No More Twirly Skirts

GB came home from school yesterday agitated. Her speech was pressured and she couldn’t make eye contact. I couldn’t understand most of what she said. There was one phrase she kept repeating and I finally caught it. “No more twirly skirts”. It didn’t make sense. GB loves twirly skirts. GB and I went through her breathing exercises and I prompted her to hold on to the twirly skirt thought. She did.

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GB said that her first friend in her new class, S, said they couldn’t be friends if GB was a “goody-goody”. I asked what a “goody-goody” was. GB said they wear twirly skirts, sit by the teacher, and never get their “cards” pulled. (Cards are pulled in her class when a rule is broken.) I pointed out to GB that she loved twirly skirts and hated getting in trouble. She answered that if she wanted to be friends with S, she would have to change. I tried talking about the difference between trying not to annoy people and trying to change who she was. I confused her. She told me S found goody-goodies annoying.

I asked her the difference between real friends and people who just say they are your friend. The blank look on her face told me it was time to stop. We will revisit this with her therapist tomorrow.

Not a Tween

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When they were younger

GB has been friends with a neurotypical girl since they were three. They went to nursery school together, took swim lessons together, attended the same gymnastic class. They loved dress-up and dancing. They took hip hop and went roller skating. Our families took day trips to water parks, overnight trips to Six Flags. The girls went to Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice and a Selena Gomez concert together. There were barbeques, parties, and high tea. Our families grew so close that we went on a cruise together last summer and swam with the dolphins. We go to dinner with them most weeks.

Over the years, the girls progressed from coloring sheets we brought to entertain them, through dolls, craft projects, singing Kidz Bop, to Double This, Double That and Mary Mack. Both girls will be ten in less then two months. Double digits at last. Nothing stays the same, but sometimes you don’t notice the little changes as they happen. When you do notice them, it is all at once and the glare can catch you by surprise as it momentarily blinds you.

At dinner last night, it caught up with me. GB’s BFF was a Tween and GB was painfully left behind. BFF received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. She kept to herself, absorbed in the wonders of the internet. GB had made them bracelets and  BFF refused to take it. GB tried to connect with her and couldn’t. She was sure she had done something wrong and tried to make it right. It hurt to watch. Eventually, I brought GB by me and just held her.

On the way home, I cried silently. GB is unable to be a tween. With her developmental delays, it won’t be happening anytime soon. Like most mothers, when she hurts, I hurt.

Laying in bed together, GB asked me what awful thing she had done to make BFF not like her anymore. I told her she had not done anything awful, but was unable to explain what happened so that GB understood it. I can’t change it. I can’t take the hurt away.

Friday nights at Friendly’s was an enjoyable era that may be coming to a close.

Hope’s First Playdate

Hope went on her first play date today. It wasn’t that she has made enough progress to try it, but rather that GB had made a friend during Challengers softball. Her friend has a younger brother who is eight and developmentally delayed and their house is set up so it is easy to provide constant supervision. GB and her friend, Jordan, did crafts while Hope and Tyler played with the doll house, swung on the indoor swing, and watched Scoobie Doo. There were the expected rough spots, but with two adults there to intervene, nothing got out of hand. Hope had a great time and didn’t want to leave. Hope’s first social success! I am hoping to give her another opportunity soon.

Hope, Party, and No Social Skills

Hope’s birthday party was today. GB has been fragile since we cut pack the Invega. Only two of the nine other kids in Hope’s class came. GB’s NT friends filled in the gap, but when the party was over, Hope wanted to know why her other classmates weren’t there. I told her I didn’t know, because I couldn’t tell her she has no friends because she has no social skills. Not only would that have been negative, but it probably would have ignited a meltdown. I need to get Hope’s IEP out and write some smart goals for social skills before the next CSE meeting. It was a strange party… the birthday girl didn’t interact with most of her guests.