|Until now, guys like this have been Quinn's favorite friends|
Even at five years and four months, Quinn has still been stuck in the parallel play phase. He doesn't mind kids, but he shows no real interest in them, either.
This summer we had him in two social skills groups, and they seemed to make a bit of difference. We also tried some play dates, which mostly involved him playing with other kids' toys - or talking to their moms.
But lately he's been showing some interest in other kids. Unfortunately, he's showing it by stealing their toys and screaming at them to chase him as he runs away. But hey, we moms of special-needs kids take progress where we find it. And to me, this is progress. Even so, Quinn and I have talked quite a bit in the last week about other ways to get kids to play. He can say, "Can I play with that when you're done with it?" or "Can I play with you?" or "Would you like to play tag?"
And then... a massive leap forward.
After school one day last week, Quinn walked up to a little girl sitting on a wall and asked her, "What are you doing?" When she didn't answer he asked again. She still didn't answer, so he got on the wall too and started sliding away from her - and she followed him! I told him to tell her his name, which he did, and they started little-kid chatting away. I was just about crying I was so happy.
Then yesterday after Chinese school, he walked up to a little girl he knows (he's gone to her house to play with her toys!) and said, "Let's play tag!" She was too shy to respond, but her little brother wasn't, and pretty soon there was a rowdy game of three-way tag going on around us.
So many times I've watched Quinn play on his own as friendships form all around him and wondered if he'd ever connect. And now, at last, I see signs that he's doing just that.
It's a good day.