We try to go to the park at least once a week, sometimes more. Every time we get close, Evan gets prematurely excited that "there are no kids there" even before we are able to tell if there are kids there. Having kids at the park usually ruins it for him. Which is one of the reasons we go so often.
A few days ago we went to the park. There was a family playing tennis, but no one on the playground. Evan was excited. Then a little girl, around 2, saw Evan and came to play with him. Do you know what happened? He played with her! He even talked to her after a while. It started out with him mouthing words to her, trying to direct which slide she should go down, but eventually he actually spoke, out loud, directly too her. Not to me about her, to her face! That might not seem like much to you, but that has not happened, not ever with someone that he doesn't know. Ever. They took turns, he laughed and smiled. It helped that she was younger than him, so that he could be the one directing the play and not feel pressured, but I was beyond excited!
Then yesterday happened. Evan was fairly anxious going to preschool, telling me with eyes welled that he didn't want to cry, and he didn't want me to leave. But when I went to pick him up a few hours later, Ms Jessie pulled me aside. I was a little nervous. Then she beamed. Told me how amazing Evan did that day. He spoke in sentences that they could hear, he joined the social circle all on his own, he even asked the aid Maylynn for help. Turned to face her and said "I need some help" Apparently Maylynn nearly fainted. :) Again, some of you may be thinking, so what? But this is a big deal people! He's only been to school three days and he's talking. Of course he talks non stop at home, but sometimes even around family he won't. He gets uncomfortable, or unsure and he just shuts down. Three days and he feels comfortable. !!!! I know that a big part of his improvement are those wonderful teachers in his preschool, and I am so grateful that he gets to be in this class. I cried on the way home I was so happy.
And to keep adding to the wonderfulness that is my son, we had a new friend come over for dinner last night. Evan has only met her once really. He was cautious around her at first, per his usual. But he quickly overcame it, and talked and smiled and acted as if he's seen her a million times in his life.
I think we may have really turned a corner in his little life. It thrills me. I want nothing more than for my child to feel comfortable with himself, and to feel comfortable and loved by those around him, family, friends etc. I'm not delusional, thinking that these moments will always be, or that he won't have anymore anxiety and stress in social situations. But I have hope, tangible hope, that things will continue to improve. Let me tell you, it feels great!