The Friendships My Son on the Autism Spectrum Developed This School Year


Editor's Note

This story has been published with permission from the author’s son.

They say people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, but what if “they” got it wrong? What if it’s not just one or the other? What if people come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime? I believe people can and do, and I have no doubt Ryan has two friends who came into his life for all three.

A reason: to show Ryan what acceptance looks like and feels like and to give him the confidence he needed to show others what he is capable of and that he is in no way ever “less.”

A season: two short years he shared the stage with them in chorus and their high school musical, but for that “season” they treated Ryan with respect and admiration, not because he is autistic, but because they admired his musical ability, his work ethic and him.

A lifetime: the season may have been too short for him — and most assuredly for me — but the reason these two amazing human beings came into his life will undoubtedly impact Ryan for a lifetime. And I believe he has impacted them, too.

As Ryan’s mom, I can’t even begin to imagine what his life would have been like had these two friends not tried to connect with him, not tried to see him, not tried… anything. Ryan and I both look forward to seeing where these two kids’ incredible talent and dreams take them next! Ryan may not ask to sign their yearbook, he may not text them on the day before they leave for college, but believe me when I tell you how aware he is and how grateful he is that these friends both came into his life for a reason, a season and a lifetime.

And so am I.

Image Credits: Kathy Hooven

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