Thursday, January 3, 2013

Aspie Friends

My son has a friend. A best friend, a very special friend. Someone he can be himself with, obsess over video games, talk in rapid fire monotone while pacing the floor with his DS in his hands. Basically, someone he can be autistic around.

They met in 2nd and 3rd grade. They are the same age, but his friend is a year ahead of him. He is very smart, so his parents gained permission to enroll him in Kindergarten early. He and my son were in a combined second and third grade class and a bond was formed.

A year later, his friend switched schools. The two remained friends, going to each other’s birthday parties and hanging out during school breaks. They continue to be friends to this day, even though they are in eighth and ninth grades. My son is still in a small Christian school; his friend is in a magnet high school.

They can go for weeks, even months without a chance to speak to each other. But when that call comes, the joy on my son’s face is unmatched. He will snatch up the phone and march to his room and stay for hours if we let them.

Most of the time, my son acts and speaks pretty normal. He has learned over the years what normal is supposed to look like. He can sit quietly, pay attention in class, make eye contact and even extend his hand when meeting an adult. I am so proud of him.

But when he is interacting with this one, special friend, everything is different.  My soul is torn apart by emotion as I watch him joyfully slip back into his autistic behavior. My heart soars to see him so happy, but breaks with the reminder of how different he really. My prayer for aspies everywhere would be for them to find that one special friend.