so "clear the table, please" for example could see all the dishes removed from the table and just put on the sideboard nearby. He is a really easy going kid and will do anything you ask him to do without complaint which I know is not always the case in his age group. He'll be going to the local school while he stays with this family. So info about what happens a school is his age group also valuable, it's a small-town school.

Up to now we thought he would be staying with a boy so he had all these plans to ask all about baseball and America football etc., etc., I'm not saying he can't do that, I don't know what the average New England Grade 9 girls are into...

We are not a religious family but he's happy to attend any form of religious practice with his host family (although he thinks he'll be bored)

What can we do as parents to help him get the most out of this great opportunity?
posted by Wilder to Travel & Transportation around Connecticut (43 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ninth grade (US) is age 14-15 (depending on lots of factors).
posted by aabbbiee at 7:51 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Up to now we thought he would be staying with a boy so he had all these plans to ask all about baseball and America football etc., etc., I'm not saying he can't do that, I don't know what the average New England Grade 9 girls are into...

There will be plenty of boys his age he can talk to at school. And even if he doesn't make friends easily, the novelty of being an foreign student in a small town school should be enough to make the other students naturally engage with him while he's there.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:01 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would give the host parents as much information about your son as you can. Not about Asperger's in general, maybe, but about your son, and what they might expect. They don't necessarily have to impart that information to their daughter, if that matters to you.

On Long Island, 9th grade is probably going to be a 14 year old turning 15, as the New York area birthday cut-offs are usually December 31.

If you're worried about the girl issue, maybe ask the parents if the girl has any guy friends in the neighborhood your son can pal around with.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:02 AM on February 25, 2011

+He'll be going to the local school while he stays with this family. So info about what happens a school is his age group also valuable, it's a small-town school.+

I live in CT, and went to HS there too. Depending on where exactly this is, I'd give you vastly different answers. In general, the western part of the state along the Sound (Gold Coast) is very different from the eastern part (Shoreline.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:03 AM on February 25, 2011

Tell them everything you told us, and more if you think it will be useful. They'll appreciate your candor and will hopefully want to make the experience as positive for him as they possibly can, and knowing about his individual quirks will be really helpful.

I'm assuming there will be boys at the school he can befriend to ask about sports, if it turns out the girl isn't interested. There will also be two parents in the household? He can totally talk to them and ask them questions, too!

My nephew just returned from his foreign exchange program in Germany (two weeks) and says that the best advice he received (from his father) was to step out of his comfort zone and just do everything the host family suggested, from going out at night, to attending church, to going to the school's after-school activities. He normally wouldn't have done any of those things at home but he said he really got to understand the culture by just jumping in and doing stuff. He's pretty introverted so hanging out with people every day for two weeks was exhausting, but he's really glad he did it.
posted by cooker girl at 8:06 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: the school is in the town of Westbrook if that helps DestinationUnknown, thanks for the answers guys (he's going to be so tongue-tied with an older teen girl!)
posted by Wilder at 8:06 AM on February 25, 2011

Definitely give the host family examples of the kind of instructions and requests that work best with him.

Something you might think of would be to send along some money specifically for the host family to use to give a little pizza party for him to meet a mixed-gender group of their daughter's classmates. 30 to 40 euros should buy enough pizza for six or seven kids of that age.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:07 AM on February 25, 2011

Response by poster: according to Wiki that makes it shorline
posted by Wilder at 8:07 AM on February 25, 2011

It might be helpful if you could encourage your son to think of his host family's daughter as a "person" rather than a "girl." Obviously he thinks his sister is okay, so maybe encourage him to think of her in those terms. There's just no way to tell what she's going to be like based on knowing only her sex, age and location. The girl might have a PS3. She may or may not be into music. Telling your son about the new music he'll be exposed to could massively disappoint him if she's not into music. The info you get from the family is going to help a lot more than anything anyone says here. Would your son be able to exchange emails with her before going there to get some sort of idea what she's like? That could also help him be more comfortable interacting with her in person when they do meet.

Also, you can't really grow up in America, male or female, without gaining basic knowledge in American sports, particularly baseball and American football. He can still ask her about those things. Even if sports aren't a particular interest for her, she probably still knows a lot more about them than he does.
posted by Polychrome at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2011 [4 favorites]

Similar to Polychrome's idea - would it be helpful if you told him to consider the host family's daughter as his host-sister? Talking about it in those terms might help him feel more at ease.
posted by unlaced at 8:35 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, it's very likely that even as a girl, she knows plenty about baseball and football. My husband (also a lifelong American!) can barely follow baseball at all and knows none of the rules, while I am a fairly rabid Cubs fan. We both love football but I throw a much better spiral than he does. (I had a lot more gym class growing up.)

Which is to say, he has just as good a chance she likes football and baseball as he'd have with a guy his own age, who also may or may not be into football and baseball. Can you ask the family in advance about some of HER interests, and mention some of the stereotypically American things he's interested in, so you could kinda prepare him (and her) and match some things from the lists? Perhaps she IS a die-hard baseball fan, or plays high school softball, and would be a great batting coach for your son. Maybe she plays soccer and follows the European leagues and can talk about that! Or maybe she's not sports but she's really into indie music and can introduce him to tons of cool stuff. Or loves video gaming. These would be good things to know.

(Also, side note, I also have someone with ASD in my family, and the prime-time show "Parenthood" in the U.S. features a young character (9ish?) with Asperger's ... I find it's actually done a lot to promote awareness of the syndrome and people are more understanding and willing to understand people with ASD because they have that pop culture exposure.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:58 AM on February 25, 2011

the school is in the town of Westbrook

OK then, he'll be fine:-) (If it was west of there I might have worried a little.) I don't know Westbrook well, but while it's a small town population-wise, it won't feel isolated or provincial the way some small American towns can. It's a suburban, very "normal" middle-class kind of area. There are some fun tourist attractions close by that I assume the host family or the school group will take the kids to. In Westbrook, kids will likely have been exposed to people from various countries, so he won't seem weird to them or anything.

I'd venture a guess that if the family is religious they won't be any sort of crazy religious nuts - this is not an extreme kind of state. I'd also guess that the girl will be excited to have your son come to stay. (I did a French exchange thing when I was about her age, and we were all really into it - unlike the French kids, who just wanted to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate and buy lots of sneakers. But it sounds like your son is not like that!) I'd also guess that the parents will be at least aware of and willing to help with any Aspergers-related things that come up.

Also, generalizing of course because all kids are different, but if he's shy around girls or doesn't get along with the girl or her friends, I doubt that it will result in anything other than her/them not talking to him much. The town doesn't have a mean reputation like some others. And thinking back on my HS experience in a town that had (deservedly) a very mean reputation, kids from other countries were either thought of as cool because of it, or just kind of benignly ignored. But again, if the family wanted to be hosts, I'm sure everyone will be happy to have him around.

Oh, and Polychrome: you can't really grow up in America, male or female, without gaining basic knowledge in American sports, particularly baseball and American football.

Oh, but you can...

She probably will know about sports though. There's a very good chance she'll play sports herself. And there will be gym class most days at school.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:05 AM on February 25, 2011

Response by poster: some fantastic advice guys, I'm really grateful! Building on a few of your ideas, I'm thinking of giving the host-sister the money to have the Pizza Party (great one Sidhedevil, Fairy devil? I like that combo!) and I will tell the parents in advance if that is OK with them.

We'll write them an e-mail tonight asking about her interests. I'm going to shop tomorrow for a host family gift, if anyone else reads this and can suggest something that doesn't take up much luggage space but is from here, I was thinking of some local jam or a bottle of local white wine (there are actually some good whites in the UK!)
posted by Wilder at 9:31 AM on February 25, 2011

That part of Connecticut is going to be wealthy, but it is also surprisingly rural. I used to drive back and forth between New Haven, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island quite a bit and that highway goes right through the area your son will be in. The towns, even the nice suburban ones like Westbrook, turn back into forest pretty abruptly. And Long Island Sound is gorgeous up there. There are large stretches of salt marsh--covered in bright green salt grass in the summer (it's pale yellow in the winter)--and nice beaches for walking on and collecting sea shells. I don't know anything about Westbrook exactly, but if he has the chance, I'd encourage your son to spend some time at the ocean.

American middle schools (a.k.a. junior high) go from age 11-12 up to 13-14 (6th, 7th, and 8th grades respectively). American high schools go from age 14-15 to 17-18 and have 4 grades: 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. In high school, these 4 grades are also referred to (respectively) as Freshman year, Sophmore year, Junior year, and Senior year (You might know all that already, but just in case you don't).

Most high school students and middle school students take 5 different subjects and switch teachers for each subject. There will also probably be one or two study halls, which are periods where kids sit in a classroom and do their homework.

Other things: the day will probably start with either some kind of short all-school assembly (the principal, i.e. head of school, makes some announcements, the student council president makes some announcements about upcoming school events, captains of sports teams tell you to come to their games, etc) or home room, which is a short-handed way of saying: groups of bored teenagers are assigned specific rooms to go and sit in every morning for 15 minutes while they pretend to listen to their home room teacher make announcements while they really flirt with each other and send text messages (SMS) and get into arguments about dumb things.

There will be a lunch period somewhere in the middle of the day. Make sure your son asks if he should bring a lunch with him to school, bring lunch money every day, or if the cost of lunch has been paid for by the cost of his trip. Also make sure he asks if there will be a gym period during the day, and if there's gym every day. If there is, he'll need gym clothes, and if he wants to shower afterward, probably his own towel. Depending on the school, there may also be an arts period: studio art, music, or drama classes. If so, he won't need any particular supplies for those, because they should all be provided.
posted by colfax at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2011

If she doesn't know about American sports, his host family probably knows someone who'd be happy to talk to him about it. Also, one could conceivably learn the rules of the game and who the big-name players are by getting PS3 sports games.

I would also suggest you let him know that the host family, including the girl, is probably really excited to have him and that she'll probably be expecting to hear about things that he and his peers are interested in. I would also definitely pass on the info to the host family to minimize frustration that might otherwise be easily avoidable.
posted by Hylas at 9:43 AM on February 25, 2011

Instead of local food (or maybe in addition to it) for a host family gift, you might consider something more uniquely UK, such as magazines (especially for the host daughter, depending on her interests), DVDs of television shows that are big hits over there but haven't made it here (it may require futzing with the US DVD player to play region-free DVDs, though), a cookbook, some kind of cheap but fun Royal Wedding souvenir, or something along those lines.
posted by aabbbiee at 9:56 AM on February 25, 2011

Maybe ask the host parents to give you a run-through of a typical day at their house, starting with when people get up, who makes breakfast and so on, all the way up to going through what activities they do before bed. This might help you be proactive about potential problems, and maybe even give you a chance to ease your son into similar routines.

It's great that you're able to give your son this opportunity. Foreign travel can be challenging (especially at that age) but it's always worthwhile.
posted by Sifleandollie at 11:03 AM on February 25, 2011

This may sound silly, but since your son is Aspie you might want to prepare for this: your son likely has an accent that is different from the American accent. If it is at all British/Irish, there may be girls who will swoon when they hear it and want to stay nearby to listen to him speak. If he is not aware of this phenomenon it might be confusing to be getting more attention than he thought he would. If he likes attention, then great, but if not at least he'll be aware if he notices something like this happening.

(My 13-year-old daughter talked about this when we went to Disney's Epcot in the British section - she asked me if we could buy certain souvenirs just so we could listen to the boy selling them.)
posted by CathyG at 11:26 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

"I'm going to shop tomorrow for a host family gift, if anyone else reads this and can suggest something that doesn't take up much luggage space but is from here, I was thinking of some local jam or a bottle of local white wine (there are actually some good whites in the UK!)"

Are there tacky royal wedding things out yet? Because along with a "nice" present, that would be kinda fun. I'm always amazed by all the royal wedding stuff and we're certainly getting celeb-media-saturation on the wedding! (oh, aabbbiee also said this, yay preview!)

Also British chocolate or chocolate biscuits are always popular.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2011

What sports will be in season when he's visiting? (This depends when the trip is.)
Football - American football season is over for now - it culminates in the Superbowl which is usually in late January.

Baseball - baseball season begins in late spring; this year April 1. Right now the teams are in the pre-season preparation time called "spring training", often in warm states like Florida far from the team's home city. So there is starting to be news about who's looking good for this year, but they are not actually playing games yet.

Basketball - the pro (NBA) season is going on now, and ends around the middle of April. Then playoffs begin in late April, which can take a long time. He will likely have a chance to watch basketball games on tv while he's here. Another important American sporting event is "March Madness" which is the playoffs for college (=university) basketball teams. Some people are more passionate about the local college team than about the local NBA team - if your host family has a favorite college team, the playoffs during March can be very exciting.

Hockey - The pro (NHL) season is going on right now, and the end of season and playoff schedule is similar to that for basketball.

New England and New York City have teams in all these sports, and your host family might be supporters of either. New England and New York City teams are often rivals, and some fans feel very strongly that the other team are worthless villains -- your son will probably want to let them tell him why their team is great, and take it as a nice bonding point. (Don't go into a New York Yankees household as a Boston Red Sox fan, or vice versa!)

Soccer - "football". In the US, professional teams are not as big a deal as other major sports, but the game is very popular to play in school, so there's a good chance your host family or some of his peers at the school will be on a soccer team. If he has impressive soccer moves, that might be a good point of connection.

Southern Connecticut is on a cultural dividing line. Connecticut is technically part of New England (which is an informal term for a group of states, it has no formal legal or political significance - the states are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachuetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine). But much of the state is culturally tied to New York City - a lot of people especially in the southeastern part of the state work in New York and commute to the city, and root for New York sports teams rather than for example Boston (the main city of New England) teams. I don't know which side of this line your host family will be on, but it's worth being aware that there is this split-allegiance thing, and it's not guaranteed that the family will think of themselves as New Englanders.

One famous attraction that your son might be interested in is Mystic Seaport - a historic-recreation sea port, with old sailing ships and fun things to see. (No idea if he's interested in that sort of thing)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2011

For host family gifts, I suggest a wide variety UK sweets instead of DVDs or wine. Almost everyone will try candy with english-language labels. Personally, if someone sent a non-North American DVD I'd likely try it once and when it didn't work, give up without fiddling. Alternately, a coffee table picture book of the region his from in the UK, or Ireland or Germany might be a conversation starter.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

CathyG's point about accents is an EXCELLENT one. He will probably be a big hit with an English or Irish accent, among adults and teens alike. Americans heart UK accents.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

people especially in the southeastern part of the state work in New York

By "southeastern", of course, I mean "southwestern".

And I agree that chocolates/candies and magazines you can only get England would be fun host gifts. There have been a few questions about this over the years here. "Rock" is a type of candy we don't have in the states. Kinder Surprise are fun and not allowed to be sold here most of the time. (Here's one such question: cool gifts from England, if you hunt a bit you can surely find more.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:21 PM on February 25, 2011

We hosted many kids when I was in high school (9th grade through 12th; basically year 14 - year 18 olds).

They came from everywhere. I'm assuming that there will be group at the school? Our high school had a whole group of exchange students for a couple weeks, and they had events and other things going on. So I doubt he'll just be on his own with his 'host sister' anyway.

Definitely give the host parents all the information about his condition, though. The pizza party idea is a nice one, although depending on the situation (if it's a big group at the school, or if he's on his own), they may have things planned already.

Something uniquely English/British is always a good win as a gift. I've usually brought back a 8x10 picture of things like the Tower of London or London Bridge, and a English tea cup or set is always a hit. And then there are jelly babies.

Soccer and lacrosse are bigger sports now in the high schools, although I doubt he'll have to lean too much into American culture for conversation, as most of the American kids will want to know all about Europe and England and 'how different it is' than being in the States.

And yes, the accent will get him far.
posted by rich at 1:39 PM on February 25, 2011

I would not suggest having a 13 year old bring any alcohol with him, because individuals under 21 can't legally possess alcohol.

Nthing the fact that he will receive (positive) attention for his accent. You might want to prepare him the possibility that Americans will have a lot of fun asking "what do you call that?" and "say that word again" as well as other "Speak American" games.

Your son might also feel more comfortable if both families can videochat together before he leaves. Your son and his host sister can give each other tours of their respective homes. Your son may also find it fun to explore the town on google maps.
posted by oceano at 5:57 PM on February 25, 2011

Response by poster: great feedback, all. and special thanks for the tip about children & wine!

we decided that we are going to box up a UK Candy & Crisps Party and post that in advance so it doesn't take up luggage space, it will have twiglets and pastilles and weirdly flavoured crisps and nuts and ribena! Oh and chocolate digestive biscuits.

some stuff from accessorize for the daughter and we'll try to scare up some Royal wedding memorabilia for the parents.

I hadn't though about the accent, thanks! He is a little shy but once I prepare him he won't find that difficult.

And yes, we'll ask if we can Slype before they leave.
posted by Wilder at 12:33 AM on February 26, 2011

One more small tactic, there has been great advice on here. Since you obviously won't know the personality of the host-sister before he gets there, it will just in general be good to not have too many expectations of their relationship. It's a pretty good bet that she is very excited to have him because I would doubt parents of an only girl-child would go ahead and accept an exchange student without the kid's approval. BUT, at least prepare him for the fact that maybe they won't become best friends and that's not the end of the world, she may be off in her own highschool teenage world. (Do you know if they'll be attending the same school?) If all he has at his disposal are some specific thought-out questions about certain topics and those fail, he might end up disappointed.

Fantastic idea about the british candy and crisps party. When I went to the UK as a 10 year old I LOVED all that stuff, weird flavors, etc.

Last but not least, be a TEENSY bit careful with the getting stuff from "Accessorize". (Had to look that up, we don't have it here ;)) Just make sure it's not too precious, in case of awkward connotations of jewelry-exchanging between mixed gender teens. Also, if she's not a "girly girl", who knows, she might be into punk or nerd stuff. Focus of fun unique quirky stuff, maybe sunglasses or chunky necklaces, cuff style bracelets, etc. this sort of accessory stuff is widely available in american malls but i bet she'll still think it's cool if it's from a store in ENGLAND (total hip cachet.) You could even wrap it up in the bag from the store? When I was her age I loved having and reusing bags from cool stores to show off (for instance, it was very cool to carry your gym clothes in a shopping bag, haha).
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:46 AM on February 26, 2011

Mr Wilder here: we had a lovely e-mail back from the parents and what the School didn't tell us is they have an 11 year old son who is into Football & baseball, currently playing basketball, so our son is now really excited. Oh, and they have a dog.

They've told us the daily routine and asked us about foods he's like to eat. We're going to Skype tonight, they sound really excited about this. Apparently thier kids been telling their friends for weeks.
Our daughter at Uni suggested we parcel up some of her bangles and necklaces to send to the host daughter as she is into recycling in a big way.
The candy and crisps box is packed and we even found some souvenir spoons of the Royal wedding.

The suggestions here have been absolutely fantastic and have contributed in no small way to the success of this. thanks all!

we'll post more when he gets home!
posted by kairab at 2:08 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Aww, I'm excited for your son now, and the host family! Looking forward to hearing about how it all went, I hope he has a great time!
posted by Salamandrous at 7:03 AM on February 28, 2011

Response by poster: the gifts were a HUGE hit, you guys are awesome, especially the Royal Wedding teaspoons. I would never have thought of this as it's just not a big issue here in the UK, the Mom really raved about them.
He's settled in really well, I get a bare few minutes phone call every few days and it's clear he wants to be out and about with his friends. He loves the High School and notes with great enthusiasm " Mum, it's all under one roof!" (His School is an old Country House and it's outbuildings with a variety of hodgepodge pre-fabs added on as the Student body grows so sometimes the kids get soaked moving between classes.)

I'm learning as much as he is about life in CT, it's fascinating. Thanks so much.
posted by Wilder at 3:43 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I also wanted to say it would be impossible to mark a best answer as all the answers have been really helpful. We might know a huge amount about "American" life from TV & film but I really like experiencing it in a way like this, even second-hand.
posted by Wilder at 3:48 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting an update - I was just wondering today whether his trip was coming up soon. Glad to hear he is settling in! I'd love to hear more about what aspects of life in CT are surprising or noteworthy to him.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:28 PM on March 19, 2011

Glad to see your update! I was driving past that area yesterday and thought about this thread, so I'm happy to see he's doing well. I 2nd LobsterMitten, I'd also love to read another update about his experience here when he's back home.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 5:10 AM on March 20, 2011

Response by poster: well, not home yet but tonight he leaves his host family to stay a few days in an adventure centre with his School group. He comes home on 1st April.

To say this has been successful would be an understatement. We Skype regularly and to see how comfortable he is with his host family is wonderful. He has settled into their family beautifully and looking at the Facebook pages of new friends he's made, parties he goes to, activities he's undertaken it is clearly one of the most important experiences of his young life. His Host Mom tells me what a joy it was and it's clear she will really miss him.

One of the most important things has been his friendship with both host sister (& her friends) and the host brother. Girls seem to be on his horizon now as good friends, people he enjoys hanging out with, that was never the case before. From the girls' comments on his Facebook page it seems young American teens are more verbal & demonstrative than here in the UK, many of his new female friends have posted how much they like him and will miss him (tears were even mentioned) and instead of embarrassment he's responding to these with humour & reciprocity.

They talk about wanting him to come back in the summer and visit with them and we'd love them to come over here to be able to repay in some small way the way they've taken this young man into their hearts. Feel free to FB me if you want to see some of the pictures.

He LOVED the high school experience, and we will find out more when he is home on Friday. It seems genuinely he has experienced everything that is good about small town USA.

You've got big hearts people and your advice in this was spot on, as always!

For Bonus points we learned what Empty nest syndrome feels like and we enjoyed it to the max, we did things we only speak about yearningly, spontaneity ruled and it was wonderful.

Thanks guys!
posted by Wilder at 1:22 PM on March 27, 2011 [4 favorites]

That is so nice to hear!

(Just today we opened a box of old things from my husband's childhood home, and in it were postcards from the German teen who stayed with his family, and who he then went and stayed with in Germany as a teenager. He still has fond stories about those visits and the connections. I hope it will be the same for your son and his new friends!)
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:34 PM on March 27, 2011

So glad to hear that he had a good time. I've been getting excited just reading about it, so I can only imagine his feelings!
posted by CathyG at 4:41 PM on March 27, 2011

Response by poster: OMG! the local press have a video of them!


Killian is the one with the Irish accent (talking about accents!)
posted by Wilder at 11:12 AM on March 28, 2011

They are so composed and sweet in their interviews -- no wonder they hit it off with everyone. I hesitate to admit that I'm terrible identifying accents, so is K the middle one?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:32 AM on March 28, 2011

Thank you so much for the update, it is great to hear that it is all going so well. I did a number of exchanges in high school and they really are amazingly fun, life-changing events!
posted by unlaced at 1:45 PM on March 28, 2011

Aww, so cute:-) Thanks for the updates. (I'm always inordinately pleased when people from elsewhere come to CT and have a good time!)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:23 PM on March 28, 2011

Response by poster: K is the first one :)
posted by Wilder at 6:13 AM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: Just to add that our son has now returned to CT for 2 weeks and the whole town apparently are looking forward to seeing him! Thanks again everyone
posted by Wilder at 5:27 AM on August 4, 2011

Mr. Wilder here - K is now back (in Dublin, not yet in the UK) from his top-up encore visit to CT and once again HAD A BALL there! Seems he has been officially adopted as an additional family member and also the community mascot ... and he even may have an actual girlfriend, never having been interested in the opposite sex before! Certainly scores of female hearts have declared themselves broken on FB. Roll on next year and a UK visit (perhaps in time for the Olympics) by his host family?
posted by kairab at 2:29 AM on August 18, 2011

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