Playgroups are a totally typical thing that most stay-at-home moms participate in. The kids all play and the moms sit in the kitchen and drink coffee. I did too (though I spent most of my time with the kids trying to get the Roc to play and listening wistfully as the moms talked in the kitchen). After I figured out about the autism and the Roc started preschool we dropped out of the playgroup. It became too painful, like a knife in the chest, every time we would get together. I finally SAW the difference that had always been there. I even had the same experience this summer when some of the “special” kids from preschool were all together and the Roc couldn’t handle it.
After a bunch of these knife-in-the-chest moments I realized I would feel much better if I DID something (beside pulling the knife out and dropping out of play dates). I approached my awesome neighbor/friend Tracy and asked if I could borrow her adorable son Luke one morning a week for some playtime with the Roc. Lucky for me she agreed (it might have to do with the fact that she has 3 children aged 3 and under!). So on Friday mornings the Roc and I go over and get Luke and bring him back to our house. We play and have fun, but most importantly we work on those vital but elusive (for ASD kids) social skills. This is our third week and it’s been going GREAT!
Luke is totally comfortable at our house and the Roc really looks forward to seeing his friend. Right now I’m letting the kids take the lead (mainly Luke) and we play whatever they want to play. I help the Roc work on his play skills and he learns some new things by imitating Luke. (and I get to play too! How fun is that!)
Today we played with a bowling game (Luke’s go to game when he gets to our house – a definite x-mas idea for that kid!), Elefun, little people, puzzles, and finger paints (fun!).
The most fun (and fun for me to watch) was when they played in this together:
I added a few balls and it became a ball pit and they had a blast! (I know it’s a pitiful ball pit- we need more balls!) They jumped around, in and out, and then Luke pretended to be asleep and the Roc would wake him up and they would scream and start it all over. (very much like a game he played with his cousins in South Carolina this summer)
Next week I’ll take pictures of what happens when we drop Luke off at his house: the Roc, Luke, and Luke’s little brother Daniel (22 months) WRESTLE!! and I’m not joking! If you would have told me a year ago that my child who didn’t like to be touched would be WRESTLING and CHASING two boys around–I would not have believed you.
It’s all progress and I LOVE it!