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

BaconAndAvocado Tue 14-Jan-14 12:08:21

Hi happyholiday

My son who also has mild AS sounds very similar to your son.

He does have one friend but doesn't see him consistently.

I've been through lots of,different emotions about his lack of social life. He is becoming self-aware (he's just turned 16) and will sometimes say that he finds social situations difficult.

He wants to go to university, so we are worried about that!

Please try not to worry. I know it isn't that easy but he will find his place in the world.

overthehill Tue 14-Jan-14 12:32:50

My ds is 14 and doesn't have Asperger's but does love computers and has built his own (at the age of about 12!) purely by watching You Tube videos. He is now building one for a family friend who is paying him to do so - not bad! He also does a lot of techy stuff at school for shows, concerts etc and has also started doing techy stuff at local theatres etc eg helping set up and take down (there is a technical term that I can't remember!) for shows, concerts etc. That means he works with other people but doesn't really have to interact socially, and he says that you can get paid good money when you get a bit older. Would something like that interest your ds? If you live in a town with a local theatre you could ask there or, as with my ds, there's likely to be an ICT/media teacher at school who could recommend a way into something like that. Hope that helps.

jojane Tue 14-Jan-14 14:31:22

Ds1 hasn't been formally diagnosed yet but has some aspergers traits albeit high functioning. He has just turned 7 and reading this has filled me with dread, he doesn't socialise, although still at the age where us parents arrange playdates etc so do try and keep him seeing people, but I had kind of hoped he would get better at making friends but it appears not:-(
If turn up early at school and they are playing outside it breaks my heart as everyone else is running around playing, laughing and talking with each other and Ds is literally running up and down as if he is following a line over and over by himself.

Weareinittogether Sat 18-Jan-14 16:51:15

I am a single dad trying to be a good mum. My son has been diagnosed with Aspergers. He has no friends, stays in his room all the time, he hates socializing. He will never go anywhere with me, he wont even answer the phone. sometimes he sleeps for 48 hours!! It is a huge weight on my shoulder to look after him on my own. No one recognises this disability. All my friends and family think he is a strange boy. I am on the verge of becoming depressed, I am very worried that if I get ill there is no one to look after him. This disability is very hard on the parents. Can anyone give me some advice please?

TawdryTatou Sat 18-Jan-14 19:40:05

I have one too. No formal dx of AS, but I suspect he's on the spectrum. Rubs along fairly well at school these days, but has never had a best friend, and play dates never went beyond one time - he used to end up in the kitchen talking to their mums!

Social networking has helped him build his confidence, and I hang on to the hope that he'll find his niche at uni. The fact he is partially sighted is another factor - means he is automatically out of the sporty set.

He's happy enough - but it has been bloody hard over the years.

blahe Sat 18-Jan-14 19:50:00

what area of the country are you? If you are Northampton way I can suggest some great clubs that are for high functioning aspergers. My son attends them.

thornrose Sat 18-Jan-14 20:08:11

I don't have a son but my 14 yo dd has Aspergers, she has struggled with friendships all her life. She has 2 friends at school who she very occasionally socialises with.

She spends all her free time online and has loads of "virtual" friends. She can somehow manage online friendships through chat rooms.

Her bedroom door is always open and we live in a flat so the living room is right next door and I do check on her.

I used to worry about her being on her laptop too much but she's happy and it's a friendship group of sorts!

My sister was crippled by shyness at school and as an adult she is the most sociable person I know.

I really believe that school is the toughest stage and things will improve as they leave to do other things.

Travelledtheworld Sat 18-Jan-14 20:11:27

weareinittogether I am sorry to hear about the situation you are in. But I suggest you start a new discussion thread so that more people can see it.

AnUnearthlyChild Sat 18-Jan-14 20:16:16

*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, *

This

And not just uni. Getting the f*ck out of school did it for me. I am not on the spectrum that in know of, but was always considered odd. Didn't have close friends, though I did have a big group of acquaintances. I wouldn't have gone to a prom.

Once I got out in the real world of uni, college, work I have been free of stupid stifling social conventions of school kids and able to form one or two good friendships.

I will never have many friends and I am not a 24 hour party person by any means, but I like to think I make up in quality with a very small number of brilliant friends.

I think there is hope OP. School is a shit place for making friends.

trice Sat 18-Jan-14 23:32:50

If he loves computers and technology, would he like remote controlled aircraft? I have a couple of friends who are very techie and social phobic who love standing in a field talking electronics. The club has a wide age range and as they are all uber geeks, they are happy playing alongside each other.

It's sad to hear about all these lonely kids. You would think in this day and age that they could find someone who was on their wavelength.

Preferthedogtothekids Sun 19-Jan-14 23:48:09

My boy is just about to turn 17, was diagnosed AS at age 9 and sounds very like your son. As he has gone through the school years he has come across a small group of 'oddballs' and they hang out together. They're a seriously nice bunch, not your usual sheep-like teenager, but intelligent and unique kids. They don't hang out outside of school, but my son much prefers being at home with things that interest him than being out in the big world.

My boy has become involved in a fantasy games club (Warhammer/Magic cards etc) and he loves it! the club is packed of full of (mostly) boys and men who are very like him. They don't chat about trivial real-life stuff, they just get involved in the games, the strategy and the rules.

Hels20 Mon 20-Jan-14 08:16:18

Gosh - such a hard post to read. But this was me - though not with Aspergers. From the day I stepped into secondary school, I was mocked, teased, made fun of - and girls can be so bitchy. By the time I was 14, I just wasn't sure I would cope.

But I then realised I only had 4 more years of school - and somehow I just focused on my studies, kept to myself and when I left the toxic and horrible environment of school - I flourished. I met my true friends when I was 24 but met some pretty good people when I was 18 and went to Uni - a real melting pot. And people had grown up in the summer and realised (mostly) that you could be friends with people who weren't necessarily quite the norm.

Completely feel for you and your son. It is awful to wish away the school days (apparently the best time in your life - NOT!) but that was how I managed.

Focus on the future.

Singleparent500 Mon 16-Jun-14 01:26:22

Hello happyholiday !
Sorry , My message is even longer ! ,,,

I have just turned to this site in despair and thankfully found your message which could have been me writing it as your situation is exactly the same as mine with my 15yr old son.
I've turned to the web in desperation on the usual dreaded Sunday night before school, when you your child is anxious and upset (even at 15yrs of age!) because he said he feels so alone at school and always struggles to make friends even out of school.
Tears rolled down my face when I read your message, as i said, it is identical to my situation. It is heartbreaking to see your child suffer and struggle like this, really dreading going to school, getting anxious and upset not wanting to go in?
I have also tried absolutely everything to invite friends round, I've taken them all on many days out, sleepovers, tea after school, but my son is still alone, rarely gets invited back as even most of the parents took advantage of me trying to entertain the children so my boys would have friends, but even they would not return the favour !
My son is desperate to make friends but finds it hard to approach them, he is desperately shy, quiet, low self esteem, and finds it hard to maintain friendships he has been bullied since primary school for being shy and dyslexic (so he was called thick and space cadet etc !! ) he has such low self esteem because is feels so lonely and that he does not fit in anywhere.
One thing in his favour is he is good looking, but feels such a failure inside. He is a lovely sensitive boy, can be rather lazy (or depressed?) because he is not motivated because he is alone.
I've tried to get school to help, he is totally lost in a huge secondary school and the support is virtually non-existent, hence he is still on his own at school and out of school.
He is at home every evening and weekend, Facebook makes it worse because everyone is in clicks and showing what a full-on popular life they are all having . He is totally wasting his life and I feel totally helpless especially as a single mum whose ex husband has no input in his or my other sons life. I feel so pressured myself and finding it hard to cope with all the responsibility and heartbreak of it all seeing how sad and unpopular he feels on top of all the other pressures and strains of everyday life.
I live in Cheadle Hulme cheshire 20 mins from Manchester if anyone else is in this situation.
I would be happy to set a group up in the area for other teenagers/children who feel lost, unpopular, etc who need to make friends in order for us to get our children a life worth living and confidence etc as there must be so many more like ours, of which anyone can contact me if this is if interest to anyone and their children.
Ps my son has only been diagnosed with dyslexia, and I wonder if this is under a similar umbrella of difficulties building friendships/relationships.
Any comments or advice on any of the above would be greatly appreciated . Many thanks for anyone who has read this far and still awake ha !!

Mum2Lauren Tue 08-Jul-14 02:02:02

Hi SingleParent and all

I was just googling friends for shy anxious teenagers and I came across this post. My daughter who is 14 is currently suffering from social anxiety and stopped attending school at Easter because the anxiety was making her so ill. Since then the 2 friends she had in school have decided to ignore her messages and texts and she has no other social opportunities, as she cant tolerate large groups of 'populars', her words not mine. Anyway I am going to keep this short for now but would be really interested in any groups or contact between children in similar situations. Only tonight I caught her sobbing on her bed because she feels so lonely, its heartbreaking, she is a lovely, sensible kind girl but just has difficulties mixing with large loud groups.
Would love to hear from anybody who has any suggestions or who is starting a group. I live in Cheshire.

Mum2Lauren Tue 08-Jul-14 02:06:06

Forgot to mention Singleparent, your story is exactly the same as mine right down to the facebook nightmare. The only difference being that she is female. I cant sleep at night for worrying and feeling totally helpless about what to do. Would be really interested in your group. Thanks Paula

iliketosing Wed 22-Oct-14 09:38:57

My son is 16. He has friends, but is pretty quiet, does very little at week-ends, and doesn't really interact with teachers well, so they hate him! He was quite sporty, is very good looking, but has stopped all sports now he's in the 6th form, is wracked with feelings of self -doubt about his A level choices, spending hours researching courses at uni, and has zero self confidence.
I didn't do much at all when I was that age. Moped about walking the dog, played my guitar (not at the same time), felt mournful and horny and desperate to fall in love (yes, while playing the guitar). All utterly normal I know. But to see him "wasting his life away" breaks my heart too. Except he's just doing the same as I did, but with facebook etc. This is probably good and bad. Makes him feel less isolated, but sometimes more excluded! Brilliant for keeping up with the footie! Sitting alone seemingly moping in their bedroom is ok, it's what teenagers do, even the ones with frends don't really do much with them. They will learn to negotiate their way through life, including how to cope with unhappiness and lonliness, just like we have. I am aware of imprinting my own unhappiness onto his potential unhappiness, if imprinting is the word. I am aware that I must be careful of over-identifying with his teenage mopiness. He is not depressed, he is a normal teenager who navel gazes and is utterly self -aware and self-absorbed. I have decided to treat him like I treat my dog, make him do regular exercise by playing tennis with him and taking him to the gym, feeding him healthily and not being too intense about stuff. (I will start doing the latter from tomorrow.)
It would be so good to hear from parents of kids who WERE like this and became normal fulfilled happy-enough adults!

LeftHandedMouse Wed 22-Oct-14 12:54:50

Just going to mention one thing which you've already touched on....

Music.

Does he listen to much? I know you mentioned piano was a failure.

Reason for bringing it up is its very mathematical, I've worked in IT for years and its amazing how many of us so called nerdy folk love music, play instruments, and are in bands at age 50+.

If he enjoys listening is there anywhere he can go to see local school bands for example? Guitar is also relatively easy to learn and a starter electric set up is quite cheap.

Breaking my one thing rule.....

Could he set himself up as a PC and laptop repair man, windows trouble shooter etc? Just ads in the local shop and paper, he sounds like he could set up his own website, it's very easy these days with hosting and template site maps etc.

Neither of those suggestions are particularly aimed at getting him friends directly, but they might up his visibility to others who have similar but for now perhaps peripheral interests.

LeftHandedMouse Wed 22-Oct-14 13:21:01

Singleparent500

Scouts.

I cannot understate the influence being in scouts had on both my daughter and my son.

Your son would join explorers which is a much more community based thing where he'd get involved in helping with cubs and beavers as well as being out with his own age group.

Yes, at first he's going to be in a group of people who already know each other, but they tend to be very sociable and inclusive. Not the top of the social ladder in their peer group generally but a well rounded group of individuals.

Northernparent68 Thu 23-Oct-14 06:50:29

Have you tried martial arts or weight lifting Martial arts coaches have a reputation for being really good with lads who do nt fit in, and a certain percentage of the men who are into weights or martial seem to be on the spectrum.

Spocksmum Sat 25-Oct-14 20:09:49

OP, I'm another one with an Asps HFA son, 13, with no friends (I'm a single mum with 2 SN DCs). He used to have loads of similar Aspie mates and would hang out with a few who'd be happy to listen to his mini 'lectures' at lunch break . But by aged 11, his friends were growing up and their interests were actually much more like your DSs - computers, gaming, electronics, maths, astronomy, physics.

Poor DS has his own special quirkiness that doesn't even fit with fellow Aspies. \he hates computers, maths and sciences. He's into writing and history and 1970s/80s sit coms and really 'different' completely unpopular niche things.

So he neither has NT friends nor Aspie mates these days. He does however pursue a few specialist clubs at school, although not actually socialising in them.

However, I too have no friends - mostly cos I don't have time for them these days. I've always loved my own company though and I think it helps that I can model happiness on my own - but not feeling lonely.

I still hope DS will regain some new friends one day and he does get on fine with older people/teachers. But if he remains fairly isolated across his life, I hope he can see that it's OK to be alone yet not lonely and to have interests that absorb you and fulfil you.

So whilst still looking for ways to help your DS connect with people, you can also help him to feel OK too about enjoying his own company. I'm sure he'll find many likeminded people anyway out there in the world beyond school. He'll never enjoy social chitchat but will thrive on talking about his specialist interest with others who share this too.

At times, I also feel heartbroken too that DS has no friends, is invited nowhere. It's especially hard as he used to have this big group of friends at primary school and now they still hang out together but he's not included. He actually now gets through this by saying he doesn't like them anyway anymore and that they've nothing in common. But for the first year I saw how hurt he really was.

DS does have a brother however and so he's often with him at home as other DS is also low on friends at the moment. The hardest part of all though is when other DS goes out to meet friends and Asps DS is home alone with me. I think I find this harder than he does though.

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