Today Herbie came home from school and excitedly reported that his classmate, S, told him he was his best friend! It was so fun to hear! This particular little boy also has some special needs, but my impression is that his needs are pretty much the opposite of Herbie's needs. He is polite and sweet, listens and follows rules and directions, but struggles mightily with academic subjects and sounds like he has some articulation difficulties. They ride the same bus and for several weeks have been working through Highlights Puzzle Buzz magazines on their way to school. We met up with S and his parents at a playground the other day and had a fun time getting to know them. Then we had S over for lunch after school and I took him home after they boys played for awhile. Herbie has not stopped talking about it, and apparently S can't wait for the next time either.
Herbie asks questions about why S likes him, so that makes for a good discussion starter about how people like you if you are kind, and other qualities of friendship. It is nice to have a basis for discussion finally, rather than it being so abstract about why he should be nice to people and how they feel when you treat them well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he can maintain this friendship through the summer and hoping they are assigned to the same classroom next year.