Magnolia’s Story

Why Playdates

Magnolia & Esther

Magnolia and Esther’s mothers have been friends since they were 5 and 6 years old. They met at Peggy’s dance studio. The friendship has had some ups and downs, especially during the preteen and teenage era, but they have remained friends these last 30 years. They were so excited when they found out they were both pregnant, due 3 months apart and both having girls. Let’s just say all the talk was now about hair bows, ballet slippers, and having them wear matching outfits. Esther was the first to the party arriving in February and 3 months later in April, Magnolia joined.

Magnolia and Esther had several play dates while they were cozy in their momma’s bellies. On their very first play date in the outside world Magnolia was just 6 days old while Esther was just shy of 3 months by 3 days. Their mothers made a pact to have a play date every month, so their daughters would of course be best friends too. Play dates were scheduled regularly until the pandemic. Facetime and picture exchange had to suffice for a short time.

From Kacee

I think one amazing example of our friendship is unconditional love. The fact that we genuinely love each other’s children and are so happy for each of their accomplishments as they grow up. I admit when I started to notice that Nolie wasn’t hitting some of her milestones as she should I hesitated in telling Miranda. Especially when Esther started doing something new, but when I saw that Miranda was genuinely proud of Esther and didn’t hold it against her or me that she was different than Magnolia I knew I could share everything with her.

That is something I am very grateful for. Not everyone can handle the differences as well as Miranda has. It’s humbling for me to witness and it makes me want to be a better friend to her and do whatever I can to support her and Magnolia.

From Miranda

These past 3 years we have watched our girls grow and love each other. We did not influence their relationship but provided an atmosphere of love and fun. Esther started saying words, then sentences, and can now hold a conversation. Magnolia hasn’t gotten there yet. She only uses 2 words in context “no” and “bye”. However, that has never hindered their communication. They still play and chase each other. Esther has gotten used to hearing Magnolia’s high-pitched squeals and Magnolia now lets Esther hold her hand. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for their friendship.

After Magnolia’s diagnosis, I searched for extracurricular programs for her to be involved in. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the Baton Rouge Area. I then began to think about how I could fix this issue. The latest study shows that every 1 in 44 children is autistic. Why aren’t there more extracurricular programs and why aren’t other programs more inclusive of neurodivergent children?

This is how the Foundation was formed. Creating inclusive play dates for all children so that they might learn from each other through play. After all, an autistic child grows up to be an autistic adult. Just as a neurotypical child will grow up to be a neurotypical adult. Exposing kids to different learning abilities will one day create a more inclusive society.