In the past couple weeks or so, I’ve come to the realization that my son has made friends. Real friends whose names he actually knows whom he greets upon meeting. Friends that I don’t have to remind him to say hello to.
It so happened that I started walking him into his school and he started waving to these girls and saying, “Hey, there’s Bridgett*!” Or, he’d walk up to the girl that’s got a class across from him and say, “Hi, Stacy*!” Then, when we run into people in the community Autism Society events, he remembers John* from camp and they’ll fleetingly interact with each other before going off in their own directions. When we see Tricia* with Bridgett* at our Occupational Therapy sessions, he’s always excited to see them. It’s nothing short of amazing.
The thing is, I never realized that he had meaningful interactions with these kids, but he did. And our connection? The Autism Society. These kids are getting to know each other through social functions they have with each other and, a few of them, through their mentors. Squeaker sees Tricia and Bridgett at the library and the park frequently, which is something I didn’t know until recently. No wonder he readily said hello to her at school! Wonderful things are happening.
This is a huge milestone for him. It is so important for him to have social connections.
Today, we went to an Autism Society Friends, Fun, and Birthday Club event. His birthday is at the end of the month, and he was so excited that he got to open presents early, but what I felt excited about was seeing him interact with others. Maybe it only lasted seconds at a time, but it was something. I got to witness awesome, wonderful, precious moments of him talking and playing and sharing with friends. He’s growing up. He has friends. And it’s nice to not have to put quotation marks around the word friends.
What important milestones has your child reached lately? Brag here!