Although its approaching Christmas, its not Christmas parties I’m talking about today. As I said in a post about autism & friendship Matthew finds it hard to make and maintain friendships. As a result, he’s hardly ever invited to parties. In the last 3 years, the only parties he’s been to have been ones Daniel has been the principle guest, and Matthew has been invited along as the birthday boy/girl’s siblings had been invited to Daniel’s parties. His reclusive nature and inability to make friends has had the direct impact of him not being invited.
Well, out of the blue, that changed today. This morning in the school playground, Matthew was handed an envelope. When he opened it, he excitedly ran over to Jane exclaiming he had an invite. He was clutching the invite to his chest as if he’d never let it go. He was incredibly excited that one of his classmates had thought enough of him to invite him to a party. Already, thoughts are being given to what to wear, how to get there etc, even though that party isn’t until the 17th of December!
We’re delighted for him of course. Its important for him to be involved in social events with his peers in the hope that he will appear as being another one of his peers which could be a path to him making more lasting bonds. Its something he’s missed out on in the last few years of school, and the lack of any friends has made him that bit more vulnerable at school. Maybe it’ll help him in the short term if he is more accepted as another part of the class, which might protect him in the playground in particular.
But crucially, it might help Matthew with his self-esteem and confidence. Someone has thought enough of him to want him included. Feeling part of that group will hopefully confident enough to be with his classmates socially. It may only be a school friend party for a couple of hours, but for Matthew, its a chance to make bonds and really be in a group with his peers. Party on!