My friend and teammate Dee has five kids, two large dogs, and 18 chickens; there's a lot going on at her house. Ryan loves going over there to hold the silkie chicken and to be part of the joyous chaos that is a large household.
|Silkie chickens look like little llamas.|
Absorb that. Typical kids are inviting Ryan to play with them.
Gio is almost 7 and refers to Ryan as "Silly Ryan," to distinguish him from the other Ryans he knows. "He's so funny!" Gio gushes. "He makes me laugh."
Gio and Ryan splash around together in the pool at the Y, along with Gio's 5-year-old sister Lovie. Gio enjoys picking Ryan up in the water and carrying him around the shallow end. Lovie likes to play Marco Polo, and doesn't mind that Ryan needs my help to follow the rules. Both of them can swim well, but they don't care that Ryan can't. Lovie even tried to teach Ryan how to jump into the pool from the side, and didn't seem at all frustrated that her lesson didn't take.
Ryan seems to enjoy their company, and refers to them as "Miss Dee's friends, Gio and Evy." He frequently asks if we can go to their house to "see the chickens," but while we're there he's perfectly open to playing with the humans as well.
These are the most open, accepting children we've met in the last year.
Gio once said Silly Ryan is his best friend.
Pardon me, there's something in my eye.