Just wanted to add some words of encouragement and support bee. I have a 15yo ds who has "shadows"of AS. He has had some very tough times at school, he's v sensitive, thinks deeply, intelligent but not an A* pupil, is often on the edge of friendship groups but just loves company and really, all his problems would be solved if he had a best mate. He switched from a hopeless group of so called friends about 2 yrs ago. He made the conscious move himself after months of me saying "make new friends", but it has to come from them. These new lads are great. But it is still not easy. He struggles with the "down time" at school, the hanging around and chilling, and this is when the "bad boys" target him, although he has found avoidance strategies. It is exhausting for him.
I too think duvet days are not a bad thing, so long as child in question understands the purpose and the limitations (ie not screen allday, and "tomorrow you are back to school"). This does enable them to re-group, re-focus, rest and feel that with a safe haven (including a supportive mum) they have the strength to face the difficulties.
Yes, encourage out of school activities/friendships, this will redress the balance and take the negative focus off school. As for approaching school, my ds's school agreed a while back for ds to have a "pass card" which he just had to show any teacher, mid lesson if necessary, and they would let him go (to the library generally) if "things" just felt a bit much. I don't think he ever used it but it gave him such a sense of relief. Some of the problem can be a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, a "way out" can take off the pressure.
Ah, Flow....your message made me cry! I do feel for him very much. I think your points are so helpful. The bully in this case seems to be universally disliked. I think it is that fear thing. The others hang out with him for fear of not being in his good books. I think you are right, don't think school can do much directly, though they are a caring school with good pastoral system. However, in this case I think he may need to devise a strategy about who and how he hangs out with. Yes, it won't be forever. It is helpful to be reminded of that perspective for him and me. And I think knowing that if it ever gets unbearable then he can have other options might help.
His weekend friends tend to be 'aspie' too. I feel like getting them together is always a bit more than them just hanging out. Usually something structured, which is why it isn't just a case of picking up the phone and asking them over, but who knows, we can give it a go!
I have been online and found a local club he might be interested in and made contact so at least it has spurred me on.
Out for Indian meal tonight with his twin sis (very popular, millions of friends, welded to her hair straighteners and Blackberry) for some fun.
Thanks sooo much for your kind words - I can't tell you how much they helped. I'll let you know how the conversation went and see where we go from there.
Oh that's sad. You must feel helpless and sad for him. So many kids are miserable at school - even many of the ones who seem 'popular' IMO.
If he doesn't want you to involve his tutor, don't. His tutor couldn't do anything about it other than pity him, anyway - and he probably doesn't want (more) pity. It's not as if teachers can influence friendship groups - certainly not at this age.
Help him understand that school isn't the be-all and end-all of life. If it becomes a real problem for him, then you can perhaps explore major changes like transferring schools or home education, but at 15, he only has another year or so to go... Then he can move to a sixth form college naturally, where he'll almost certainly be happier.
Meanwhile, if he has good friendships outside school, I'd encourage these. Is there any reason why his 'weekend friends' couldn't come for tea in the week occasionally too?
Also, if I were you, I'd let him have an occasional 'duvet day'. For some people, an indulgent look-after-yourself day is all they need to deal with even quite difficult situations the rest of the time. I know some highly professional people - managers, teachers and self-employed business people - who take the occasional 'duvet day', and would argue that this 'battery recharging' is how/why they can out-perform their peers
Personally, I also always let my DCs have a day off school on their birthday if they want one, and I always book a day off work for my own!
My son (15 today) cried before going to school...:-( This is the first time I have known him be this upset. He is very mildly Aspergers and does not have an active social circle after school. But he has a few friends and he spends time with his younger cousins and a couple of outside school friends occasionally at weekends. But he doesn't have a best mate at school. Currently he hangs out with a group of fairly feisty boys and it appears they are teasing him and making him the butt of the group jokes. One in particular picks on him and calls him a liar. I think the others (who used to be good mates of his) join in with the ringleader. He knows other boys at school but they are quite 'tight' and he can't just join up with them. Besides, he doesn't have the interest in girls/music/sport that tend to bond these groups. I really feel for him but am unsure what to do - he is a gentle, lovely boy who feels things deeply. He is adamant I don't talk to school about it or get his tutor involved. He pleaded not to go to school today but I said he should go (and it is his birthday - sort of hope they might be nice today). Any suggestions would be most welcome!