Friendship

Having school friends around for tea or going to their house is not a regular occurrence for us. Joseph has never had those kind of relationships and when I ask if we wants to invite someone he politely says “No, thank you”.

Admittedly when he first started school and I became aware of children going to each other’s houses, I was bothered about it. I didn’t see any point in inviting someone though as I was certain Joseph wouldn’t play. He was likely to be his usual aloof self, take himself off and play with his iPad and I would be left holding the fort. Over time, it’s something I accepted as part of the autism and that Joseph wasn’t bothered about it so why should I be?

Last year in Relationships, I spoke about his first after school play date where I wasn’t needed to stay. I had always been worried that if I didn’t, how would the parent know how to communicate with Joseph? How would he behave? But we took the first step and it appeared to go well. I’d always said that we would have to do a return invite but for some reason it never happened until this week.

His friend is someone Joseph mentions almost every day when I go through my series of questions; who did you play with at school? who did you sit with at lunchtime? I am certain that it’s not always her but he provides her name regardless.

I wanted our other children there in case Joseph did just wander off and play his iPad but I needn’t have worried as he himself tried to involve her in his world and she happily went along. Without any direction from myself, he was showing her videos on his iPad and singing You’re the Voice at the top of his own voice. He must have mentioned her name at least thirty times whilst she was here, talking to at her. We walked to the park together and at this point he announced to me he was going to kiss her. She giggled and I did tell him that he shouldn’t just kiss people without asking them first. She told me it was ok as he never asked at school. And whilst we all smiled, it worried me that Joseph doesn’t understand the social rules of friendship. He then announced to her “Can I give you a kiss?” It was more of a statement than a question.

She told me how they share good news in their class and when it was her turn this week, she told her classmates how she was going to Joseph’s house for tea. How can you not smile at that? It wasn’t just good news in my eyes, it was good news in hers too. She told me that she’d asked him every day this week “Am I coming to your house for tea Joseph?” He’d told her every day “No, thank you”, until the day when he had told her “Yes please”. Us women like to grind blokes down this way but I knew he was comfortable with it.

I asked him if he’d had a good time and whether he’d like her to come again. He said “Yes, she can come on Saturday”.

Friendship is not always about long conversations, having a kick about with a football or comparing JoJo Bows. Friendship in the rawest form is honesty, kindness and the unspoken word.

We have that.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Norma Medlock says:

    That was beautiful

  2. This is so lovely and heartwarming. Hope the after school meet ups continue, it sounds like he’s got himself a lovely friend. Much better to have one fantastic friend then a dozen who don’t really get you #PostsFromTheHeart

    1. Thank you, I want to be THE parent who complains about too many play dates! πŸ˜‰

  3. This is so touching to read… We have a 3 year-old with social communication difficulties and his interactions with others also don’t fall into the “normal” category. He’s only just now started to accept others playing alongside him and it will be a while before he plays with them. But for every peaceful interaction, for every time he runs after the little boy or the little girl and copies what they are doing I chalk up a massive victory. Sometimes it really is like you say, a triumph of the unspoken. #postsfromtheheart

  4. A beautiful post, she sounds like a very special girl who knows the true meaning of friendship. I’m so glad that they have found each other. As a fellow autism mum I can relate totally to play date worries! Thanks so much for linking this up with #PostsFromTheHeart

  5. mamagrace says:

    This is awesome. It seems as if they’ve built a relationship where they can both be themselves.

  6. I’m s glad the play date went well. We’ve had three kids over from school without their parents. The first two were fine, although the boy was shy at first so I just left them to it and he soon came to life. The third girls did get a bit upset when her mum to leave, but she was fine a few minutes later. I’m yet to leave my girls over someones house without me, but I’m sure if I did, they may be a bit wobbly at first, but they’d soon come round. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  7. diynige says:

    So happy it went well if I’m honest I not a fan but if the girls it’s ok with me great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    1. Thank for the comment, not a fan of the post?

      1. diynige says:

        No love the post don’t like play dates or friends over for tea πŸ™‚

  8. Ahh right ok πŸ‘πŸ» Play dates and & autism don’t often mix so we’re not used to them. Was good to experience something that others often take for granted!

  9. Such an awesome read! I hope you become the mom with too may play dates soon! We just had a major milestone like this with our 9 your old daughter who is autistic. She made friends with the girl in the house behind us and they have started spending time together outside! Our daughter has a fear of bugs, so for her to play happily outside, with a friend, is huge!

    1. Thank you. I hope there are more to come!!

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