Home Ed and Friends(8 Posts)
We are currently thinking of deregistering DS (12 yrs and who has high functioning ASD and been off school for three weeks with really high anxiety) and considering Interhigh. However, I can see he is a bit pulled about leaving the few friends he has, although he gets excited when he thinks about InterHigh.
My main worry is he will drift out of the minds of his current friends and they won't meet up and he will end up without a social group of his own. We live in a small market town on the border of two counties and it looks like the majority of home ed groups meet up over the other side of the county, which is 45 minutes away.
In an ideal world, he won't lose his current friends and as we live near the park and skate ramps, he would hopefully still see them now and again or we can go to the cinema etc with them.
In the real world, I'm thinking out of sight, out of mind.
However, DS is never that bothered, other than going to the park in summer, about seeing friends outside school anyway. Are there children out there who are home educated who don't have many friends and who aren't all that bothered?
What are his interests? There are a lot of clubs for things like dungeons and dragons....you could help him find something?
He loves Minecraft....he has a YouTube channel and his own guild and wants his own realm. He plays it non stop when he can.
He does like outdoors too though but hasn't been so into going out recently since his anxiety has increased.
He is really good at climbing so DH and him were going to join a local climbing club. Hopefully, I guess he might make friends there.
If you are doing Interhigh you will probably find from what I read on here there is a whole social/pastoral care aspect there. I think as parents we are having to adjust our notions of friendship as children seem to be spending more time interacting on line.
Also worth considering that bigger home ed meets are often dominated by younger children. When you scratch below the surface you do tend to find there are lots of smaller meets for older ones though or families happy to meet up one to one so worth asking.
As to your question about number of friends, for some it is quantity but for most I think quality counts. We do quite a lot of home ed meets and my son has a wide group of people he happily plays with and is happy to see at activities. He only has a couple of close friends whose company he actively seeks though, it has definitely thinned down as he's got older (11 now). I am the same though. Chat to loads but only a few pierce the outer shell.
I guess you're right.
I understand about the quality of good friends but he doesn't even to be seeking any!
He has the couple at friends at school but he won't even text them unless they message him him first. Then he ponders about what to say.
It makes me sad that he doesn't seem to have one best friend. He doesn't want to spend all his time with the main boy he sees at school. I offered to take them to see a movie I never the half term but he won't ask him.
I don't know. I didn't realise his ASD traits would get worse as he got older. I thought they would affect him less, not more, once he could better reason about things. I was silly to be that naive.
Not my HE son, but I have an older son with HFA who went through traditional school. He had a few friends at school who he occasionally saw out of school too but it was only when they encouraged/pushed for it, iyswim. As soon as he left school, he dropped all of them - he's now mid-20s and just not interested in having friends, but he's perfectly happy with the situation and doing an OU university course. (He doesn't engage in any kind of online social interaction either.) It's not even really a conscious decision he makes, it just completely passes him by - not on his radar, if that makes sense.
I understand being sad for your son - but I think it's important to separate that from whether it's a problem for him. If he's happy with his own company I wouldn't worry too much, but just try to encourage him as far as possible by going to a few HE meets, etc.
Also agree, IH offer a lot of opportunities for social interaction online, if children want it, and there is a lot of interaction in class.
I think you're right. It's balancing what is best for his mental health with regards to schooling type and acknowledging that actually, close friends may not be as much a priority as learning in a different way. He certainly isn't leaning much at the moment because of the anxiety.
Even if we only do InterHigh short term or until his does gcse options, at least it will enable us to help his mental health recover.
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