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verticalmum
Raven
Raven

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Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 115
Location: victoria,australia

02 Jul 2012, 6:24 am

Hi there,
Just wanting some advice,opinions.
My 6 1/2 yr old son is offending and alienating himself.
He quite often offends by just being brutally honest. He states facts rather than has conversations. He has one volume, and that is loud, and is mono tonal. I don't know how to explain to his friends ( he only has 2) that he doesn't mean any malice, it's just the way he is.
I am also having problems with him just wanting to be alone after the school day. I can understand perfectly why he needs to be alone, but the other mums and kids just think he is being rude cause he never wants to play after school. He is not popular at school at all, and it's only getting worse........
I also have aspergers , so I'm not that great at spontaneous conversation, or explaining what is going on with my son.
Any suggestions please??
Thanks,
Verticalmum.



McAnulty
Toucan
Toucan

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Joined: 8 May 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 258
Location: Montreal

02 Jul 2012, 6:58 am

Maybe you could prepare a little fact sheet if you find it hard to actually explain it out loud, something that could explain some of the behaviours they're seeing. I've done this for my sons daycare, I wrote down all of his different behaviours and explained why they happen. I helps a lot for them to understand that when he's lying on the floor spinning something it has an important sensory input for him. I know there are also books designed for children to help them understand a little more about their friends with ASD's.



twinplets
Sea Gull
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Joined: 22 Feb 2010
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Posts: 202

02 Jul 2012, 8:32 am

At your son's age, my son wanted to hang out after school, but I had to force him to find a quiet place to take a break because he was so obviously in need of one after school, but didn't want to admit it, so I think it is good that your son seems to know he needs to unwind in a quiet place.

I would suggest finding a couple of boys your son can really click with. Preferably, in his grade, so he will always have at least one or two good friends/allies. My son likes everyone most of the time and would be friends with any of them if they were nice to him, but the only boys that seem to get him are a couple of boys that are a bit quirky too. One has ADHD and the other's family is from Egypt. These boys are very bright too and seem to understand that they have their quirks, as does my son, so they easily forgive him and vice versa. It helps that the parents of these boys also get "quirky", so I don't have to worry a lot when he goes over to their house. At his age, it will probably be some work for you, as you will probably have to step in and intervene from time to time. Even now, I have to remind my son he has invited a friend over and perhaps he has gotten too involved in the Legos or a certain video game because his friend has moved onto another game and he is still absorbed in something else . My son usually just needs that reminder and he will jump back into interacting with his friend. This took time though and a lot of playdates. You might just need to have a talk to his friends parents when are good times to get together for your son. I have found most people just need some honest communication. It works better than everyone jumping to conclusions and assuming.

As far as pragmatic speech. Does he get anything through the school? If not, ask for it. My son gets speech therapy at school twice a week due to pragmatic language. The lessons have helped him a lot. For example, He has had a lesson about thinking of your speech in terms of speech bubbles in cartoons. Only some you say and some you don't. The green bubbles are okay to say. The red bubbles you would keep to yourself. Not that he always says the correct thing now, but when he does misstep, we can tell him this would have been a red bubble moment and he understands what we mean as we go over the situation. I think my son's speech therapy has helped him more than anything at school.

There are also many videos and books to help teach communication and social skills. We have liked these videos:

http://www.modelmekids.com/



NigNag
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Age: 43
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Posts: 60

02 Jul 2012, 1:03 pm

Well... I have to be honest here... My son has been in speech therapy for pragmatics for years, including a social skills group.
I am always working with him on these kinds of issues. They just change as they move up in the years.
Things I have just come to accept:
1. He doesn't really care if he has a lot of friends. If he has ONE good friend, its all good.
2. Every friend he has had has been quirky, the outcast, etc. Just like him.
3. After being in school all day, the last thing on my sons mind sometimes is hanging out with people. He just wants to wind down from school. He is ok with having social activities once in a while, but usually after keeping it all together all day long he just wants to go home and unwind. I remember one time when he invited a young man over who had pretty severe ADHD. The two of them went to their separate corners and did their own thing. I thought it was weird, but when the kid left he said.. wow had a great time. He and this kid are still friends, and when he comes over now they do things together but eventually end up doing their own things in the same area. They enjoy it, interact with each other about their own things, etc. Whatever.. they have fun and I think its ok to let them be who they are.. not forcing a relationship that is .. therapy like (i.e. you must interact, play together, this is not socially right, etc.). Its ok to just let them be themselves, with no pressures to conform to someone elses standards. Their friendships may look different to you.
4. Find an activity or club AWAY from school. My son enjoyed cub scouts for years. Find a group that is not to large, where the dens are smaller and volunteer (so you can watch him, help him with things, etc). I also made sure the kids WERE NOT at the school my son was at. That way his "popularity status" did not follow him there.
5. Being popular is over rated. Most of the popular kids (not all of course, but a large majority of them) in schools I went to where: Mean, established their peer structure BEFORE they even went to school, were jerks, did I mention MEAN?, Had a lot of pressure from their parents to always "be the best", cheated in school (mostly the guys), bullied kids, were social geniuses and knew how to pull things off and not get caught, shall I continue? Do you want your child to be .. popular? Accept that he may never be, and that its ok.
6. My son enjoys greatly playing his guitar. He has taken lessons, which I think have helped him occupy much of his alone time. He is learning the drums now, and enjoys going to his lessons. I found a young man, about college age, who is very kind to give the lessons. My son is 14 now, and this man is 21. My son looks up to him, and they usually have a good time during their lessons.
7. My son is happy, even when he doesn't have friends at any given moment. There are times when my son has ticked off every kid he knows. It is only when others start pointing out he is friendless that he seems down. I tell him constantly that .. he always has people that love him and accept him as he is... that is his family. I think he takes comfort in knowing that.

Something I keep in mind:
School is not REAL. It is a huge social experiment gone wrong. In life after school you are not forced to talk to your jerk neighbor, or do things with the lady that smells weird. You are not forced to work with everyone who is the same age as you are. You can choose the places you work, and if something isn't right you can look for another job. I know a man that went from job to job to job.. but finally at the age of 35 found one that fit him. He is happily employed and has been for many many years. My son has made most of his GOOD friendships OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. The best part about that is... they don't have the social pressures to conform to what others think. They can just enjoy themselves.