Kaeden and Friends

Today I had another one of those autistic mom moments that sort of break your heart. As I dropped Jari off at a friend's house to play, and stayed for an hour drinking coffee and talking, Kaeden joined in the fun with the other 5 little boys in the house. Kaeden doesn't have friends, but considers anyone he plays with at whateevr moment his best friend. As I finished my coffee and got my coat on to leave, I called Kaeden away to come with me. He left without any problem, but was very sulky when we got home. I asked him what the trouble was, and with tears in his eyes, he told me he just wanted to play with the other kids. He wondered why he couldn't stay and play with his "best friends" and why he could never have friends come to play here. I told him that he couldn't just stay if he wasn't invited, and wished for once he would also be invited along. But the fact of the matter is that the kids Jari play with have big brothers, but they are all still much younger than Kaeden in years, if not in mental age. And they are not his true friends, as much as he considers them so from the moments he plays with them during soccer practices and games. And as much as I would love to see my house bursting at the seams with preteen boys, Kaeden just doesn't have friends, and today that simple fact was hurting both of our hearts. I told him he could always invite one of his "friends" from his bus to come home with him, and that I'd even write the mother a note asking to call me to set up a playdate. But the truth is, that if someone invited Kaeden to come home with them, I wouldn't let him go without knowing anything about the family or at least meeting the parents when I dropped him off. The situation he's in just doesn't lend to having friends, neither mentally nor physically, and I hurt for him. I'm scared that as he gets older, these little things are just going to keep getting more noticeable. It's just one of those things about autism.


mcewen said...

Well hello! It would appear that we share a few experiences.
As regards friends / friendships / people in the house [or outside for that matter] who are identified as friends, I fully comprehend what you mean.
One of my sons has 'clicked in' to friends. I remain hopeful for my younger one.
Best wishes

V-Grrrl said...

That is heart-breaking. One of my friend's here has a teen daughter who may or may not have Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, depression. (Exact diagnosis is sometimes in dispute.)

She is dmart but socially awkward, and as a teen in a small American community, she doesn't have any friends. And yet she needs them not only for fun but to advance her social skills.

Tough situation. Sorry you and Kaeden are in it.