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been told asd son has "absolutely no friends at all"

(15 Posts)
autumnsmum Tue 14-Dec-10 19:27:59

hi i am just posting for some moral support, i have posted on here before about my 5 year old sons difficulties at school now he is once more refusing to go in. I GOT HIM IN TODAY AND MY PARTNER AND I were told in no uncertain terms that our boy has no friends at all , Iknew this was the case but dh has taken the news really badly anyone else been in this situation ? any advice would be much appreciated

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Tue 14-Dec-10 19:30:03

Having no friends sounds awful, but at 5, and with asd it won't meant what it does to your ds what it does to us.

However, that isn't a reason to stand back and allow it to continue. What did the school say they were going to do about it?

sockonmyhead Tue 14-Dec-10 19:37:26

who told you he has no friends, his teacher? Did he/she have anything constructive to say or was the aim just to upset you?

autumnsmum Tue 14-Dec-10 19:43:10

thank you so much it was his teacher they are going to try and get the learning mentors to do some activities with him at lunch times

sockonmyhead Tue 14-Dec-10 19:47:57

well i'm glad they were not just being horrid!

has your ds said having no friends is what's making him not want to go to school? does he generally interact with the other children or is he a bit oblivious?

such an awful thing to hear about your child when all you probably want is for him to be happy at school

Spinkle Tue 14-Dec-10 19:58:23

My DS has no friends either (6, ASD) but he's not very bothered. At the moment me and his dad are his friends. Happily we have tame cousins who are very tolerant of him and accept his funny little ways.

At 5 most kids are social butterflies and change friends as often as their pants so try not to get too hung up on it. Am surprised school was as outspoken about it - it's a bit of a kick in teeth and surely they would see it?

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 21:51:36

Other children are often seen as a hindrance by children with ASD, so having "no friends" isn't really a drama, as he quite possible chooses to play on his own. People with ASD struggle to understand "our" world, and other people are really quite complex and confusing beings who don't like listening to monologues on bus times confused

You may be able to help him by working out what it is about school that he struggles with. Social stories are awesome at covering stuff like that; you could use one to help him understand what is expected when, eg:

All children go to school. School is a fun place where we can learn new things.

I would like to go to school because I am clever and I am good at learning new things.

At school, I have a teacher who helps me learn. Sometimes I don't understand what the teacher wants me to do. I may get into trouble which makes me upset.

When the teacher says "Carpet time" I get confused. She hasn't said my name and I don't know what to do. I find this frightening.

When the teacher says "Carpet time" I need to go to the big space between the tables in front of the teacher. I need to sit on the floor, on my bottom with my legs crossed. I need to face the teacher and not talk to any of the children.

If I need to say something, I need to put my hand up. When I am allowed to talk, the teacher will look at me and say "Yes?" or "[name]".

If I get it wrong, it is ok because the teacher will remind me. Mummy and Daddy will help me by reading this story with me. I am good at learning things at school. I am good at [examples].

HTH

zzzzz Wed 15-Dec-10 00:42:02

For mine lots of th eabove is true, but I also find that people often dismiss the friendships he does have because his interaction is so limited that to them it is not a brilliant friendship. But if youa re a little boy who finds talking really hard the little person who smiles at you when you sit next to them is your friend and you don't need any more that is enough. I taught my son to say "Hello, I'm name, do you want to play", the whole class got involved and all happily say exactly those words to each other when they want to play. Sometimes people say no, but mostly they smile at his chubby seriousness.
Give him ways to approach people. I also think it is fine to play by yourself sometimes, we are not better or worse people based on how many friends we have. Which is a blessing as with my timetable I basically barely have time for dh let alone friends!

keepyourmouthshutox Wed 15-Dec-10 01:18:10

Glad that school is getting some learning mentors to help him at lunch time.

Agree that with ASD children, having friends might not be that important.

Just a thought - does your ds have sensory issues? Maybe the noise, confusion, deviation from usual timetable etc around this time of the year is making it difficult for him to cope and therefore reluctant to go to school.

I have huge sympathies as my ds decided 4 weeks ago that Friday is no longer a school day and has since refused to go. Since I refuse to leave a sobbing child in school in his pj, he stays home Fridays (even though school thinks I should manhandle him in). Ds has tried the 'Tuesday is not a school day' too but so far we have managed to get him in.

autumnsmum Wed 15-Dec-10 06:43:14

thank you so much everyone, purple my boy is a huge bus fan as well and i so agree the other boys like ben 10 not routemasters

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Wed 15-Dec-10 06:48:09

Does he care?

I ask because neither of mine gave a shit about other kids at that age.

My eldest is now more sociable, but my youngest, well, you could fall off a cliff and he wouldn't give a crap. Or indeed notice grin

So while it's heartbreaking as a parent to feel that your child is alone, what matters is how he feels.

If he's happy, then it's not a problem. You can work on social skills etc over time with the aim of helping him to see the benefit to him of interacting well with others.

If he knows he has no friends and it makes him feel sad, then that's different and you have to find a way to rectify that - clubs for children with autism? talk to the teacher and get the name of the child most likely to work well with yours and ask the parent if they'd like to come and play?

sparky258 Wed 15-Dec-10 07:19:55

my daughter didnt have no friends when she was younger and she wasnt bothered about this at all[i was though].
nowdays-she has some friends but its very one sided[her side]and she often falls out with them-ho hum!

is there a buddy scheme at youre childs school autumn?
what about a "circle of friends"?
is there any lunchtime clubs that he can get involved in?
if not-could you approach the school and ask them if they could start these things?-
i think these things dont just benifit our children-so they might be interested!
social storys are good aswell!

wendihouse22 Wed 15-Dec-10 10:30:06

Tricky one this....

My son (now 10, ASD - more Aspie) still has no friends (as such). However, it's tricky because though at the moment, he needs lots of space and I would say, doesn't "feel" it, there have been times in the past when he has actively wanted school classmates to come home for tea. This we encouraged but he found it hard and I mostly ended up "playing" with said child until his parent came to collect, whilst my ds mooched about asking "is it time for (whoever) to go home now?"

If my ds suddenly gets all sociable again, we'll try again. But I'm led by him. I understand your worries.....we learn so much from peers and school is not just about the three R's. We learn how to "play", form friendships and even relationships from this early age so, I would say, ask school what their plan is to enable this.

To just state "he has no friends" seems rather cruel actually. THEY should be working on his social learning. My son, from reception up, had a small group called "Rainbow Group" for anything between 2 and 6 kids who needed it. It covered all of these issues.....how to approach friends, how to play a game, how to...... LEARN socialisation. At lunch times, they had small groups of say 2 or 3 kids just "being together". NEVER was he left in the mayhem of the school play area ALONE!

Your SENCO needs to look to the IEP and work out some strategies. And fast.

wendihouse22 Wed 15-Dec-10 10:37:58

Individual Education Plan. He should have one, seen and signed and OK'd by you, the parents.

Does he have a Statement? People tell you "it's not the be-all and end-all" but it has certainly opened doors for us and when we relocated last year, the Statement went with my ds and everything was in place, all the support, on day one of his start at the new school.

You're going to have to get tough!

They (school) are responsible for the provision of your son's education (to the best of his ability) and remember, it's an INDIVIDUAL education plan. Just for him and his NEEDS to access HIS curriculum. Be that academic or pastoral!

I can understand your husband's upset. It's hard for all parents but to tell dad that his son has no "mates". That's NOT the way to go. Shame on that teacher.

autumnsmum Wed 15-Dec-10 11:51:13

thank you all so much it has stopped me feeling so alone with this , my boy doesnt have an iep i really hope the lunchtime activities may help , i will ask why he hasnt got an iep

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