“Dear Parents: Please Invite Every Child
There’s a rule at my daughter’s school that if you’re going to invite one child from the class to your birthday party, you are required to invite them all.
I am a rule follower, through and through. Especially when it comes to inclusion.
Others are not.
I know my daughter won’t be friends with everyone, but the problem is right now she’s friends with no one. And that has to do with a little part of her that no one can see: autism. She keeps to herself, still prefers to parallel play versus engage with others, and absolutely sees little interest in gossip or small talk, something her five-year-old peers have already mastered.
Simply put, it’s difficult for her to keep up with the schoolyard social game, and because of that, she’s forgotten.
But she’s still very much aware. And so am I.
I’m aware that my daughter may not be able to talk to another child in a traditional way, heck, she might have even told them to stay away. She may be coined the oddball in class. The one who has breakdowns over simple things falling out of place like her pencil lead breaking or an unannounced fire drill. I understand that she’s difficult to bond with. She’s often talking about things only she finds funny or leaving the math game early. It’s obvious to me that teachers are her preferred friends and because of that she’s never attended a play date.