When you have two children who are social, excel and enjoy the activities they are in, and are gone for hours with other children, you tend not to think of it being any different for your third child. Unfortunately for us, it was a gigantic concern as we attempted to understand the world of Sawyer.
At 3 years old, it was abundantly clear that his ability to connect with children his own age just wasn’t there. It was like we had a one year old who had the appearance of his peers but his appearance was deceiving.
Nothing was more heartbreaking than other kids approaching Sawyer at a playground and asking him if he wanted to play or for us to attempt to explain that he just couldn’t. I remember our own children trying to figure out why he would only go on the swing and flap his hands with excitement.
Nothing hurt more than seeing kids his own age doing what he couldn’t do. Even having two children who could, it wasn’t enough for us. It just didn’t seem fair that he couldn’t.
It was equally unfair for us to even think that way but that was the world we were living. Regardless of what words of encouragement we were getting, our eyes weren’t stupid.
We were terrified that he would live his life on the outskirts. We were nauseated at the thought of a life of parallel play. All we wanted was for him to have an inkling of conversing with another child and the hope of making a friend.