Today, I’m not going to write about me. I’m going to write about a friend of mine, who has an Asperger daughter – I’ll call her Kate.
In order to help her Asperger daughter socialize, they joined the girl scouts/brownies/Daisies. When nobody stepped up to lead and organize meetings, and the group threatened to fall apart, Kate volunteered. First, that’s a lot of work and pressure. And time. And energy. Secondly, wow, that kind of dedication and determination… well, it fills me with admiration.
Often, the girls broke up into teams in order to work on a project. Every single time, Kate had them pull names from a hat. No girl was the last one standing, unchosen. No cliques. Everyone was in the same boat, and soon it became routine.
The girls didn’t complain… but the parents did. Honestly. Kate ignored them, rightly deciding that they didn’t understand about social issues – they and their daughters never having trouble with friendships – and so would benefit from expanding their horizons.
She avoided the awkward ‘three’ dynamic. So when there would have been three people together – really a pair plus an outsider – she broke it up. So the girls always worked in groups of two or four, and everyone always had a partner.
Get the picture?
She made this work for her daughter. Years later, her daughter still has friendships from those days. And the girls who aren’t actively friends are at least familiar, comforting faces… so no new class is ever completely filled with strangers. Including choir, art, and PE.
Hats off to those of you out there who go the extra mile for your children. It makes all the difference.