And Pinocchio arrives

Yesterday we had a first: Little Miss invited a friend to come play for the day.

For those of you out there with the average 10-year-old girl, this is probably not a big thing. For those of us with a language-inhibited autistic child, it’s monumental. We watched over every part of the day like scientists at The Great Experiment, ready to tweak and readjust as necessary.

Some hands-on moments were necessary, as Little Miss’s friend is in her AS class, and neither of them really have the social skills just yet to handle a full one-on-one day. The friend, bless her, is on the Aspie end of the spectrum and talks almost non-stop. So between the two, that worked out fairly well.  Note to self: some structure and planning go a long way toward improving these visits.

With occasional prompts about being kind to your guest, and reminding the friend to ask Little Miss if she needed help with some of the projects, they went along fine; a mid-day visit to the playground and McDonald’s helped break it up. They even squealed over getting the KidsBop music CD in their lunches and had to listen and sing along on the way home– surprising to me because Little Miss had previously had her heart set on a mini Build-a-Bear. Wow.

By day’s end, the friend was ready to come back tomorrow again and stay. Little Miss was just about overwhelmed and left the dinner table to go spin for twenty minutes. An epsom salts and lavender bath went a long way toward restoring her equilibrium. I asked whether she had a good time and wanted her friend to come another time, or if it was too much. She thought about it a minute, and said she wanted her to come another time.

All in all, a wonderful experiment, and another step toward making Little Miss into a “real girl.”  Not that we’re unhappy with the girl we have–far from it–but every once in awhile we do wish that all our kids could be a little more like their peers, able to experience what other kids do.

On the other hand, for two ten-year-old girls to spend a whole day without a mention of boys, clothes brands or not saying one snippy thing about anyone or anything? Priceless.

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