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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Amazing moment #3-Acceptance


From the time Hunter started showing signs of being on the spectrum, I hoped he would one day find acceptance amongst his peers. I knew that I could love him and shelter him to a point, but eventually, he would have to face the wrath of the preteen and teenage years. We all know those years can be tough, but they are much harder for kids on the spectrum. I hoped that he would find his niche.

His first 2 years of middle school were very lonely. No one invited him over to their house or to birthday parties. He felt very isolated. Then, kids starting calling him names and pretending to be nice just to do mean things to him. I watched his demeanor change drastically. It broke my heart.
As I mentioned in my last post, we decided to switch schools for Hunter in November. It was a hard decision, but the turning point for us was seeing the attitudes of the students at the new school. They were smiling and kind to each other.  They were loving and supportive. The atmosphere was different. It seemed like a good fit,  and we prayed we were right.

A week into the switch, one of the other moms at school told me that the kids loved Hunter. They were really excited to have him at the school and he already had tons of friends. He apparently fit right in!
aspergers, autism, parenting, acceptanceHunter made the basketball team. He is 6’3” tall and an 8th grader, so the coaches and players were ecstatic. He has played on many recreational teams through the years, but he has never had the ability to make the school teams. Now, at this small school, he made the team. He was one of the guys. He was so excited.

Then the most amazing thing happened…we got a call asking if Hunter would like to go hang out at the mall with some of the boys (and girls) and go see a movie on Friday night. Of course, we let him go! He had an amazing time!! The kids loved him. They were nice to him.  His confidence soared. My heart sang!
We are now 2 months into the switch and not everything is perfect. His schoolwork is much tougher, and that is a nightly struggle. However, my son is happy. He has friends who truly care about him. They have now gone to the mall several times. He has had a friend spend the night. These boys look out for him. They accept his quirkiness. For now, he has found his niche and that is my amazing moment #3!