Every once in a while, we get to observe Kaitlyn interact with her classmates. Whether it is sitting in a cafeteria with 15 kindergarten kids, or just dropping by her school, Amber and I enjoy watching as she interacts. Tonight, it was a birthday party. Think of 20 or more kindergarten-age kids running around, without the constraints on school rules.
Kaitlyn was invited to attend the birthday party for one of her classmates (her “BFF”) at the Junior Museum. It gave Amber and I a chance to watch Kaitlyn with her friends from school. We know what to expect when she is around the Spragues, and that give-and-take they all have is nice to see. With her classmates, it is a different story.
For the most part, during the playground portion of the party, Kaitlyn was content to run around by herself. On the off chance that she would stumble into a group of other kids, her interaction would consist mainly of mimicking what they were doing. If they yelled something, she yelled the same thing. I noticed that she tends to do that type of thing in a setting where she is not entirely comfortable. Maybe that is her way of trying to “blend” in.
We know that we have a lot of work to do with Kaitlyn and her socialization skils. Having a child with Asperger’s will ensure that we stay sharp and keep our eyes open for those social opportunities. While there wil be times when she does just fine, right below the surface is the child that is socially awkward and easily manipulated.
In case you were wondering about the picture, the theme of the party was “Night Owl Prowl,” and the staff member that spoke to the group about owls reminded me of the tour guide from Billy Madison. I never did, however, get to ask her who stole all of the children’s lunches, but I bet it was “that darn Sasquatch.”