Slowly Emerging

friends

When my son was little, we used to go to the park often. Each time, I would silently hope that that would be the day that he would make a friend. The day that he would break down his wall, step out and approach another child. But, it never happened.

Each time we went to the park, he would settle himself in the sand a short distance away from all of the other kids. Every now and then, a child would come over and say “hi,” but more times than not, my son wouldn’t even acknowledge their presence. So they would walk away leaving him to play alone. I assumed he preferred it this way. Perhaps he liked being a ‘loner’, or maybe it was the simple fact that he didn’t know how to relate to others. At the time, I didn’t know for sure.

Since then, as he’s gotten older, I’ve learned that since talking to others is so challenging for him, he rather not do it at all. He’s afraid that people won’t understand, that people will give him a hard time, but mostly that he will mess up on his words. When it comes to his speech ability, he has a very low self esteem. It’s understandable. He’s 15 years old and struggles greatly with forming sentences, using proper vocabulary and explaining his thoughts.

He’s autistic.

I don’t like this label. Never have. Rarely does this diagnosis get brought up in front of him. I don’t want him to feel different, but unfortunately this is something he can’t avoid. He feels it everyday; at school, at the store, when he’s around others. He knows he’s different. Because of his differences, he’s never had friends; partially his choosing, but mainly because most people ignore him.

Until now.

He has a friend, “Sam”. Every day when he comes home he tells me, “I hung out with my friend Sam.” From a boy, who in 15 years has never truly had a friend, it’s like music to my ears to him so happily say, “my friend Sam.” My son has a friend!

Not only has he emerged from his shell enough to gain a friend, he’s also just joined an after-school club. His idea, not mine. He came home one day and asked if he could join the bowling club. His excitement was obvious, so of course I said yes. Plus, never has he asked to join any kind of club. A club involves people and people involves communicating. So wanting to join a club is a huge step for him.

After a string of emails with the club coordinator over the weekend, my son was all set to go by last night. After relaying the information to him, he got a big smile on his face and finally admitted the reason behind wanting to join. “I get to go with Sam!”

It is truly a gift to see my son so happy. I’m so appreciative to people like Sam, who take the time to see my son for who he is. My son is an amazing young man, with a caring heart and a great sense of humor. Sam sees past my son’s differences and likes him for him.

That’s how we should all be. No one should ever be turned away because they’re ‘different’. Their differences are part of what makes them so special. Plus, aren’t we all ‘different’?

So I’d like to say…

Thank you to those, like Sam, who take the time to befriend people, that others tend to turn a blind eye to. Everyone deserves a friend and I’d dare say, that everyone needs one.

You could be the friend that someone’s been waiting for. So step out of your comfort zone and make yourself friendly.


After reading another blogger’s post regarding Writing 101, I decided that it would be a fun challenge. So, this is my first writing assignment for Writing 101 hosted by The Daily Post.

Assignment: To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

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This entry was posted in Autism - Within the Walls, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Slowly Emerging

  1. Excellent free write! I love the story and I’m so very happy for your son!

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  2. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. It certainly is our differences that make us special. I’m so glad your son has a friend, hope he enjoys the bowling club and makes many more friends 🙂

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  3. That is a wonderful story. So glad he has found a friend. We could all use one of them 😉

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  4. DailyMusings says:

    Wonderful post! I am so happy for your son, to be making these new connections! and Sam sounds like a wonderful boy too 🙂

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  5. tric says:

    That is all any mother wants, for our children to be happy. How wonderful your son has found a friend and a new self confidence.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Yes, exactly and it’s so wonderful to see that smile on their beautiful faces. 🙂 A new self confidence – yes, I do hope that it continues to grow, hoping that as I do my part, others will help as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. While you dislike the label, what your son really is, is not his diagnosis. He is a young man who sounds like he is beginning to emerge from a long time in a cocoon. A friend, a club, who knows what might be next. But he’s unfolding and in that, is his own unique growth. My sense is that many people are excited and rooting for him! Enjoy. Both of you. 🙂

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  7. moi says:

    That is superb news, Have you met Sam, did they enjoy the club (assuming they have been already)?

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  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    A beautiful heart warming story, and because it’s a true story, it make it all that more terrific. Before I acquired my disability, I had a hard time striking up a conversation with someone who was disabled. Just the opposite of what you’re writing here. I was afraid I’d say something that was wrong, that would make the person feel just awful, so I said nothing at all. Now that I am disabled (for over 40 years now), I’m a regular little chatter box.

    It’s weird how disability effects people. :/

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      But I’d say weird, in a good way. Maybe how you used to be is why people are the way they are with my son. Maybe they’re just afraid of saying the wrong thing, or most likely just don’t know how to approach him. Rather than make themselves uncomfortable trying, they choose not to try at all. It’s understandable. It can be intimidating to get out of our comfort zone. I can’t say that I’m happy for your disability (obviously), but I am happy that it gave you a greater view of others with disabilities. Thank you very much for your kind comment.

      Like

  9. LyndaA says:

    Friendship takes two and I can’t help but believe that Sam too is blessed by knowing and being friends with your son.

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  10. suzjones says:

    The world needs more Sams. I’m so pleased that your son has a friend. 🙂

    Like

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