Autism & Friendship
(Marley Bleu and Arizona Ray, true blue friends)
One of the things they always told me about autism is that Arizona might never have friends.
I remember, early on, sitting in IEP meetings and listening to the school psychologists shake their heads and look at me sympathetically when I asked questions about what my daughter’s future would look like. “It’s going to be tough,” they said. “Your daughter will always need help; her entire life. It will be hard for her to show affection to you or others. She might not be able to make friends. She won’t know how to have relationships with people.”
I heard these words with tears streaming down my cheeks, instantly worried about Arizona’s place in the world. At the same time, though, I also remember having deep feelings that they were wrong. No one could foresee my child’s future. Her possibilities were unlimited; that I have felt, always.
And so the other day, we went to our favorite neighborhood jaunt (www.kayndaves.com) with our family friends whose children are Arizona’s bona fied BEST FRIENDS in the world.
Especially 11 year old Marley, who is Arizona’s hero and mentor. Arizona has known her since birth and has followed her through every step of life.
I asked them to pose for a quick pic… and this is what I got : a photo that captures it all – friendship, connection, love, engagement, camaraderie, possibilities!
My heart is full. We just never know, do we? We never know what is possible.