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angelbear
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15 Jul 2012, 4:20 pm

Reading this made me really sad. My son just turned 7, and he has no friends, and doesn't seem to desire making any. He really doesn't even play very much. He will play some at a playground, but I have to encourage him to pick something to do, or he will just run around aimlessly. I have seen children give him a look that he was strange even when I felt that my son hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. It is just like the kids picked up on that something was different. It just breaks my heart, and I have no idea what to do about it,or if I should even worry about it. He seems happy and does not really seem interested in friends at this point. Even when we try to encourage him to try and join in with children playing, he just says "no thank you" or "I don't want to." I am just really worried about him.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone, and you are lucky that your boy is even trying to make friends.



victorytea
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15 Jul 2012, 5:27 pm

I have read that what your son is experiencing is quite common with children on the spectrum and I do appreciate your kind words. We have found that when Caleb interacts with good kids , he does pretty well. He interacts very well with adults and we are thinking it may be because adults are just not mean to Caleb and usually play along with whatever he wants to do. Caleb gets speech therapy , which has very little to do with his speech ( he speaks very well) but more to do with conversing appropriately- and I think it may help. this therapy is provided by our school system and
maybe it's worth looking into for your son. I hope that Caleb can have at least one best friend as he grows up- kinda like Forest Gump and "Ginny" ( I think that was her name) had a lifelong friendship. Paul



angelbear
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15 Jul 2012, 5:35 pm

Thanks for your reply Victorytea. My son is in the special needs program in the public school system (has been since he was 3 yrs old). He too receives speech therapy even though he can converse in full sentences and have a conversation. He tends to talk about his special interest (car makes and models) and he says odd things out of context. He too prefers adults and everywhere we go, he latches on to the adults and pretty much ignores the kids. I know what you mean about the nice kids. I have noticed the difference in the attitudes and personalities of children since I am always studying them. I too hope that one day my son will be able to have at least one good friend. He does seem to prefer little girls to boys ( I think it is because they are not as rough) Who knows, maybe he will have a girlfriend one day. I try not to lose hope, but it does hurt. It helps to share things here because others know what we are going through.



victorytea
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15 Jul 2012, 8:38 pm

Caleb prefers girls also- not as aggressive, I assume. My lord, we feel sorry for our children but when I see some of the things children go through- I realize how lucky Caleb and this family are. Keep the faith and realize you have a different but very interesting little person. He may turn out to have some real interesting talents!! Love you - Paul



angelbear
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15 Jul 2012, 8:48 pm

Thank you for sharing. I know, I just adore my son, and most adults think he is the most precious thing around, so it is not so bad. I know what you mean, there is a little 9 yr old girl in our neighborhood suffering from a rare form of brain cancer. It made me stop to think how blessed we are. We have a loving family, and my son knows that we love him and are here for him. I have a strong faith. It has what has gotten me through so far. Take care!



InThisTogether
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15 Jul 2012, 9:06 pm

My kids both own the word weird. Seriously. We wear it like a badge of pride in this house. We are all weird. All three of us. From early on, I have tried to desensitize them to this word, because I knew it would be used to describe them.

That doesn't make what those boys did right by any stretch of the imagination. The thing to remember, I think, is that 7 year olds in general have pretty sketchy social skills. I do not think 7 year olds necessarily really think about how their behavior effects others.

Here is an approach I have used before with success. You could easily adapt it. My daughter has been verbal for a few years now, but when she first started talking, it was late and she had some speech impediments on top of everything else. One day we were at the playground and she tried to talk to another little girl who quickly said "You talk like a baby." I went over and said to the little girl "You know, she does still talk a little bit like a baby, doesn't she? You see, she only just started to learn to talk and she is only starting to learn how to make friends. Would you like to help her?" The little girl said yes and then sat and played with her for probably 15 minutes straight.

In your case you might say "Yes, you may have noticed that Caleb does some unusual things. He is very smart, but his brain works a little differently than yours does. But he can be a really good friend and a lot of fun to play with. We brought some bubbles/chalk/toys/balls (whatever), would you guys like to play?"

The thing is...we can't ignore the fact that our kids do indeed, do things that are unusual and sometimes to the observer, weird. My son fills his pockets with rocks. Weird for a 10 year old. Got to acknowledge it. To pretend like they don't doesn't help anyone gain understanding IMHO. I think we need to acknowledge it. Yes. Caleb does unusual things. But he is still a fun kid to play with and still can be a good friend. Ykwim?

BTW, other kids' meanness is the worst part of this whole thing for me. I was picked on a lot as a kid and it breaks my heart to see that my kids are going to have to go through the same. I cope with it by trying to be an ambassador and to teach them to do the same. No sense in stooping to their level. I am teaching my kids that other people's ignorance reflects poorly on the other person, not on them (my kids) and trying to help them see that people who need to put others down to feel good about themselves actually should be pitied as it is a very sad way to go through life.

That's not to say that all of this doesn't hurt though. It cuts like a knife.



helles
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01 Aug 2012, 3:44 am

I had no idea then, that I have asperger (just found out recently), I think my oldest son is on the spectrum as well.

When my oldest boy was about 5, he was in kindergarden. It was a fairly small place with grown ups monitoring what was going on and a friendly athmosphere (we were lucky). We were living in the big city and it was one of those outdoor kindergardens, where they took the bus every morning to a small house in the forest outside the city.

At that time he was very much into Pooh's Heffalump Movie (and dinosaurs, when 3 years old he played protowhale on the floor). He always did well socializing with the other kids, but I think it was mainly because he initiated the play. If the other kids played something he did not care about, he would just find something to do himself. He would go off somewhere on the playground (huge area with lots of bushes and trees) and start making traps to catch the Heffalump or hunt for dinosaur tracks. That would attract a bunch of other kids. He played a lot with the girls, I think they liked him because he was not playing rough and he had a lot of imagination (and I encouraged it - none of the "Boys do not play with girls" stuff). He spend a whole happy summer building traps, even though they never caught the Heffalump.

I found this to be totally normal behaviour, actually I have always been very proud of his ability to interact with other people (I couldn't). I have always encoraged him to be independent of what other think about him and I have always encouraged his interest in dinosaurs etc. (well again, I thought it was normal to be obsessed with something 8) )

He (and his brother) has often left a huge (positive) impression in other kids, while my boys are not that impressed with these same kids.

What I am trying to say is that a friendly atmosphere will go a long way when it comes to accepting the "weird" kid. The parents have to be involved, telling their kids that they have to accept other behaviour). A good imagination and the ability to initiate something himself (not just going with the flow) can be very positive traits. He just has to figure out some good ways to attract the other kids, and they will follow (well not the bullies, but normal friendly kids).

Blue skies to you all


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Marms
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04 Aug 2012, 7:45 pm

I know just how you feel. My 12 year old daughter cries herself to sleep a lot due to kids not wanting to be her friend and calling her weird. It is incredibly heart breaking. :(



League_Girl
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04 Aug 2012, 8:38 pm

victorytea wrote:
Today I took Caleb to a playground, he turned 7 yesterday. He approached a group of boys ,his approximate age, and told them he would like them to meet his dad. I sat, observing the interaction, and one boy said "you're a weirdo" and another added " I've seen him before and he is weird". My son came to me with his chin hanging and related what happened. I told him to ignore the mean boys comments. It absolutely broke my heart to see him rejected this way. I hope there is something I can do besides directing him to ignore. I think he took it better than I did and believe that he wanted the boys to meet me so that I could "soften" the interaction and, maybe. prevent rejection. It didn't work. He is the sweetest boy alive and I love him dearly- how can I help?


You sure had him you were old according to your profile. I would assume he was your grand son if you didn't say son. :wink:


I've faced rejection in my childhood before even though I did have friends but they would also push me away too. Mom felt sad for me. Some of it was my fault too because I was very bossy and I also teased and didn't know when to stop.

Mom used to just tell me not to do this or that or kids won't want to play with me. Like telling me if I keep on teasing, kids won't want to play with me or if I don't let them do what they want to do, they won't want to play with me because they would think I am bossy. I didn't understand what teasing was then. Mom also used to tell me if i run away from the teachers, kids will think I am weird and not want to be around me.

I have also faced rejection for no reason like "Ugh, ugly, go away." I just said no. I was six. I didn't go over to those girls to play with them, one of them had hair like my friend at home and I wanted to see what she looked like and the other girl standing next to her said that to me. Good thing I stood up for myself and I wasn't hurt. I am not sure why she said that to me, was it because I was in special ed or because she was just not a nice person so it was random and she thought I was ugly? I never knew her name nor knew her and I never saw her again even though we went to the same school and had the same recess. But even at that age if I wanted to make a new friend, I would follow them and they would go "don't follow me." Even my own friends had issues with me following them but isn't that what best friends do? :? There must be some social cue about it and I didn't know it. Even in middle school, someone who I thought was my friend told me I follow her and she doesn't like it. I mistook my acquaintances as friends. I also had to learn talking to someone does not make them your friend. Someone talking to you or being nice to you also doesn't make them your friend. But yet in childhood it's all totally different and they are considered your friends until you reach a certain age. Then there is more to friendship than just talking to each other at work or in school only. they become your acquaintances. I may not even know I am friends with someone online until they say so. But yet we hardly talk to each other.

For me I found it much easier to make friends when you are a child but as you get older, it gets harder. But for other aspies that doesn't seem so. I mean as a kid, if you wanted to make a new friend who had just moved in next door, just go over there and ask the parents if their kids can play and you start playing with their stuff with them. In school, you just played jump rope with them or other playground games or play on the playground equipment with them. If kids were playing a game at school, you just joined in the fun by doing what they were doing like get in line if they were doing jump rope or grab a hand if they were playing red rover. At least I knew those social cues. But yet my school and psychiatrist still said I had very poor social skills? That was when I was in 5th and 6th grade of course but when I was younger they didn't seem to say that about me. I guess I reached my limiting point in social skills so it showed more and then they knew.


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Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

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