my teenage son has no friends

(45 Posts)
happyholiday Thu 12-Jul-12 09:51:42

This is a bit long sorry.

I have read lots of comments on here about parents with children/teenagers without friends.
I know I'm not on my own as my son has no real friends either , but I do feel I am on my own, as my son has tried to make friends all through his school life and has been laughed at joked about and made fun of in the past by the other kids... so now he wont even try... he is 14yrs gets on really well with the staff and teachers at school and has one girl he talks to at break times ( as she is not in his classes the rest of the time) but that is it, (she also has her own set of friends that don't want to know my son.)
I have done all the things recommended over the years e.g invite other kids back to the house invited them on outings, joined him in activites such as Beavors scouts etc ; nothing has worked, he hated very activity he tried (even though he stuck it for a least a year) and the kids we invited back just played on there own even though i encoured games for them to play together, my son very rearly got an invite back to their homes.

He will soon have his school prom and he has said he doesn't want to go , this breaks my heart! he says he has no-one to go with and he would just be ignored and sat on his own.

He has interests that he occupies himself with e,g computors reading about computers and doesn't dwell on the fact he is on his own but I know it worries him and i know he would love to be a part of a friendship, but he says he has learned to put up with being alone.

I have spoken to his school who say that they can't force other kids to make friends with each other and they say my son does talk to a few other kids.

i asked him about the kids he speak to at school and would they like to come over one evening or bowling or cinema he says he doesn't want them to come over as it would be the same as before... they would say they are busy and he would look stupid.

I didn't have many friends at school and the 2 that i did have we were never really close and I don't have any real people that i could call close friends now we don't have close family either (due to family dynamics)so again there is no help there.

He spends every weekend on his own in his room and every evening.

I watch other lads the same age as my son go off on their bikes with their mates and know my son will never have that.

He can't rid a bike we have tried in the past .. he has eye and hand co-ordination issues. i have suggested eh try again but he isn't interested.

I asked the mum of a boy who lives in our close who's son is about the same age as my son but not at the same school ..if her son would like to come round and play some computer games with my son, but of course it never happened.

My son has aspergers but he is the upper end of the spectrum in that you wouldn't be able to tell on first meeting him...as he is well spoken open and friendly... I can hear you all saying " oh well thats why" but I know it cant be just that as other kids with much more servere aspergers at his main stream school who have friends.

I am at my wits end any advice is much appreciated ... sorry if I sound defeatist

quoteunquote Thu 12-Jul-12 10:25:05

I had a bet with myself as I read your post one of the 'A" coming up ,this does often come with aspergers,

you are use to him, but other people feel the awkwardness, and other children are often not equipped to deal with it,

every year on fresher day on the uni course that that my father heads up, there are hundreds of students all under "A" umbrella , all just like your son, the left out one at school,

It's a brilliant day as they all realise for the first time they are normal ones, it's where they all come together,

It's horrible watching your child go through this, the thing is somewhere probable very near you, there is another mother with a child very similar to you yours going through the same thing,

you just have to find each other,

Great advice there from quoteunquote - I was going to say exactly the same.

tulipsaremyfavourite Thu 12-Jul-12 10:35:11

Im so sorry to read your post. No personal experience but all i can say is you must keep trying. If somebody says no to coming over once don't give up. Ask again after a few weeks. And again. And again.

CMOTDibbler Thu 12-Jul-12 10:38:44

Has he tried playing Warhammer ? You can go to a Games Workshop shop to try playing, and they run clubs. Its rules driven, very detailed, and a lot of the lads who play it will be on the spectrum. Interacting with lots of similarly minded lads in a safe enviroment where they have something to defined to talk about might be just the thing.
They usually run loads over the summer, so it would be a good time to try

happyholiday Thu 12-Jul-12 13:56:28

Yes I have realised that there must be some other mum like me not to far away that has a son just like mine, but how do I find them? thats the heart breaking thing; thanks for all your messages yes I will try and get him to join warhammer I have tried in the past but he isn't a war gaming type of kid ... he likes sims and grand theft auto.. but spends most of his time reading about computors.
Quoteunquote... I never thought about this before ... that others may feel awkward around him, maybe thats half the problem, as he isn't a kid that would bring attention to himself.

bigbluebus Thu 12-Jul-12 19:09:55

Are there any support groups in your area for families of children on the Autistic Spectrum. You may be able to meet other parents of children with AS which may in turn mean that your DS can make friends with like minded teenagers who share his interest in computers.
My DS (HF ASD) didn't have any proper friendships at primary school but fortunately managed to make some friends after a couple of years at secondary school. He still doesn't bother with them outside school though (although he does have a friend in the village where we live who goes to a different school).
We have managed to find some activities that DS likes though so that he doesn't spend his entire life playing on PS3 or computer games. He goes swimming, climbing and has joined a gym (was allowed from 14) and plays 2 musical instruments. It involves a lot of ferrying around, but if we didn't do it - he would really spend his life in a virtual reality world.

Oogaballoo Fri 13-Jul-12 08:29:00

I understand your worries because they are exactly the same ones as my sister had for her son. I would take on the advice given to you here but I would also start looking to the future: your son has a set of interests that are very useful and could get him into a great university course and career. If he's building up his knowledge at 14 by the time he's an adult he'll really be going places. His school years may not be the happiest of his life but later on he could meet people with similar interests- he could do an IT or computing course- and set himself up for a great life. Is he interested in computers physically or in programming languages too? He could start learning Perl and so on.

Perhaps you'd consider encouraging him to go to a sixth-form college once GCSE's are over for a fresh start? The people at his current school don't sound like they've been very nice to him. My nephew loathed his school but had a much better time at college- a far more eclectic mix of people from a whole bunch of areas who, most importantly, haven't been stuck together since they were very young. It was a far more relaxing atmosphere and tbh, seemed more mature and friendly.

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm writing off his chances for the next few years. I don't think that, just that for some they don't bloom and find a group until later on in their lives. It was like that for me, anyway. School can be pants.

Perhaps he could start looking for a part-time job when he turns 15 at some of the big computer and technology places? PC World, Apple? It could be a real boost and it could be good to be around people who aren't from school but are older and have similar interests.

thisnameisalreadyinuse Fri 13-Jul-12 08:38:00

A book sometimes recommended by mners is called The unwritten rules of friendship - I just posted about this on a thread about a much younger child so sorry if you've already seen this! - it does have useful advice about how to pick up social things that don't come naturally to all children. All the advice on here is great - I would only add that I would also go back to the school, and try to push them for more help - they have someone responsible for pastoral care? eg encouraging him to do clubs, activities etc, identifying like-minded students.

Seamoon Sat 26-Jan-13 23:30:48

Perhaps things have resolved themselves for you since you posted, but I am in the same position. . .?

chocoluvva Sun 27-Jan-13 17:51:30

My friend's Aspie son found a club for young aspie's and found that very enjoyable. He had friends until he moved to a different area.

Many schools have a room for invited children only. Perhaps your DS's school could set up something like that?

Does he have any other opportunities to socialise - does he walk to school?

happyholiday Sun 28-Jul-13 20:05:06

bigbluebus. yes I have been a member of a support group for may years since my son was 5yrs in fact; but I felt it was very "clicky" and although I tried for many years and attended many activities and meetings I realised that although this support group was very good for the parents my son didn't get anything from it;as for other activities I have done these also. Swimming lessons gym and piano lessons but they are mostly isolated activities. (sorry to come across as if I am being negative,) but it's a case of been there bought the Tshirt.
Oogaballoo Yes my son is going to sixth form but wants to go to college... he did work experience at a repair shop,and they appeared to be very pleased with him however when he asked for a Saturday job they weren't interested... they said they had enough staff (another blow):-(
but one thing I can say about my son is he always puts an optimistic face on things ( most of the time) Thank you for your comments they have been helpful and are appreciated.

happyholiday Sun 28-Jul-13 20:08:16

Seamoon sadly no they haven't resolved them selves unfortunately. Sent you a pm.

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 20:17:42

my son very rearly got an invite back to their homes.

Oh well, I have that, it's just normal ime. My kids don't have ASD either.

I didn't go to school prom either, too fraught with tension about who to go with.

I should warn you Warhammer is very geeky; 13yo DS is into it but ultra-scared about anyone who knows him finding out. He was bullied in past about other things, and still scared of teasing.

DS has made the best mates thru Scouts (yours would go into Explorers). Has to be a bit adventurous, though, but not necessarily coordinated or sporty. Scouts becomes a whole community.

happyholiday Sun 28-Jul-13 20:36:49

lljkk
Yep he has tried scouts too... he's not very sporty and very unadventurous...it lasted all of 2 months.
he does try these things only because he say's " I asked him to" I know most kids like my son thrive at scouts/explorers sadly he aint one of them.
Yes I have even mentioned warhammer but he says he has looked at it and it's not for him.
I remember once my son did get invited to a pool party, they went to the local swimming pool then food was laid on in the cafe.
As it was too far for me to go home then come back for him I sat and waited in the spectators area.
He was ignored by every child that was there... he just splashed about on his own, he was about 9 at the time. My heart broke.

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 20:46:38

Maybe what you most need is to learn to think positive. Instead of thinking about what he can't do, think about what he is good at & does enjoy. Build on that (I know easier said than done). What does he find enthusiasm for?

Might be a budding birdwatcher, biologist, game-designer, quality controller, technical writer, trainspotter or photographer in there, you never know. There are decent communities for all of those.

happyholiday Sun 28-Jul-13 21:11:02

lljkk the only thing he really enjoys and that is getting his hands on very old computers laptop ;fixing them or hoarding them if they can't be fixed.

Caoilainn Sun 28-Jul-13 22:02:29

You son could be mine! Has high functioning Aspergers, wants to be friends with people but is unable to build or maintain the relationships. He has just left school and has spend weeks in his room on the laptop, Xbox etc. We are applying for jobs but he is scared about getting an interview.

He chats to 'friends' from school on the Xbox and texts occasionally but when they are all out on bikes or at the park he is home alone. I think it sometimes bothers him but not enough to invite people round when I offer to pick them up, supply pizza etc.

Wish I had the answer.

lljkk Mon 29-Jul-13 10:14:03

Well that's way cool, there has to be scope for people who like tinkering with computer bits. Does he do other types of electronics?

happyholiday Mon 29-Jul-13 18:32:29

lljkk ...no it's just computers he knows everything about them there history who developed them etc

I know that you said war gaming wasn't his thing but what about strategy?

Something like Magic the Gathering? (It's a card game) but it's HUGE. Dp and his friends all go to meetups every couple of weeks to play and there's groups on FB chatting about it.

There's also tabletop gaming like the Lord of The Rings series which is a must for any Tolkien fan....

Angelmarmite69 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:57:16

This sounds like my son. He's 11 and I know the feeling of heart break when you see your child totally isolated . Mine too as aspergers and also ADHD and tics. When calm you'd think he was just like everyone else. I'm at the same place as you are at the moment . My recent idea is a pet so he has a friend. By walking a dog he may meet other people. Good luck to all of you in this situation. Maybe a good idea to mention roughly which area your in to see if anyone else is local and in similar situation. We're amber valley x

beelights Thu 09-Jan-14 22:34:02

I so know this! My son is 15, nearly 16 and he is just the same. High-functioning Asperger's. He has no friends outside school but is a lovely boy (young man). He is cut off now more than ever because he is not into the girls, music thing and isn't adept at banter. BUT - what seems to have turned around as he matures, is his interest in computers has led him to get more into doing amazing 'geeky' things in his room with his laptop and connecting it up to new gadgets, actual programming of games etc. It has taken him beyond just interacting with X-Box games which he did before and has meant he has had to interact with more people to find information. He is still solitary, but is beginning to get interested in the idea of a BTEC in IT at college. On the open day we met the current students and yes, several of them struck me as classic Aspies and he was able to converse with them within the confines of a safe and predictable subject area. I am not sure, but I wonder if it is a case of not worrying too much and trusting that as they mature they will find their place in the world??

cory Fri 10-Jan-14 09:29:00

OP, you could be describing me at that age. Yet a few years later I was known as the most sociable person in my university department, the one who organised all the parties and talked to everybody and knew everybody.

I am afraid any well intentioned attempts to set me up with the other girls in the class would have been a total fail. What I needed was to get away and find other people like me, to learn that in order to socialise I didn't have to turn myself into somebody totally different, that being antisocial wasn't an intrinsic part of me but that other aspects (being geeky and fond of books) was.

What would have reassured me at that age was a crystal ball grin.

Kikithecat Fri 10-Jan-14 13:25:37

I know of one organisation in my area that runs groups/activities for Apergers children/youths, here is the link:

CASPA

This may lead you to something in your own area.

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