Wyatt had his first honest to goodness sleepover tonight!
I know, in the vast scheme of things this doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you're raising a kid with autism the things that other parents take for granted become world changing events. Wy's never had a friend spend the night before, he's never even expressed an interest in anything like that.
Wyatt likes other kids, he enjoys being around them, but he doesn't really interact for more than a few minutes at a time. He loves other children, but he only directly interacts with them for short periods unless he can control the interaction. Wyatt just assumes that everyone loves the same things he does. Since most 9 year olds really don't care about Auteck 3000 car washes with PDQ cleaning systems and undercarriage washer jets, it doesn't leave him much else to talk about with them, and after a few minutes he ends up wandering off to play on his own.
He doesn't seem to mind, but I've worried for a long time now that he might not get to have the kinds of experiences that typically developing kids do. Last night he got to have one of those experiences, and it's made me so happy for him.
Our friends Jamie and Karen have a son Wyatts age. Damien is a great kid, he's really bright and very sweet. Damien also has Aspergers Syndrome. Wy's autism is very high functioning, so he and Damien are at about the same level. The boys have played together before and they get along well, and when J&K came over 2 weeks ago with Damien and Austin, the 3 boys had a blast together. Damien decided he and Wy should have a sleep over, and Wy was all for it, so Karen and I decided tonight would be a good night for it.
OK, Damien decided.
Karen sent me a text today saying Damien had been bugging her for 2 weeks asking when he was going to get to come over and spend the night, and Wy's been doing the same thing on my end. So we caved and said tonight was the night. As soon as Karen told Damien he had a bag packed and was waiting for her in the car.
Really. Karen sent me this about 5 min after she told him he was sleeping over
Karen dropped Damien off this afternoon, and he and Wy were playing video games, and giving each other detailed instructions on which buttons to push, how to jump, no no no - go get that gem, no not that one, the other one. They were like 2 pint sized drill instructors, but they never got mad at each other. Whoever was playing would do what the other said, and they were both having fun. After a while, Wy decided he wanted to watch elevator videos on youtube, so he was doing that while Damien was sitting next to him playing Spongebob.
They weren't playing together, they were each sitting there doing their own thing, but they were enjoying being around each other. They'd each wander off periodically, go do something different, and then end up in the same place and reconnect, play together for a bit, and then go do their own thing again. Which was cool.
At one point Damien started teasing Wy because he was watching Thomas The Tank Engine videos. He told Wy "Dude, you watch that? That's a baby show!"
Wy was highly insulted, but Damiens right, it is kind of a baby show. Damien went downstairs and was watching TV and asked me how old Wyatt is. I told him he's 9, he'll be 10 next month. Damien said "I'm 11, I'm almost a teenager, I just have to turn 13."
I loved it, it was almost like having 2 Wyatts here.
What I found really interesting was the way they knew without saying that when one of them needed to step away, it was OK. They just "Got" where each other was at, no explaining needed, since they're both in the same place in terms of their social functioning. It was really nice for them.
I got them tucked in around 10, they both went right off to sleep with no problems.
They're both right, Luna has this meow that could shatter glass.
Both the boys said they'd like to have another sleepover again.