Tate has a play date today. I’m an anxious mess. He seems ok–as we’ve gone over the social story, and he knows the boy we’re playing with, but still…I am nervous. Our play date is with a boy who is in the regular education classroom. He’s a great kid–very patient, and kind. The teachers recommended that we ask his mom, as he was one of Tate’s champions all year.
His mom is a sweet person, too. She asks questions, and asks about Tate. She talks to him, not at or about him. When I sent an email asking for a play date, she accepted very quickly. I was all confident at first..and as we get closer to the play date, I find that I’m a bit of a mess. I just want it to go smoothly. It doesn’t have to be perfect or flawless, but I just want us all to come out of it on the up-side.
Tate will bee-line for the swings. It’s his “thing”. At first, his friend will go to the swings, but as any other seven year old boy does, he’ll get bored and need to move on. That’s where things break down.
Thankfully, Tate’s therapist is coming with us to help facilitate. She’ll do the painful (to me) task of forcing Tate out of his comfort zone. She’ll encourage him to play a game or go on an apparatus that his friend chooses–it is about give and take.
I worry about the conversation. To say that conversational speech is an area of concern is an understatement–especially with peers. It will be hard for me to watch them converse. Again, Tate’s therapist will help facilitate some back-and-forth between them. She’s excellent with that. And she doesn’t have the “mom” factor going for her…I mean, she cares about Tate and wants what’s best for him, but she obviously doesn’t have the maternal attachment that I do…and thankfully she’ll be able to get Tate to talk without talking for him. (Something I tend to do when I so badly want the conversation to work well…)
I am bringing along the soccer ball. Tate can hold his own, and his friend does love sports, so it might be something they have in common…and will be able to use as an interactive game. So there’s that.
I have all this angst..and we’re only going to be at the park for an hour. 60 minutes. In the scheme of things, this is nothing…but it is everything, too. Tate has made a lot of progress in many areas…and I really hope to see him expand his horizons with peers. If we can navigate this experience well, there is hope for future play dates. And that would be wonderful…for us both.