Michael was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism – when he was five years old. Since then he’s struggled to be comfortable in social situations and has found it so hard to make friends.
Birthday parties, summer camps, play dates – it was always difficult for Michael. And all we wanted, as his parents, was for him to have fun and enjoy the companionship of kids his own age.
Last year one of Michael’s teachers told us about a JSSA socialization program for teens on the spectrum – “Going Places!” – offered in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. I immediately loved the name and thought that’s just what Michael needs – a program that will literally take him places and put him into new situations with others just like him.
Since his first outing he hasn’t missed one get together during the last six months! Whether a picnic, a trip to the bowling alley or movie night, he can’t wait to see his friends. Yes, friends. I never realized what a wonderful word that is…