You know how when you have a teenager you spend most of your days wishing they had a few moments for you?
I spend most of my days wishing the opposite.
Not that I don’t cherish the time I get to spend with my 16 year-old, or treasure the fact that autism has left her with an innocence and naivete few teenagers have, but there are things I wish for her because I know they are what would make her happy.
I wish she got asked to a football game or a friend offered to drive her home from school or that I had a reason to establish a curfew.
I wish she debated over which outfit to wear to the movies on Friday or I had to bug her to be home for dinner once in a while.
My daughter is a lovely, outgoing, friendly teenager who is well loved in her school. But, her evenings and weekends are spent with family. It is a very rare occasion when she is asked to do something outside of school by one of her peers.
She lights up when her phone rings and would drop just about anything for a chance to go to a school-related event.
I wish making these things happen did not involve a parent-driven initiative but it does.
And that is where Stefanie and the amazing community she has build at Ooph comes in.
Stefanie and I would like to create a teen-to-teen (or tween-to-tween) buddy program.
We would love to see Ooph readers begin this conversation in your own home.
Does your teen know any students with special needs in his or her school? Is there a way they could involve them in after school activities?
Begin the conversation at home, help your child see that not everyone is blessed with a full social calendar. This is where we will begin.
In the upcoming weeks you will see more on Perfectly imPaired and how you can get involved. But for now, plant the seed at home, see what your children have to say. We will roll out more formal plans soon but if this post results in the ringing phone of just one teen with autism? Then I can promise you, I won’t be the only mom smiling.
If you have any questions on how to help your child interact with someone on the autism spectrum you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.