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Once Again

I’m once again faced with the situation of Little Man having  new friend – one who has invited him over to hang out, and to go to the zoo at some point this summer. He went to this friend’s house for a birthday party yesterday, and even over an extended afternoon, seemed fine. But I find myself faced with the dilemma/decision/choice of telling this friend’s mom about Little Man’s autism.

Maybe she knows, or at least senses something. She didn’t say anything yesterday when I picked him up, but she has to wonder why a 13 year old chooses to hang out with a 10 year old. She said my guy waits for her son by the gate at school each morning too, and I know they spend hours facetiming, talking all things video game.

I haven’t had to struggle with this issue in a few years. What do I tell the parent of a new friend, when do I tell that parent? What’s best? What’s right for all involved?

If you didn’t know he’s autistic, you may just guess he’s either a lot younger than his chronological age, or just very immature, unless you have the pure pleasure of seeing him in meltdown or tantrum mode. Then you know for sure something is different. I don’t even know if his friend realizes he’s autistic.

I think part of me just wants him to be able to engage with friends without having Autism hanging over his head, part of me wants his life experience to be “normal” and me not have to consider this decision. But then am I being fair to that parent by not giving them fair warning, especially when they are going to be in charge of my child for a few hours? Sigh…….

What would you want to know about your child’s new friend, and when would you want to know it?

9 thoughts on “Once Again

  1. I don’t talk about it on my blog, but I know how you feel.
    I tend to describe potential dangerous situations or worries rather than straight away talk about the label, “you will need to keep a closer eye on him as he’s not as aware of dangers as others,” “it really helps him to get some warning before you’re finishing up things” and really vitally, “let me know if there are any problems”. The parents gradually pick up without needing to know the diagnosis.

  2. I would actually tell the parent of Lan’s friends they needed to pay special attention to my child. With the increasing rates of autism many people know someone or have a family member affected. I have found lots of love and support from other parents when I didn’t expect it and many classrooms these days have at least one kid on the spectrum as a student. By the time Lan graduated the kids really didn’t care much about his diagnosis. Try (and I say this from my own experience) not to stress about it so much, things have a way of working out. I’m glad to hear your Little Man has found a friend who “gets him.”

  3. I think I’d know. But, in this case, I think I would want to know before he spends a considerable amount of time in my home, like an all day or overnight kinda thing.
    If he’s made a friend, then chances are it’s all good.

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