Grace and her Posse

Grace with her best friend

Grace and her Posse

Grace recently turned 12! Happy birthday Grace!!!

When it came time to celebrate her birthday she was given the opportunity to invite a group of her friends as was her twin sister Millie.

Millie quickly presented a list of 12 kids and Grace struggled to come up with 2 classmates to invite.

Typically Grace does not have play dates after school nor does she particularly play with anyone during recess or lunchtime… and she is fine with this. We’ve asked her many times what she does during recess and she is quite content to walk around with a toy car or just happily wander.

Her birthday party came and went with only one of her friends attending and all the kids rollerbladed together and then celebrated with present opening, eating hotdogs and birthday cake! Everyone was happy but the challenge of rollerblading and Grace’s need to be able to do it perfectly took a toll. Grace had a meltdown and then sat in her jacket for a good part of the party looking forward to its end.

When you ask Grace if she had a good time at her party, she answers with a smile on her face saying “Yes, it was fun.” That’s Grace! The challenging part of parties, hospital stays, outings, daily routines and school seem to always take a back seat to the fun part of the experience and this is what she focuses on and shares….quite a blessing!

There are unscheduled times that Grace plays with a guest that pops into the house. Without realizing she often effortlessly engages quite happily with the child (one on one is best) either playing Minecraft, doing arts & crafts or playing with cars together or just side by side.

We are grateful for these times as we look at Grace, smile to ourselves and sigh with relief that she has friends. But the truth of the matter is this; Grace is truly happy on her own, without friendships and bonds that society deems socially acceptable.

So the question I ask of you is this: “Are the friendships that you encourage your child on the spectrum to have with others for your benefit or for your child’s?

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