She has absolutely no "they are a bit different" radar to speak of.
Take yesterday when we went to our friend Lexi's birthday party, she fitted right in with the boys who all have autism or something along those lines. She was in ecstasies about the lego figure in the party bags and about all the lego Lexi got for his birthday. She didn't make any comment on the fact that J was wearing Ear Defenders (something P does voluntarily when things get too much for her anyway!). It was also great for her as no one batted an eye that she didn't want her pizza because it wasn't round and pizzas are meant to be round (I have to say these friends wouldn't have batted an eyelid anyway but it was nice to be at a party where quirky was the norm!). Or her mild panic that the sugar in the cake would make her sick!
My particularly proud moment came when we headed off to the SEN play session at a local soft play area. There was a boy, lets call him O, who came running out of there as soon as our lot entered saying they shouldn't be there. We explained that they were autistic so it was allowed and that settled that. It transpired that O likes hugging little girls so the 3 non quirky girls were prime hugging material so spent a lot of time running away from him. Phoebe once she realised that he just wanted to be friends went and hugged him, took him by the hand and played with him beautifully! His Mum was really quite touched and Phoebe is still talking about O today.
Phoebe has loads of quirks that make her stand out alone amongst her peers a lot of the time but she also has a massive all encompassing heart and absolutely no fear of showing it. Once she has someone pigeon holed in her head (I think she has an internal naughty / nice list) she will be unfailingly kind and loving.
Next week's party will be more interesting for her as it is Rowan's birthday and this means hoards of 6-7yr old girls! I am predicting Phoebe and Lexi, iphones and headphones! Still Clara will have a ball, her and Rowan are so close it is lovely to see. It is nice for them to have each other too as they both miss out on the traditional sibling interaction on some levels.
There are a few negatives to opening your eyes to the fact that something isn't quite right with your child. But some of the benefits are amazing and Phoebe's massive heart and willingness to use it is definitely one of them!