Social Situations – The Keller Carnival…

April 21, 2012

Friends to the EndWithout question, Zak’s biggest issue is social situations and how to act appropriately amongst others, especially his peers.  Crowd situations and being around other children were usually very hard on Zak.  What I have seen over the course of the past 4 years is short of amazing.

He has come such a long way in just the past year that I cannot express how excited we are. Tooday was the Keller Carnival, a little school fundraiser that the kids enjoy going to becuase there are games, bouncy houses and snow cones.  Every kids dream!  However, for Zak, this type of event can be overwhelming.  Too many people.  Too loud and certainly, too over stimulating.  But today demonstrated just how far he has come.  When we arrived, he immediately found Dominic, a boy in his class and with  whom he is in chess club.  Zak greeted Dominic with eye contact and asked if he wanted to play.  Big!  Huge!  In the past, he would never approach another child let alone speak with them.  Unless you were in his face, you likely were getting nothing and you had better like it.

Better yet, here comes Khloe, a sweet, precious, special young lady that is also in his class.  This little wonder is such a force in Zak’s world it is hard to seperate the two like gravity and ourselves.  They go everywhere together and Zak is simply drawn to her.  Likely, it is because she is a girl and her “aggession” is not like a boys.  It is not perfect meaning he does not always engage her but she is a perfect fit as a friend – just what Zak needs.  And he certainly did not say hi to everyone.  Many a teacher and kid said hi to Zak but he was lost in his own world at times (or focused on Khloe).  He is either lost in his world or hers.  It is too sweet and too cute.  Most autistics, as they get older, never marry or maintain long term relationships.  I may have to adopt this child just to keep her around for Zak.

Socially, it is not a perfect situation.  In class he can still meltdown and it is easy for him to become overstimulated.  Meltdowns and the affect they have on the impression Zak makes to other students will be detremental long term, especially in high school.  Our goal is to make sure that those subside but man, to seee him interact today, we can say we have come a very long way.  I am proud of my son.  I am proud of us.    Stay sane everyone.

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