Friends make a difference… for my kids and me

We made it through the fall break. The time where patterns change and routine takes away side to a more flexible schedule. To some it is a pause in school year while to those of jazz us it is a fearful transition with the unknown ahead. But what we did know was that we were going on vacation with friends and family. What we did know was Upon Our return we’re going to see more friends and have more fun. And when the break was over it was time to see full friends once again that we had missed during break.

Friends friends friends… for the first time there is longevity starting with natural friendships. What does that mean? It means a friends ahe has fully made on her own. Her other friends where we met at therapy are awesome friends! Don’t get me wrong. We love our time with them. But all these years it has been an effort to make friends on her own for Sammy.

The pattern is this… She likes someone at school. The kid is nice to her and Sammy gets obsessive and inflexible to trying differwnt things and in 2 weeks it is a crash, no longer does that kid have the patience for Sammy’s energy. She gets sad and then maybe another kid is nice to her… for 2 weeks… And then done. She has given our number and email out so many times and then begged me to check my phone over and over and over just waiting for the kid to reach out to her. And nothing. It would break her heart and mine.

In 5th grade this year for the first time she has made two friends that have been of conversation in our home for more than 4 weeks. This Friday is the Pumpkin Walk at school and although one of them has told her he would not be there her other friend might. All week she has talked about how we can meet her friends at school. She has talked about having other friends because these two kids have their own group of friends also. She is being recognized because of this in her world. It lightens her eyes and bring such smiles to her face. It is a beautiful and wonderful thing to hear her talk about the future in middle school next year and being in the school with these two friends.

As I reflect on her past and look to her future I see hope in her day-to-day life. I see a chance for her to grow emotionally as she is more surrounded by her peers. Why is this your different? There is a love for her feature and a year of therapy. There has been a new social group that last 48 hours straight. Those things alone are not the full reasons I’m sure but I know how important they have been to guiding her in this new direction.

Her long standing friendships with 2 kids outside of school has helped as well. It’s a chance to be herself and be part of their lives on both of their terms, not because they are stuck at school together. They have grown together these last couple years and are at ease. And she looks so forward to getting together and their tume together shows all of their changes and comfort with being together. The ability to copy those skills with strangers is a challenge but one that she may overcome. The joy of friendship brightens her spirit!

Do I worry how she interacts? Sure. Do I fret the day she comes home in tears because one friend said something mean? Yep. Am I on eggshells whenever I ask about her day and recess? Absolutely. Because I too went through the pains of every kid that stopped talking to her, didn’t call, or didn’t invite her to a party. And I will be hopeful that these new binds will last and I will be here for her if something takes a wrong turn.

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