Many times children with Autism will stand on the outskirts in social situations. They are observers and taking in everything around them. Watching from the sidelines, as the other children will run around together. I have read that it’s usually not because they don’t want to interact, but that they just don’t know how.
But Mateo is one to just dive in. Unsure of how to communicate, but he bravely will jump in and take part.
My friend’s daughters came over to play last night. So all together there are three girls and Mateo. Not only is Mateo the only boy, but also the youngest of the group. The girls are really wonderful about including Mateo in their games. Even though he may not quite grasp the concept of what they are doing and will often cause chaos by throwing their toys around instead of nicely playing along. I figure that’s what any average little brother would do!
They decided to have a dance party. And in the center of everything was Mateo grooving to the Disney Dance CD the girls put on. A huge smile across his face as he looked at the girls and danced around the room.
He smiles, he moves and he is totally uninhibited as he dances. Some skeptics would say he was diagnosed wrong, that kids with Autism don’t “act” that way. I would ask them to come spend a week in my house and then tell me my son doesn’t have Autism. Mateo has an amazing personality. He is determined to participate in life. He is magnetic and always smiling. That is who he is. He also has Autism. It makes him flail his arms around, smack the top of his head quickly, delayed in his speech and yell in inappropriate situations.
I smile and laugh watching him circle through the girls grinning and ecstatic. I am so thankful watching him play with the girls, eager to be part of the group. Things may change as he gets older, but now I see a boy ready to be a part of everything!