“Mom, I don’t have any friends”…

My son and I were coming home last week from taking my daughter, his sister, to tumbling.  He became quiet as he sat across from me in the front seat and it was like Jesus whispered to me, “Ask him if everything is ok,” and so I did.

I couldn’t have braced myself for what was to come next.  Kindly, I looked his way and asked, “Ethan is everything ok, son?”  He looked at me and replied very maturely, “Mom, puberty and autism are really hard.”  Oh Wow, one of these conversations.  I inquired hoping to have him open up more.  I asked, “I know it must be buddy. What is going on to make you feel this way?”  He looked at me and replied, “Changing classes and going back and forth makes me really nervous.”  Well, chiming in with a quick solution like I would for my “social butterfly” daughter, I said confidently, “Well, maybe one of your friends can go with you as you move from class to class.”  I truly wasn’t prepared for what I would hear next (Gosh, parents, are we ever?)

He continued with, “Mom, I don’t have any friends,”….ok, it was one of those stab-me-in-the-heart-with-a-knife moment as tears just poured from both my eyes…my only saving grace was that I was able to hide some of these tears behind my dark sunglasses.  I tried to stay strong as he watched me cry and then said, “Mom it is true, I don’t.”

By this time, I had to grab my handkerchief that sits by my driver side and now it was obvious that I was crying and crying hard, but I had to wipe my eyes because I could no longer see the road ahead.  I didn’t know what to say…but, I did know how to listen and feel his pain…he is my son.

“Just like Jesus.  We may feel like He doesn’t know what to say to us when we hurt, but Jesus is the best listener and He can comfort us when no one else can.”

The only thing that came out of my mouth was, “Ethan, if it helps any, I will always be your friend.”  He looked my way and his complete demeanor changed as he asked, “Really, you will?”  I tried smiling as I said, “Yes, I promise you that I will always be your friend and you can come to me with anything.  And, I love you so much.”

For whatever reason, Jesus refrained him from asking me why I was crying because I guess he knew I hurt for him.

I am not writing this to get pity for my son, but I wanting to share what many children with autism feel each and every day…..

As a Mom, I want you to know that being a friend to a child with autism, no matter what their age, is not about asking them over to play or go to a ballgame with you- it is simply about acknowledging them and saying their name when you pass them in the hall or see them in the grocery store or on the school bus.  Don’t simply ignore them because they have feelings too even though they may hide them better than you or me.  When these simple little things happen, they feel like they have many friends.

My son is not very social and that is fine.  He loves having his alone time on the trampoline or reading his dictionary (yes, very odd to most of us), but I wouldn’t have it any other way because through this child, God is teaching me so much humility!

Let’s be a Champion for Children with Autism…won’t you like my new pageMarvel in your Autistic Eyes on Facebook so we can share more stories about these amazing lives?

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain,”…Isaiah 53:3

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  One thought on ““Mom, I don’t have any friends”…

  1. Lourdes Castillo
    August 26, 2016 at 7:04 am

    My son has Autism and ADHD. He is now 20 years old and in college learning basic living skills. He is a social butterfly which totally surprised me. But, if he is around anyone for about 20 min or more he goes off by himself for about 15 min to decompress. We kind of just taught him that if he needs alone time and people don’t understand just to say, “I need a few minutes I’ll be right back”. He explains about the Autism and how sometimes everything is just too much, and they understand. We’ve educated everyone he’s come in contact with so they know not to push. He also like to hang around with people that are generally the age of his mentality. He’s 20 with the mind if a 10-13 year old. So his friends are “age” appropriate. This has helped alot in his development. Many Autistic kids are mature mentally, and don’t understand how to be children. So having them associate with kids that they feel comfortable around age wise can help them learn to be just one if the gang. Hang in there mom, you’re doing a great job. When your son clicks with that one child (boy or girl) it is going to be so amazing. God bless you and your son. As they get older it gets a little easier. And besides, others don’t or will never know the absolute blessing in having a child with Autism. I tell people my son is so fun and funny, he’s a hoot. Gotta love him :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa M.
    August 26, 2016 at 2:44 am

    As I read this, I cried. I’m actually still crying. I’ve been here and it hurts. My son is grown now, a young man. He’s done amazing things and has had the courage even with aspergers to chase his dreams.
    When he started HS it was tough. The crowded, fast paced hallways made him panic and being late to class was a big worry for him. His older sister helped him find little passageways that were really unused and not known by many of the other students to navigate his way around. Friends were an issue too but as 9th grade rolled on he started to make some. By senior year he had a nice little group of friends. Tell your son that he will make friends, he may not even know he’s making them until one day he just realizes they’re there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you Lisa for taking the time to write. Growing up for any teen is hard; however, when your child begins understanding they are unique, it can make it even more difficult and scary. We know God has a plan for his life and I believe his new book will encourage many other families! Blessings to you and your family

      Like

  3. Dawn Kaiser
    August 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    We are struggling with this exact thing…plus more. Thanks for reminding me that we’re not alone in this struggle. Praying for peace, patience,& understanding for y son everyday. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kellee W. Flurry
    August 21, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    So very well written Mary! Awareness is what we want and not pity, as you said above. I took Emilee to the movies yesterday and she was wanting a friend to go…As always I never expect any of the other kids to want to go.. She is 17 now and it is just normal to accept that the end result is usually no one wants to go with her to the movies. On occasion their are just 2-3 that have gone in the past. The little girl that lives down the rode has accepted Emilee’s disability and was glad that Emilee asked her to go to the movies. We had a good time and later I thanked her. I know that she is busy with high school volley ball, but as kids get older there are a special few who like to give back and accept people who are different and who love spending time with others who are different.. God will send Ethan the right friends. Thank you for writing about this topic and keeping awareness on Autism and the issues that we as parents are faced with on a daily basis…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Tell your son that it is okay if he is on his own. Because he is Autistic, the world inside his own mind is amazing and rich. We are happy on our own until society tells us that our lack of friendship is strange or inappropriate. When we grow up we will still only have a hand full of friends, but they will be TRUE and HONEST friends because we ourselves are loyal and true. Sending my love.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 21, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Aww, that is great! Thanks for sharing this and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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