I posted yesterday about the boost to his self-esteem Daniel got thanks to the friendship of one of the girls in has class (https://theworldofneil.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/aspies-self-esteem-boosted/) He’s always been reluctant though to interact with classmates away from the school setting. This year that has been slowly changing. He’s quite close to four or five kids in his class, all of whom live close to us. He’s understood friendship much more than Matthew ever has, and as a result, he’s been willing to venture away from the house to engage with his friends.
His best friend is a little lad who lives over the back from us. He and Daniel have been friends since nursery. His friend has a bit of trouble with allergies, which affect what he can eat therefore I think that Daniel, knowing about his own “special brain” see his friend as a kindred spirit. Oh, and they both love Start Wars! Initially, they would bump into each other at the adventure park out the back, where Daniel’s friend’s mum would keep an eye on them. His friend’s older sister also keeps a close eye on them. Then they got round to house visits, and Daniel became comfortable about how their friendship had expanded.
A couple of doors down from his friend is another classmate. She and Daniel were friends in class – probably thanks to Daniel’s friendship with her neighbour more than anything. Again, Daniel didn’t play with her until one day early this summer, she was playing on the swings out back while Daniel & I were on the trampoline. I suggested to Daniel he shout her over. She came down, into the garden, then onto the trampoline with Daniel. Friendship sealed. Since then, he’s been to her house for tea, and she’s been over here – a lot!
But today showed us how his confidence has grown. He went to see his friends. His little girlfriend was about to go out with her dog (along with her Dad & her brother) – now Daniel has always had a bit of a problem with his confidence around adults away from the house. But today, he was quite happy to help his friend walk their dog with her Dad. Daniel is so focussed on his friendships that he’s learning to accept being around other adults. He’s getting to know them, and who doesn’t love Daniel it seems!
Its a slow road, with many miles to go. Daniel is still way more comfortable at home, but through developing friendships with his peers, his confidence is growing, and that can only be to his benefit.