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"But they're my friends" - Sad in the park

(28 Posts)
WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Aug-11 18:23:04

Was at the park with DS6 (communication disorder, not ASD but a lot of ASD-like issues) today and could see he was trying to communicate with some older kids on the big shared swing. I could see they weren't 'getting him' and there were a few smirks, but I left them too it as I'm trying not to helicopter too much and they weren't being overtly mean, apart from the smirking.

Anyway, the two bigger kids jumped off the swing and ran out of the park - I didn't see this, just saw DS running after them. When he came back I went to tick him off for leaving the park (not allowed) and tried to explain he probably shouldn't chase after older kids who are strangers. His response was 'but they were smiling at me and laughing at me so that makes them my friends.'

On the one hand I am so in love with this wee boy's innocent, pure take on life, on the other how is he going to make it through when he just cannot read other people? How is he going to cope with bullies and bigger kids, and snidey teachers and creepy bosses?


5inthebed Fri 05-Aug-11 18:26:48


babs2011 Fri 05-Aug-11 18:31:54

my 8 year old is the same he's been bullied but when ive told the bulley to leave him alone my son says no hes my friend , i try to explane that some kids and people can be meen to him still dont think he understands it fully its a hard one confused

Oblomov Fri 05-Aug-11 20:05:42

Similar problems here. Ds1(7) Aspergers. 3 bullies in his class , but he can't see that if they were true friends they wouldn't treat him this way. even his best friend, treats him badly often. He can't see this and seems to dote on all these boys.
pains me no end.
Not sure what to suggest. Just to ket you know it is not that uncommon I don't think.

Claw3 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:30:28

It is so sad, ds is the same, its heartbreaking.

Ds is overly kind, overly generous, overly affection, overly helpful and well overly everything. Makes others find him a little odd and a prime target.

I am trying to teach him what makes a good friend and also that you dont have to be overly everything, he just wants to be liked. We just need to find a balance.

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Aug-11 20:45:23

I know, and really nothing bad happened, I just keep extrapolating (sp?) forward and thinking about all the terrible headlines about vulnerable adults and what happens to them. I never really understood what 'vulnerable' meant before, you know? DS is so clever and good at so many things - as well as being a good person - but that's not enough.



yogabonkers Fri 05-Aug-11 21:13:39

am sorry wilson sad

theres so much more we have to worry about with our special kids.

will join you with wine

hugs (((()))))

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 05-Aug-11 21:37:54

Pass the wine over here, please. DS2 isn't so friendly, but very naive.

BialystockandBloom Fri 05-Aug-11 22:38:54

It sucks doesn't it sad

This is one of my biggest worries for my ds too. He's only 4 but already I can see how a couple of the kids at nursery are obviously realising he's different, and mocking him. At a party last weekend he went to say goodbye to the birthday boy, and did a slightly exaggerated goodbye, with waving - nothing that different to me, but one of the other boys (same age) began following him around imitating him in a really horrible way. Have to say I pulled up the boy and told him it is very mean to tease, and made him say sorry to ds (protective mummy alert blush) Ds didn't have a clue, was oblivious.

The sad thing is that the way he was interacting was (to me) fantastic, as only a year ago he would have barely acknowledged another child, yet alone gone out of his way to say goodbye.

But he starts school in September and I can't bear to think about it.

TotalChaos Fri 05-Aug-11 23:22:41

yep, identical issues with my DS, 7 (also not got an ASD DX). My one gets on brilliantly with kids 2 years younger hmm, which I know is good if he's having fun etc but still makes me worried about high school etc.

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Aug-11 23:31:23

Oh Bialystock sad but I have to say you were right to pull the other kid up. How will they learn otherwise? It is really hard though, especially when, as you say, we've been so desperate for them to communicate and then when they do it isn't 'right'.

Have you been in to discuss your DS with school? I have to say ours has been fabulous but we are inner-city in a tough area - there's so much going on, like English as a second language, that DS doesn't stick out so much, thank God.

Actually, at the risk of making this long: when DS first started school he was convinced that his class prefect (in primary 7) was his 'best friend'. At the end of term I suggested that DS got him a card or something for him going up to big school and DS said in his most withering tones 'No Mummy, he is my favourite prefect that is not the same as a friend' for goonessakes' grin

Claw3 Sat 06-Aug-11 07:45:11

Aww thats so sad, Wilson. Ds's 'best friend' at school at the moment is an extremely 'naughty' kid. I suspect he too is an 'outsider' who no one wants to play with, because they have realised he always gets them into trouble!

This boy hits ds, tells him to do things, blames him for things etc, etc. The school have realised that this boy is taking advantage of ds and have banned ds from playing with him.

Ds now has to choose a 'buddy' each play time, do your school have a buddy scheme? (our buddy scheme isnt very well run, but your school might have a better one)

WhoWhoWhoWho Sat 06-Aug-11 07:57:47

Aw I'm really feeling this thread. sad DS is like this too, kids seem to sense him a mile off and relish in picking on him. Sometimes he gets what they are doing and get upset/cross, other times he does not and is oblivious.

I have to say I helicopter a little less now than I used to (DS also 6), but if I see a situation developing I stand close by ready to intervene and am not shy of giving a stranger's child a telling off - something I have to do at least once every single time we go to the park/soft play/etc.

logi Sat 06-Aug-11 09:44:29

This is exactly the problem im having with my DS 7 (asd) at the moment and it makes me worry for his future too.Ive been in that exact situation with my son.

At the park he was recently called disgusting and when i told the child they were rude he said "its ok mum i am disgusting" he was saying this for over a week after .

Aslo at a play area 2 girls were being nasty and one was hitting him he said "its ok they are nice to me as well"

I find it really difficult to handle too.Yesterday i had someone talking about me be cause i told her child to leave my son alone,when i said to my son you need to speak up he said
i cant.

WilsonFrickett Sat 06-Aug-11 10:00:01


Good for you logi

Claw it happened outside school, school are really supportive and he is doing well in the playground at the moment, but no official buddy scheme. His IEP has a target for 'playing games properly' grin to try and help him fit in better as playtime becomes more about structured games rather than just tearing around playing chase.

(I try not to laugh at the PFB threads elsewhere when Jemima is not doing too well at her ancient Greek while my kid has to be taught to play...)

tabulahrasa Sat 06-Aug-11 10:26:32

DS is 15 and has AS, he went through primary with no friends and was bullied mildly, but often, secondary resulted on some much bigger incidents sad which were made worse because he didn't tell anybody - he's come to think that it's normal to be treated like that sad

But... He doesn't see it as his fault, it's other kids that are annoying and stupid and as he's grown older he's found a wee bunch of friends with shared interests, he's started an after school club to play warhammer.

He was on the student council this year, which I was really worried about him standing for as I thought that not being popular thatbit would just upset him, but they voted for him - so while they definitely aren't his friends he obviously convinced them that he'd do a good job.

He is and has been an easy target, but his strength of character and ability to just ignore it I actually find pretty wonderful.

BialystockandBloom Sat 06-Aug-11 11:19:35

tabulahrasa that's wonderful, good on ds! He sounds like a lovely young man. And a light at the end of the tunnel for us whose dc are younger smile

Re buddy schemes. I'm sure they can work brilliantly, but I also can't help wondering whether they're sometimes counter-productive actually, as it's kind of forcing an unnatural 'friendship', and the children chosen might not always be the most suitable - might have the opposite effect and breed a bit of resentment for the nt kids who feel they're forced to befriend the sn kid, iyswim.

In fact, the boy I mentioned earlier was one of two others chosen by nursery to join a special playgroup devised to help ds with social interaction. 30 minutes a week of separate play in a different room, with ds, two boys and a girl. As far as I can tell ds got nothing out of it. The boys were chosen for being 'expert players' but one of them was the boy mentioned earlier. And the other one - we went to his house for tea once (I get on well with his mum) and I heard him saying to another child "let's hurt ds, I don't want him here", and he whinged all afternoon that ds was there.

So, really successful scheme then hmm Just wonder whether the two boys (who I'm sure are perfectly nice) felt forced into the situation and already realised ds was a bit different.

unpa1dcar3r Sat 06-Aug-11 11:43:25

I find it so heartbreaking when things like this happen Wilson. If only all kids could be as innocent and accommodating as ours eh sad

I've had situations with mine where they've tried in their shy little ways to make friends, eldest likes to shake their hands and introduce himself, it's so freaking sweet, and often they look at him like he's weird and walk away. OMG do I wanna ram their scrawny little heads up their arses!

But the other day he did it with a little asian lad and the lad responded and they played so sweetly together- both my boys and him- and it brought a tear to my eye.
I guess the asian lad knew a little about discrimination! (living in an area of low ethnic communities) Or maybe it was just because he was a sweetheart who'd been brought up nicely by his mum (she was lovely too)

Oblomov Sat 06-Aug-11 13:50:45

My school refuse to believe that there is anythig wrong with ds. They see him playing with other boys and that is enough for them. Apart from the fact that his best friend says lots of nasty things to him.
He was at an outside playscheme, run by county council this week. One of the bulies from his class was there, kept taking his chunky kit-kat. teasing him, putting it above the table, below the table, making him beg for it. meanwhile his 'best friend' sat there laughing.

But ds never tells school anything.
I must make him tell them. then atleast I might have some ammunition.

School refused my buddy request, saying it would make his class, his peers, jealous and would make them resent him more, alienating him.

Makes my heart bleed, threads like this. Thoughts of worse to come. God that sounds so depressing. Awful.

WilsonFrickett Sat 06-Aug-11 14:42:08

Oblomov that's terrible, at least our school is really supportive. I don't think I'd be able to cope if they weren't, tbh. ((hugs)))

unpa1d don't tempt me.... one day I will have my revenge on all the little shites kids who don't make an effort. Your DS sounds so sweet though!

Bialy I think it's worth discussing that sort of thing when you get to school though. I was really amazed how much input the teacher had into friendship groups, where people sat, who partnered whom - DS has a group which sounds a bit like your one, two really good communicators and two not so much, it works well for him in terms of learning and modelling but he hasn't picked up on those kids as friends yet, it's just another activity to him. It does help him though and he's been able to transfer a lot of the activity in that group (taking turns, listening etc) to bigger groups which is encouraging.

Right, I have a birthday tea to helicopter crack on with grin

yogabonkers Sat 06-Aug-11 14:55:47

my kid's been in nursery for 3 years and never been invited to a party.

unpa1dcar3r Sat 06-Aug-11 15:02:51

Grrr Yoga, that's awful. Do you do him parties?
Mine have always had them, all sorts of things, from disco's within school to trips out like horse riding, cinema, bowling etc with a few select friends. Mind you it's easier as they go to a SEN school so no judgements or turning their noses up from them or the parents...most are just grateful to be invited!

pigletmania Sat 06-Aug-11 15:10:09

My dd 4.5 dev delay, but like yours a lot of ASD type traits is like this. I see her try to make conversation with other children of her age but they are so advanced sometimes they don't get her sad

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Sat 06-Aug-11 19:46:53

{{*Yoga*}} Sounds like a similar thing to DS who has had 3 yrs at day nursery and 2 at school. I think that he has been to maybe 4 or max 5 parties in that time. No invites in the whole of year 1....... Hey ho, new teacher hopefully will help now that I have become the SEN mum from hell more assertive

WilsonFrickett Sat 06-Aug-11 23:36:35

Ok, wine has been had but WTF is wrong with parents of nursery/early school children who are not inviting our children to parties? I honestly can understand children bowing to peer pressure and parents going along with that as they get older (i dont like it, but i do get it) but FFS when a kid is 3 you tell them who is coming to their party, surely? angry

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