As a parent, one of my biggest concerns is, “What kind of friends will my kids make?” Obviously I want them to spend their time with positive, loving friends. But the first step is actually MAKING those friends, and watching your child struggle to do so can be truly gut-wrenching. My daughter had trouble making friends from ages 3-5 and it was really tough on both of us. Perhaps that’s why the story of Molly-Raine, a 7-year-old girl with autism, cracked my mom heart wide open.
(Photo: Karen Adams)
According to Molly’s mom Karen Adams, Molly-Raine’s had to write about what qualities she’d like in a friend for a homework assignment. Molly-Raine was so passionate about getting the message out about what people with autism need in a friend, that she actually asked her mom post the letter on Reddit “because someone might read it and tell their child about autism.” The heartbreaking letter to a potential friend quickly went viral, and it’s easy to see why:
Monday, 12 September
Someone who …
- Understands me
- Knows I have autism
- Smiles all the time
- Keeps me company when I am sad
(Photo: Karen Adams)
I love this sweet girl’s honesty and heart! I also love that at her young age she understands that it’s important to educate people about how we can reach out to those with special needs and love them as they need to be loved.
Parents, almost all of us know a child with autism. I want to challenge you to do what I’m going to do tonight: sit down with my son and daughter, talk about the people in our lives we know with autism, read Molly-Raine’s list, and discuss how we can reach out to those who need a friend. People who aren’t “typical” are made in the image of God and reflect His glory just like you and I do, and they are a VITAL part of the kingdom of God here on earth!
Naturally Molly-Raine has gotten hundreds of friendship offers from strangers all over the internet—let’s honor her as families by making some valuable real-life friendships within the special needs communities in our area!