It is important to have friends who understand you, friends who can make you smile when you are feeling low, because they know how to reach you, and friends who will support you when you need them, as well as when everything is going smoothly. We all need friends to have a giggle and a gossip with and I feel blessed to have five best friends, each from a different phase of my life. I am still close to them all and I hope that they all know that I will be there whenever they need me. There is a saying that goes ‘ you will always be my friend, as you know too much’ but I really don’t have any black sheep in my cupboards, I just enjoy their company, or emails for those who are further afield.
I feel that Joshua has missed out in his life because he has not got any ‘best friends’ but perhaps boys do not tend to have those same close friendships anyway.My husband tended to have a gang of friends at school and college. Through primary school Joshua had just two petite girls who he related to more than anyone else. He made eye contact with them, he allowed them to mother him and he spoke his first spontaneous words to one of them at nursery, when he rushed in and asked her to ‘look at my face!’, as he still had a ‘spaghetti smile’ on it, as we had rushed out of the house after his lunch.
But he has had no special friends at special school, or since becoming a senior. He is now much more aware of the other teenagers in his class and he certainly has his favourites, those he would gravitate towards and would high 5 and seek them out. He has a vulnerability about him that means that he attracts caring young people who want to take care of him. He is starting to name a few of his classmates and can throw a ball to named people – although it is much more fun to choose to target the opposite person to the named one, then to giggle at his own joke! I know that a lot of young people of fond of Joshua, but I am looking for him to have a reciprocal friendship, where he is kind to someone back, rather that it being a one-sided relationship. Once he can achieve friendship, he will have, in my experience, something very special in his life.