People often think that children with Autism don't want friends and for some kids I suppose that may be the case. But for some kids with Autism, like my son Aiden, that could not be farther than the truth.
Aiden desperately wants friends.
Unfortunately he struggles with social situations. He gets frustrated and angry easily. He has meltdowns and lashes out when he can't handle the situation and ends up alienating the potential friends.
Kids are often very kind to Aiden. But kindness does not always equal friendship.
Aiden never gets invited over to anyone's house to play, he never gets phone calls or birthday party invitations. When he invites people over they usually say no unless their parents make them come over.
It makes me so sad.
And it makes Aiden so very sad.
Yesterday as we were leaving school at the end of the day he turned to me and said
"Mom, all I want for Christmas next year is a friend. A friend who will say "hey Aiden, do you want to play with me?"
My heart dropped into my shoes and I had to work extremely hard not to burst into tears right in the middle of the school hallway.
I can't even begin to tell you how heartbreaking it is to hear my child say that.
I told Aiden that instead of asking Santa for that particular thing we would pray. We would pray every day that God would provide a real friend for Aiden. A friend who will see how amazingly cool he is even though his Autism makes things tough sometimes.
And most of all we will pray that God will give him a friend that will say "hey Aiden, do you want to play with me?".
Feel free to pray right along with us. Because everyone deserves to have friends- even if they have Autism.