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School has suggested my (poss) ASD and (def) anxious DD needs a 'close friend' to confide in. Do they just not get it?(16 Posts)
I think they would be better setting up some social skills groups and maybe engineering some clubs that your Dd could go to.
Dd3 used to be like that about thinking anyone she spoke to was her friend but she is more wordly wise now. She has done a few social skills groups at primary school.
My Dd has very strong opinions about who she likes and who she doesnt like which can cause her a few problems and could get worse as she gets older but for now she is managing.
She has one good friend and several that she knows well but doesnt rely on.
For what its worth I agree that forcing friendships will never work.
My DS was offered a place in a social skills group after he was diagnosed.
One approach that I know about is called "circle of friends" linky - it focuses on a forming a support group of volunteers, with help from an adult, around a child who has social difficulties. That way no one child gets overloaded. My DS's primary school set up something like this for him.
Also, my DS's secondary school had an associated weekly youth group for first-year children with social difficulties. About a dozen kids were invited along, there were a couple of youth leaders and a couple of older kids who acted as mentors.
The social skills group was run jointly by the NHS and education authority. DS’s teacher had mentioned it to me because she knew of another boy who had been along to the group in the past, but she didn’t know who ran it or how to access it. So when DS was being diagnosed I asked everyone we saw about it. It turned out that the NHS Speech and Language Therapists ran it. They ran 10 weekly sessions for a couple of hours each week, specifically for kids with ASC diagnoses in mainstream education, in small groups. The kids played games and did little activities like swapping news, so they learnt how to talk and listen to each other and take turns and not dominate or withdraw. As the kids got older the therapist encouraged them to share their experiences and ideas and reflect on what they were doing. Every area is different but hopefully when/if your DD is diagnosed she may be referred to something similar? It’s probably worth asking whoever is doing the NHS assessment if a similar group exists, because it seemed pretty random who got told about it!
The youth group was run by some combination of social services and a local charity. A couple of local secondary schools referred vulnerable first-year kids along to it. DS became a mentor himself the following year. But not all schools have this set up.
If she gets on best with older kids, might the school be willing to "buddy" her with one of the senior girls? Older girls sometimes volunteer to do this.
Schools are supposed to work to the needs of the child, not to the diagnosis. I know in reality that doesnt happen but you could remind them! They have clearly identified that she has social issues so now they need to supprt those issues.
Dd3 was the same in groups, she can talk the talk and say all the right things in a formal group setting but outside in the real world it all falls apart.
In answer to your title though, No they just dont get it. Girls with Asd are an inigma to schools, teachers have had no training in how to support them and very often think they no better than us parents and try to teach them and treat them the same as everyone else and it just doesnt work
Oh if only it were that simple! Lol- if it were , we wouldn't have a problem would we?
Ds (17 asd) was a older mentor in a social skills group at his secondary school. Ds is not a big talker and he was paired with a little lad who came in in year 7 who was very similar. You'd think it wouldn't have worked ( I initially thought "errrm "surely it's just a roomful of kids ignoring each other?") , but somehow ,the idea of having a network of similar kids to yourself across years that you could have as 'your group' seemed to really take off.
He has also attended a crossroads care social skills group for about 7 years
It has given him an insight into Asd (in all its glories !) that I'm not sure I could have pulled off on my own.
Have a look to see if there are charity social skills groups in your area then maybe? Crossroads are all around the country although the provision varies from area to area
Or perhaps ask the school if they could organise a group of girls as a loose support system rather than choosing one child for her
Good luck .... It IS hard to know what to do
Good news bbkl
It is very hard to know what to do for the best. My Dd3 is in a massive secondary school and I have to say I was dreading it. But so far she has mainly been well supported and they do have a large SEN team which probably helps.
If you read some articles about girls with Asd it does seem like the move to secondary is often the time that all their issues come to the surface. I think maybe because they are expected to be able to just get on with it but the Asd means they are not ready.
I’m so glad the school are being positive. There isn’t always a perfect solution to our kids’ education, it’s all a bit trial and error and your school choice seems pretty sensible! It’s a learning curve for the school as well, so if they’re willing to try things and see what works for your DD that can only be a good thing.
My DS is also at a large state secondary but he's the lively outgoing (if occasionally inappropriate!) type... and I know quieter kids with ASCs who've been happier in private mainstream schools. Some kids from private schools did come to the NHS social skills group.
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