Today was a big day for Kaitlyn….her first “official” play date. She had been asking to have a friend over for a while, and we had been strongly considering it as well.
She has tended in the past to conjure up her own play dates, and become distraught when they did not happen. And we had tried a time or two to set one up for her, and she was heartbroken when we could not get schedules to line up.
For the past month or so, Kaitlyn had been wanting her friend Jackson to come over to play, and today, we were able to make it happen. Amber and Jackson’s mom Jeni started talking about today’s play date this past Thursday at Miracle, and it worked out that today was perfect for them and for us. Kaitlyn has a strong connection to Jackson and his three brothers, so there was very little risk in making it happen. So after church today, Jeni let us know that today looked good, but to keep it from Kaitlyn just in case something came up; she knows that it would have devastated Kaitlyn for it to have been cancelled.
Just before 1pm today, Ryan brought Jackson over and the play date was on. And it went pretty much how we expected. Kaitlyn was happy and excited to have Jackson here.
They played with Kaitlyn’s Chuggington trains first, and Jackson was more interested in playing with them than she was. It’s not that she did not want to play, she just wanted to play with something else at that point.
Asperger’s is cruel. We pretty much expected that there would be times today that were just like that, and most of the play date went like that. They played outside, ate popsicles, and explored Kaitlyn’s room. But there were times that Amber and I were playing more with Jackson than Kaitlyn was.
Kaitlyn’s social difficulties were on full display today. Even with a friend here that she stays attached to when we get together, she struggled with maintaining her interest in what they were doing. All we can do, however, is keep putting her in those situations and hope she gets more used to being engaged in the same activities as her friends.
All in all, I would say the first play date was a success. We are fortunate to have such wonderful friends in our lives with kids that are just as wonderful.