These days, I feel like all my friends are parents with special needs. For me, it's critical to have the support but these are all new friendships and close friendships take time to grow. What I'm trying to say is that I'm still very lonely.
Yesterday, my old friends decided last-minute to have a playdate and invited us. All of their children are typical. Playdates with them used to be very stressful. I loved seeing my friends but my conversations were always interrupted with giving time-outs or trying to prevent Spencer from climbing everything. My friends were always understanding but still I was embarrassed and exhausted by the kids.
I hesitated going because I wasn't sure if Logan would behave. Kai didn't even think twice. He wanted to go so I decided to be my new anxiety-free self and just go. That night I baked some GFCF cookies and some CF frosting so that Logan would have a treat to eat.
I'm so glad I went. We stayed for hours. We all had the best time. If you ever hesitate on seeing your non-special needs friends, here are three reasons to brave it out:
1. Since I don't see my non-special needs friends that often, I was able to compare his behavior from the last time we met. All of my friends commented how much calmer Logan had gotten. I noticed too. Logan played with the other boys well (not perfect but SO MUCH better than the last time) and Spencer didn't climb everything in sight as usual. My friends gave me hope that the DAN! treatments were working because they really thought Logan had made huge improvements.
Logan's best moment: Drawing with the girls. He drew the best pictures I had ever seen: butterflies with rainbow wings. (Lots of details!) He even gave the picture to my friend's daughter Julia and not me. Great social skills, Logan!!!! It was such a great picture, I was even a little jealous.
2. Seeing your old friends when you are feeling down is like putting on your favorite sweater to get warm. I had so much fun talking to them. I felt like the kind of person I was before I learned acronyms like OT, SPD, and IEP. It felt good. I was relaxed.
3. Even though it's hard, it was good to expose Logan and Spencer to typical kids. They are good models and there is less structure and so Logan and Spencer are forced to self-regulate more. Logan also had a chance to do a craft project (decorating GFCF cookies) with typical kids without much support. I was really proud of him.