The Buddy Bench

As he sat on the buddy bench for a rest, my heart broke a little. I imagined him sitting here by himself, yearning for a friend-someone who understands and accepts him. Someone other than his Mom, Dad, brother and sisters.

My son Stalen is 7 years old, autistic and non-speaking. I have prayed, hoped and wished for amazing friends for him.

I find it hard to build and maintain friendships and relationships. I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone who has difficult communicating. But, I know he will find his way and learn to build and forge friendships, the Stalen way.

It takes someone special to see beyond the challenges instead of just seeing the challenges; to see the whole person. I’m hoping for that special person for my son, or special people.

We have had brief tastes of friendship. Invitations to a party, a child reading Stalen a book, a child sitting beside him to eat a snack, a child who told his parents all about his friend Stalen.

A true heart connection lies at the basis of friendship and that is what I’m hoping for for Stalen.

A friend who will giggle when he tells them a joke on his communication device, a friend who will sit beside him at eat their snack while Stalen is hooked up to his feeding pump, a friend that won’t blink twice at his stimming and arm flapping, a friend who thinks his super hero ostomy bag cover is cool, a friend that can come to Dairy Queen with us on Fridays and run through the sprinkler on hot days.

A friend who will see that together they can have fun, go on adventures, and support and encourage each other.

A friend who always sits next to him on the buddy bench.


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