My younger sister and I were so excited to have children that were around the same age. We couldn’t wait for them to grow up together as best of friends. So as our 4 children have gotten older and their bonds continue to form, it has been difficult to watch Courtney not bond with her two children like I imagined she would. Don’t get me wrong, there is a bond and a bond that I cherish, but the bond is just different.

Twice a week we visit with them for a little bit. We’ve been doing this since Courtney was born. Twice a week I watch Alyssa play with her two cousins while I watch Courtney play by herself in another room. We work on encouraging them to play with each other but of course, Courtney is always more content playing on her own. It is absolutely beautiful to watch the relationship Alyssa is forming with her two cousins. She wants to do everything they are doing. She is like that annoying little sister trying to get into everything they do. You see her cousins loving having her around at one minute and then wanting her to leave them alone the next moment. Seriously, it’s the love/hate relationship we wanted. Just like siblings. As for their relationship with Courtney? They love her, you can tell they do. They watch out for her and they let me know when she’s doing something she shouldn’t.

As of recent, her two cousins, L and R have been asking me more questions about Courtney. The biggest one being “why doesn’t she talk?” There was also a time recently where Courtney had a pretty bad meltdown while at their house. I wasn’t there but apparently L was pretty scared by it and not understanding why she was so upset. It broke my hearing that Courtney’s behaviors scared him.

This week we were over at their house like always. Alyssa, L and R were dancing and Courtney just happened to be near them. Alyssa grabbed Courtney’s hand to get her to dance. Courtney loves the touch of other children’s hands. The engagement looked normal and beautiful. Alyssa moves on but Courtney wanted to touch more hands so she grabbed L’s hands. In typical little boy style he got put off because he was being touched by a girl. We explained to him that Courtney likes the feel of hands. Later outside, Courtney actually sat down next to L and grabbed his hand again. You can tell he was uneasy about it but then my dad and I explained why she was doing it. I told him that she likes when people gently scratch her hands. L then let her play with his hands. It was beautiful to see the bond happen. This moment also showed me that it was time to really teach her cousins about autism,

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