Once again, let's "time warp" ... :)
I used to take Austin to playgroup around the time he was 18 months old. I met up with another mother and we became chummy. She introduced me to our local playgroup and we took the kids once a week. There were maybe five kids and four of them were boys. The group was pretty small but Austin stood out even then. He never played with any of the other children, beside yes, but not directly with them. I remember one of the father's telling me not to worry, his son was pretty independent too ... yeah, but his son would offer my son trucks, food, a hug, you name it! Austin would look at him like he was from another planet and walk away! :(
Snack time was worse! Austin went from eating everything, to eating nothing! I would have to bring his own snack just so he would eat! Mind you, that is if I could get him to sit more than 10 seconds ... it was truly discouraging. I thought that I was not strict enough or my son did not have enough structure ... I was convinced that I had no idea what I was doing. Looking around and seeing all the other children sitting at the snack table ... happy, eating, patient ... meanwhile, I am doing laps around the table chasing Austin. Oh, those were the days!
The doors at playgroup. They were another issue. Austin would go out the doors and want to get down the stairs, so we would bolt the doors. Bolted doors and the other parents arriving could not get in with the kids. You can't imagine how many times I had to explain to new parents or drop-ins that my son was a Houdini enthusiast! ;) I mean it, you could not take you eyes off of Austin when he was young ... scary looking back. I am glad I was so in tune to his behaviour and protected him everywhere we went. I am so grateful for that.
Playtime was like more like track! Austin would run up and down the hallways, he would bounce off the walls! It was nuts! He would always get sick too. I decided not to take him anymore, so we took a break for a while. I returned when Austin was almost a year older (I was pregnant with Kaleigh), expecting a different reaction, it wasn't so different. He did play a bit with other children but only the ones that ran or played chase. He played a lot with one boy who was just like Austin. His mother said she had never met another boy like her son and was happy Austin was like him. (If she only knew!) Anyway, she expressed how the other parents made comments about her son and how it affected her. We sort of bonded together and let the boys play the way they played ... differently. Unfortunately, she moved away and I did not get to see her again. Needless to say, Austin's behaviour kept up so I decided, no more playgroup. It was a good decision.
When I look back, I know it is because Austin was so stimulated by this environment and just didn't know how to play with other kids ... he is doing so much better today and it is wonderful. :) I am grateful to the mother who first brought me to playgroup (although we do not see each other anymore) and very grateful to others like the Maven (she always supported Austin even though he was a little different and still does ... thanks hon ox!) and of course, Kit (she was there early on when no one else was and she still stands by my and Austin's side ... thanks sweet girl ox)!
*HUGS* to everyone! :)