Experiments in Socializing

March 13, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

During Liam’s therapy session, Dr. Rebecca encouraged Liam to interact with other children by asking him to say hi and introduce himself. He wasn’t thrilled, but he tried it. Normally when we encounter a horde of children in a play space Liam just wants to leave. But the doctor said the best thing we can do for him is get him in the mix, encourage him to talk to others, and face his anxiety. So, today, we did just that.

We started the day in tumbling class, and I think he might be ready to graduate to the older class. He’s doing much better following directions, certainly much better than most of his three-year-old peers. He may be the same size as them, but he’s acting more like a five-year-old. Since he didn’t have school today, we stayed to watch the older class for a little bit. Yeah, I think he’ll be ready to join them in April.

Then it was off to Chick-fil-A for lunch. The place was mobbed. We sat in the play area for about five minutes trying to acclimated, but he just wasn’t having it. “This place is too crowded, let’s go!” Sunny and 65 today, let’s go play at High Park, I offered. And he agreed, though with the caveat that if that was too crowded, we’d go home.

Sure enough, we pulled up to the park and it was pretty crowded. But I pressed on, telling Liam this wasn’t too bad, let’s go! I encouraged him to say hi to a little girl. But he mostly stayed in one place and watched all the other kids play. I left him alone for awhile, letting him gauge the situation and get used to things. I walked around the playground a few times, observing him as he observed all the kids running around. Finally, the bigger group of children left and he seemed to relax. One little boy his age was running around, and when he got close to Liam, I ran over and asked him his name. I introduced him to Liam, then got Liam to say “hi” and tell the boy his name. Five minutes later, they were chasing each other around the playground and attempting to play hide and seek. I say attempting because the boy, who may have been a little older, kept counting but Liam wasn’t really hiding.

After the boy and his family left, I talked with Liam about how much fun he’d had at the park. When we’d arrived he whined that he didn’t know anybody and he wanted to leave. But this little experience reinforced that it’s fun to play with kids we don’t know. I think we’re making progress!

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