One of the characteristics for someone with Asperger’s is that they have difficulty in developing social relationships, and that is certainly true with Kaitlyn. Another characteristic for someone with Asperger’s is that when they do develop a social relationship, it tends to be an intense and deep relationship; we are finding this to be true as well. This is really not about the latter, although Kaitlyn has some friends already that she feels extremely comfortable with, and that are genuinely interested in being friends with her.
I’ve written in the past about Kaitlyn and her seeming belief that simply acknowledging her classmates as they came in was the mark of shared interest and friendship. I also recently just wrote about her being a green fox at school, and how proud Amber and I are of her for maintaining that level of behavior in the classroom.
What I have begun to notice over the past few mornings as I drive her to school is that she deeply cares about her classmates staying on green fox as well. Every morning in the car, we go over her plan for the day (or what my plan for her day is), and it always includes staying on green fox. And without fail, she will bring up that she will do her best to make sure that everybody else in class stays on green fox as well. In the few instances that a classmate has been a yellow fox, or even the time someone was a red fox, Kaitlyn wore that like it was something she could have helped. It was almost as if she felt like she let the other kids down for them being on yellow or red. What child in kindergarten shows that type of concern? I wonder if the other kids were that upset the one day she was on yellow?
I am proud that she cares that much about her classmates, and I really do not care if they reciprocate. I know that Kaitlyn looks at each of her classmates and their behavior as her responsibility. And knowing that she is rather bossy (she must get that from her mother!), she may just be able to get the class to stay green for an extended period. I trust that she will lead their behavior by using her own as an example. Or maybe I am reading too much into our daily game plan. Only time, progress reports, and teacher conferences will tell.
You may or may not have noticed that the title of this blog is no longer simply “Asperger’s and Autism,” but is now “Adventures in Aspieland.” I made this change to broaden the scope of the blog and to convey to everyone that each day with Kaitlyn is an adventure.