How many things have changed in your life since your child was diagnosed with autism? Just a few? How about just about everything? Yeah, us too...including friendships.
We will always have those good friends that even when we don't talk or see each other for 6 months, you get together and it's like you haven't missed a beat. Even though they may not deal with autism or really know or understand what you go through, they offer help when they can and support you. Yes, sometimes conversation is difficult because as your kids get older, the differences become greater....but you have a fundamental connection with these friends and you know you can lean on them. These are the friends we keep.
I have also made some wonderful friends because of autism. Women who I know I can count on....no matter what. These are the mom's who can relate to what you are going through, they pick you up when you are down (because they've been there too), they hope with you, and share in your joy when that small but important milestone is reached (because they know how hard your child had to work to get there.) These friends don't get upset when you don't call for 3 weeks, because they understand how crazy your life is. These are the friends we make.
How many "pre autism" friends do you still have? All of them? Or, have some fallen by the way side? Not that you're not friends with them.....but your lives are just different now. It's just so hard to relate to soccer games and play dates when all you do is therapy and social group. They stop calling because they don't know what to say, or worse.....don't want to be around your child. It's sad that the differences between our kids have such a big impact on our friendships, but many time this is the case. These, are the friends we lose.
Autism has taught me many things......and one of them is who my friends are. I don't need hundreds of them.....just a few good ones!