Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me a Match.....

....that's what I feel like right now. I just came back from volunteering in Daniel's classroom and found it an AMAZING experience. Last year I went with the kids to the computer lab where they played games and learned the basics of using a computer. This year I'm working in the classroom, filling in as needed while the teacher is working with the kids in small groups.

I know a few of the kids from last year. And they're a good group of kids. And now I REALLY get to see what is happening in the classroom. I see the independent and cooperative learning that they are doing and still spending the time with the teacher. There were some minor issues for Daniel with me being there (his need to show off, for example), but those will diminish as he gets used to me being there (he's only in first grade, after all). I really had a lot of fun and I am looking forward to coming back next Tuesday to do it again!

But I saw something specific in the classroom today that made me take notice. There is a little boy in the class who sits near Daniel. He's very sweet and well mannered (his chair accidentally tripped Daniel [who wasn't looking where he was going] and he IMMEDIATLY apologized). I was walking around helping people on whatever they were working on and I noticed this child was talking to me but wouldn't look me in the eye. Other little things throughout our conversation made me think that he was on the spectrum, but I can't ask the teacher, nor can the teacher tell me if this were the case. But I strongly suspect.....

Anyway, this boy was telling me about some of his favorite things. Star Wars and Legos top the list. Now, who does this sound like to you? DANIEL!!!!!!! He is OBSESSED with these things!!!!! These two boys would have a BLAST having a play date together. And, if my suspicion is right and this child IS on the spectrum, I would love for him to have a friend that would understand. Daniel cares very much for two children on the spectrum in his brother and sister, even though I don't think he would admit it to many people other than his family. It would help teach Daniel to be more patient and teach him some of the struggles that those on the spectrum experience every day. And it would give this other child, if nothing else, a friend.

And it would potentially give me a new friend/contact/kindred spirit. Autism Moms are often friends, not necessarily because we are the people who we would naturally seek out, but because we have something very personal in common and we share this bond that we never asked for. We learn from each other. We share knowledge more than most other groups I am aware of, because we don't want others to go thru the struggles that we have already dealt with. We want to see those around us continue to move forward rather than backwards.

I still want Daniel to be friends with this boy, regardless of whether he has ASD or not -- as I said, he's a VERY nice boy with many similar interests to Daniel and I think they would have a great friendship.

Gee, I feel like such a matchmaker.

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