Sometimes it’s hard to watch your kids grow up. I personally struggle seeing Chloe trying to build friendships. It has always been a challenge for her. I can remember even at age three her pre-school teacher telling me she didn’t easily make friends and would go stand by the bunny every day during recess.
Now, at age 13, Chloe continues to struggle making and keeping friends. Understanding body language and boundaries for kids and people like Chloe is a challenge at best. What comes easily and naturally for sister Sophia is a daily labyrinth for Chloe, navigating what to do or say in a multitude of situations. When framed in this context, it’s easy to see why kids and people with Aspergers get frustrated and depressed.
I take some of Chloe’s classmates from Armadillo every Friday to an animal rehabilitation farm where the kids earn work credit. I witness first hand the growing pains she and some of the other kids experience because of their “different” behavior. Even among those kids who ignore Chloe or shun her, it is a stark reminder that kids do the best they can with what they have. Kids’ and adults’ reactions are born from preconceived notions and a lack of understanding about how to interact with those unlike us.
One of my daily reminders and affirmations: Be patient, caring and supportive. Life can be painful: Lemon!