One of my crippling fears for Mikey was that he wouldn’t develop friendships. Before our diagnosis, it was very hard for me to watch him play with kids he’d known since birth, but as they all morphed into fully-formed humans, he sort of differentiated himself and pushed them away either literally or scared them a bit by stimming–barking in their faces, screaming, making lots of outside noises, or freaking the fuck out if they wanted a stick he was playing with.
When he was in school last year, he had a lot of trouble with aggression and I got so many calls home about pushing, hitting, or biting that I just feared he’d become that weird kid.
My heart is so happy this year to watch him developing reciprocal friendships. He got invited to a birthday party last weekend and when we arrived, another girl from school was delighted to see him. I learned that this girl, L, talks about Mikey all the time.
He and L played together on the trampoline, were wrestling and rolling down the hill together. I just loved it. This morning at school drop-off he said hello to the birthday boy and the two of them zoomed around the school lot.
Another day, I got to school a bit early and saw him collaborating with another boy on a sorting work. The other boy hadn’t done that work before and Mikey gave him a lesson in the work. They had their small heads pressed together on the rug, sorting coins. Cooperating, sharing, engaging. How refreshing!
What a magical thing to step back a bit and watch my child interacting with friends he’s made all by himself, utterly independent of me. He’s been working so hard on his social skills with his early intervention teacher. I just love seeing the results of this work.