Friday, July 12, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

So, your kid has autism!  Oh, boy!!  Your friends just don't know what to do...what to say...how to act.  It's not like you do either. You kind of muddle through the first few months, and maybe even the first year, and your friends are appropriately supportive, sometimes in a "trying too hard" kind of way.  Then things slowly start to change.  You don't talk like you used to.   Hanging out gets trickier.  You can chalk it up to your kids are growing up, they have different interests. But basically you have completely different paths. Conversations become fleeting, and finally you just don't have any interactions.  And that's okay.

And it really IS okay.  Thankfully you had some warning about this from a friend whose child had been diagnosed with autism a couple of years before your own.  You knew, in the back of your mind, that some of your friends would kind of fade into the background because you simply wouldn't have time for them (remember the zillions of therapies that start to fill in every second of free time?).  You really try not to let anyone fade...you put forth that more than good faith effort to keep up the lines of communication.  But in the end, you just aren't mentally prepared for certain friends who end up fading...

So you start to make friends with people who have only known you since "the diagnosis."  You reconnect with people from your past through social media.  They are really genuinely supportive, and in some cases, have turned into your own personal cheerleaders.  Some have wonderful kids with special needs...others have delightfully typical kids.  And that is pretty cool.

But occasionally you just have to wonder...what the heck happened to those other people??  I suppose this happens all through life.  But you will always be grateful for those who stuck by you through to the other side of normal...

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