Most parents would give anything and do anything to help their child make and keep a genuine friendship. When we have a child with a disability this goal feels like the Holy Grail- coveted and mythical…that treasure just beyond our grasp. Or is it? If friendship and belonging are universally desired and attainable for pretty much the entire human race- why is it so elusive and problematic for kids with differences?
It’s a dangerous thing to come to behaviour problems or relationship issues with an expectation that a “recipe” approach will work. Top 10 lists and tips are great BUT they can’t provide long lasting change. The reason for that is because when we want neat and simple we dissolve a complicated situation into ridged steps. Doing this with kids means we shift the focus from REAL change to compliance- and that is a problem unto itself.
“Mom- how do you describe trust if it’s not there?”. That was the BIG QUESTION that popped up on our daily school commute just the other day. My daughter tends to ask very deep existential questions while we sit at red lights. It’s a good question too because trust is one of those things that if it IS missing there is a big problem or set of problems that can be traced back to it.