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Disasterous first EVER playdate. Feeling back at square one again.

(22 Posts)
makemineaquadruple Thu 14-Jul-11 11:59:54

Morning everyone.

My dd (4.8 poss mild asd) was asked for the first time if she would like to come round for a play with one of the girls she goes to reception class with. At first I was over the moon, but then I became really nervous as this was a first for us all. Her behaviour overall has improved and she's able to play with children much better than she used to, hence the invite. However, after the initial excitment was over after we got there, the countless tantrums begun. Everytime something didn't go her way she started screaming and saying that she didn't want to be there anymore. She was also incredibly rude to the girls mother. She's lovely and I was so embarassed when my dd kept yapping at her everytime she asked her a question. I have a horrible feeling that we wont be getting another invite. It meant so much to all of us that this went well. We weren't expecting it to be perfect, but this was awful.

Just ideally would like to hear from somebody who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks for reading.

chuckeyegg Thu 14-Jul-11 12:15:15

Just wanted to answer, I have a similar problem with DS except he normally hits the play mate and after that it's a pretty hopeless stituation. Some times things go better than others so don't give up and maybe next time meet somewhere where there are activities like the park or swimming. I find that easier.

xx

MissKittyEliza Thu 14-Jul-11 12:16:43

Countless times....

My son is ten. ASD and OCD. I've just posted a new thread about the school holidays looming large. We have had and still have this problem. Not now because of tantrums, though he was still doing that at your dd 's age, but more he just finds the whole socialising thing so very hard.

We always used to invite kids to our house....that way, ds was at least in his home environment, his safe place. And keep it very brief....no more than one hour tops. I'm sure if the other child's mum is as nice as you say, you might call her and tell her how it is for you and your dd. The woman may surprise you!

This is so hard. We want our kids to develop friendships and not be left out or behind but sometimes, they're just not up to it.

My advice.....small amounts only or meet on neutral ground. The park? Swimming?

zzzzz Thu 14-Jul-11 12:59:29

I would phone the other Mum up in a quiet moment and just let it all hang out. Explain what a huge deal it was for you both and how much you think it helped and was nice to be included in what other Mums get to do. Ask her if she would be willing to come to you next time and if she would ignore the bad behaviour because youa re working on it. Keep going, it will help you both and you could always just meet up at the playground if it is too dificult at home.
I had a little girl with asd round to our house before I had ds....I wonder now if it was a huge deal for them and wish they had just said. We coudl have done it once a week without the slightest problema nd it might have made their lives easier.
If you are knocked back you are really in no worse situation than now!

Agnesdipesto Thu 14-Jul-11 13:46:05

Agree would start at home and maybe even 1/2 hour-1 hour and do something structured eg bake biscuits, craft activity. Then build up from there

TheTimeTravellersWife Thu 14-Jul-11 14:21:21

DD doesn't get many playdates sad I agreen that having structured play dates works best, baking cakes/bicuits, meeting at the park to play; then if conversation is stilted/dries up, they still have something to do together.
Definitely phone the Mum and have a chat and try again.

Gingergilly Thu 14-Jul-11 14:26:40

DD poss ASD/dyspraxic (no diagnosis yet - going round in circles) We had a similar play date experience a couple of years ago. My dd 8.5 (just turned 6 at the time) was desperate for a particular friend to come round. So I set it up with the other mum and they both came home from school with me. My dd practically tantrumed the whole time the other child was there. We were all in shell shock and I took the other little girl home really upset. My dd could not see she had done anything wrong, it was the other child's fault for (a) following her around wanting to play (b) talking to me interpreted by dd as getting attention (c) my dd thought i was preferring other child over her. We tried playing games, and eating our meal. It has made it very difficult for future play dates. My biggest dilemna at the moment is the fact that my own parents think that she'll grow out of it. I've just joined this network as I need to talk to others in similar situations as I feel I'm the only one who can see the awful time dd is having not understanding why friends don't want her to go to parties or play at their house. She also struggles terribly with balance and can trip over thin air. Needless to say learning to ride a bike is an ordeal for us all. I am convinced I have ASD but I've only just become aware of this since I started reading about it because of dd.

makemineaquadruple Thu 14-Jul-11 16:00:44

Thanks for everyones replies. It always helps to know you're not alone. You know you're not really, but when you're around so many children who are behaving "normally", you forget that there are others in your situation.

I did actually mention to the mum just before we left that it was a big deal for dd as this was her first invite to someones house from school. The mum responded by looking a little shocked(naturally) and then said that she had done fairly well then considering. I know she was just being polite and probably just trying to make me feel better about the whole thing. I did also mention that dd would love to have her daughter round at ours another day. We'll see how that one develops, but I have a feeling it will all just fizzle out. Fingers crossed it doesn't.

The thing is, as i'm sure most of you are aware, although it's 95% for your childs benefit, it also makes you feel more normal. A bit more alive. For the last year or so i've dropped her off at pre school or reception class and have practically ran home with my head down as i've felt like such an outsider. I see all these other mums standing at the school gates chatting about their childrens extrememly busy schedules and about all their awards and amazing acheivments. Usually followed by, "i'll see you later for a coffee" and " I'll pick your dc up this afternoon, don't worry". Of course this would send my dd into a complete meltdown if somebody else were to pick her up. Everything has to be planned and organised so carefully.

When I do go into the school with my head held high trying to make eye contact and squeeze conversation out of someone, i'm usually ignored, or the conversation doesn't go past "hi, how are you?" It's so draining and degrading. It feels as though nobody wants to be too friendly incase you want to invite their dc back to play with "the problem child".

Does this ring true with any of you?

MissKittyEliza Thu 14-Jul-11 16:33:29

Yes, absolutely. I'm sure that's not the reality of their thoughts but I do think they're lucky to have typical kids who can access the social side of school, both in and out of.

I too overhear the conversations of what they're planning/doing. Sleepovers, kids meeting up on their bikes, at ten, meeting up at the park without mum. I've given up trying to converse because we have absolutely nothing in common. My son can't access any of what they do/plan. His ASD is HF but his OCD and anxieties mean we are totally isolated.

I'd keep at it, if I were you. Just one friend can make all the difference.

LeninGrad Thu 14-Jul-11 17:01:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BarbarianMum Thu 14-Jul-11 17:17:27

One of ds1's friends has HFA. After a first disastrous playdate (he clung to his mum crying for 1.25 hours) she told me that he was undergoing assessment for ASD. Had she not told me I would not have invited him over again (as he clearly hadn't enjoyed himself) but once I understood that it wasn't us, in particular, that upset him, we were encouraged to try again and things got a lot better as familiarity set in. It wasn't until later that I realised how difficult it had been for his mum to explain things to me but I am so glad she did.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, if you think the mum was nice and likely to be understanding then explaining a bit more about your daughter may be helpful. Not all parents of nt children are sitting there 'in judgement' of other children's behaviour but many of us are quite clueless about ASD.

TheTimeTravellersWife Thu 14-Jul-11 18:29:24

Makemineaquadruple Your description of the school gates is painfully similar to mine. DD has no friends at school = neither do I!

It is "The Loneliness of the SN Parent" sad
PS I think that some parents think that SN is catching!

MissKittyEliza Thu 14-Jul-11 21:14:03

The mums at our school probably just think I'm a bit miserable or don't want to mix. Dunno, really.

I know that of the 4 or 5 little "friends" we had over since relocating here, not a single one invited ds to theirs. And at some point in the school year, 30 kids have had a birthday...... Not one single invite to a birthday "do" sad

I give up. I can't get in and out of those school gates quickly enough. I guess they had their established friendships in place before we arrived in year 5 .

We've had no playdates in two years and just 2 birthday party invitations. DS is just finishing year 1 with no friends - dyspraxia and suspected ASD.

The couple of non-school children that we have had has not gone well. He has been far too domineering and always ends in tears. sad

houseofheave Thu 14-Jul-11 22:51:27

We don't get play dates either. DS has had two party invites, but in both cases it was where the whole class was invited and in both cases he went and hid under the table. He has no friends at all at school. He keeps telling me how sad he is that he doesn't have friends.

I've invited people around, but no go. We did have one play date with a kid who lives on our street, but DS smashed some of their glassware. I was mortified and offered to pay, but not surprisingly, we've not had an invite back.

It breaks my heart.

UniS Thu 14-Jul-11 23:18:34

LOTS of Reception parents are used to other parents limiting the length of play dates to keep behaviour on all sides acceptable. Or least at DSs class they are.
Apologise, explain, invite them round or to go to park together.

Good luck.

Heave - it breaks my heart too sad DS is lovely and hasn't hurt anyone. He just doesn't fit in or act right or say the right thing or something.......

Am giving the school another chance with a different teacher and social skills groups otherwise he is out of there into a bigger school (even if it will be louder and possibly more difficult for him to deal with , there will be more chance of him meeting a slightly on the edge child - <hopeful emoticon> )

houseofheave Fri 15-Jul-11 08:44:37

To be fair, school are being fab and are doing social skills with him but he just doesn't get it.

Thank goodness its the summer hols where he can spend time with his GPs and with me and my friend's DCs, so we can at least pretend for a bit that we're 'normal' (ha!)

ommmward Fri 15-Jul-11 09:45:28

We home ed, so it's a slightly different situation, but we do a LOT of playdates. Like, 4 or 5 a week. It really helps us to play with:

a) children who are very different ages (either a lot older or a lot younger - the older ones are good at being "kind"; the younger ones are much less judgmental IME)

b) completely hands-on parents both there

c) not expecting more than parallel play, and then just being delighted if more comes of it

d) always having structured activities on hand

e) being upfront about one's child's difficulties with social stuff

f) meeting at play parks + fences with families you don't know well - self contained space, so no one will escape, but the children can go off and do their own things

g) making sure you work hard at interacting with the other child, so that they really want to come and play at your house again - offering activities like climbing the built in shelves or jumping on the bed (that are forbidden at their houses) is definitely a good tactic...

These strategies have gradually developed from a point 4 years ago where being in a room with another child was too traumatic to be contemplated even for a moment - it has been very softlee softlee catchee monkee

MissKittyEliza Fri 15-Jul-11 09:46:38

Ds is ten and we're really hoping he gets into a mainstream with ASD unit included school. We have to go through the usual school selection forms next term but won't know till March. If successful, it'll be a massive rush to try to move the 18 miles or so, to be closer to the new school. We've already been told, there will be no transport. Ds can't do journeys anyway, so a move would have been on the cards......

I hope, he will meet like minded kids there and maybe, have a buddy.

merlincat Fri 15-Jul-11 11:16:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Fri 15-Jul-11 11:27:54

DS has just turned 6. A couple of girls keep knocking the door for DS to come out to play and another two boys. DS cant due to know road sense, no fear of climbing high and jumping and he will point blank go straight up to someone elses door and knock and walk in for a conversation (adults) They are street wise and he is not. I have tried going outside with him but you look stupid following your 6yr old around and trying to keep up with them all charging around the estate. They are invited in but then its the questions of why ds cant go out to play and that is hard to explain to 5 and 6yr olds. I use the excuse we are going out in a sec.

He has had two play dates in the home but the children were left to play by themselves as DS will just demand his DS or playstation and lock in. He likes them there but wont actually play with them and I find its me actually playing with the other children hoping to coax my ds to follow suit. So now they stop calling. I enroled him into Beavers and they are great with him and he does interact better. Or I take him to the park or beach as he is free to roam and will have a convo with a child but then they can both go their separate ways doing other things.

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