Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Social Victory

I took the day off today to spend with the boys.  We had a bit of a daycare snafoo because of spring break, and frankly I haven't had a non-sick day with the boys in a long time so we were due.  I really wanted to do something social for Jack- he's been having a bit of a rough year in that regard.  Very few party invites, which is a very common thing for kids on the spectrum.  In fact, our local TACA chapter is making their May meeting a literal birthday party for the kids to attend since they get to go to so few of them.  Jack has had a few boys in class who are not very nice to him, and bless his sweet heart, he doesn't understand just how mean the things they say are.  He comes home and tells me how they say things like he is the most annoying kid ever, or for him to get away and never come .back, and Jack just kind of laughs about it and then says the child is his friend.  In some ways, it's a good protective mechanism, but I hate the thought of my kid being unable to defend himself

So you can imagine that I have become very protective of him when it comes to friends.  We usually stick with kids that we have known for a long time, or the children of close friends of mine.  I called most of them up to see if they wanted to "play" today but everyone was pretty busy at the last minute like this.  So I took a deep breath and grabbed Jack's class list.  I was honestly terrified.  For those of you who do not have school aged children yet, it feels much like asking someone on a date, or making a new friend as an adult and "taking that step" to socialize outside of the usual group. And the last thing on earth I want is for Jack to feel rejected.  There is a boy in his class who has always been very nice to him when I have been volunteering in the classroom, and his mom seemed nice when I met her as well.  So I did it, I called.  And asked if they wanted to go to the local bounce place with us this morning.  I figured it was a low pressure setting, with lots of white noise.  And they came!

Jack had a GREAT morning and he and the little boy played very nicely together.  When Jack wanders off, this little boy looks for him.  He is very protective of Jack, and of other kids in general.  At one point, an older boy hit Jack when they were standing behind a structure and I didn't have a direct view.  Jack's buddy came running over to tell me, which just really touched me.  I couldn't really get Nate into actually playing on stuff, but he had fun running around anyway.  It's always difficult to decide how to broach the subject of Nate with new friends.  I have a "new" technique that's really effective.  It's what I like to call "out with it".  I just told the mom, and told her what to expect.  She was very supportive, and then she didn't have to wonder why he wasn't touching any of the bounce houses, or talking, or why he prefers to lie on the floor much of the time.  I guess I could keep it to myself, but I have a feeling that not knowing would likely make the other person more uncomfortable than knowing.  Because it's pretty obvious that Nate is not doing "typical" three year old stuff, especially when this family's two year old was there climbing all over everything. 

Anyway, the boys hugged goodbye, talked about the Orioles, and want to play again!  So so glad I took the leap after months of worrying.  Score one for Jack! and mommy!

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