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My son has no friends...how can I help?

(16 Posts)
christie1 Thu 02-Jun-05 02:36:30

My six year old son has something called asbergers syndrome which I am told is something like high functioning autism. Only kind of connected all the dots this year. Really, no problem for the family and he is happy at home but it is starting to show up at school as a problem. Kids either ignore him or tease him a bit. He is starting to realize he is different and states to me that he knows he has no friends. He has called himself wierd. sometimes he cries about it. Anyone been there on this, love to know how other mums dealt with it. It may seem trivial, but don't we all need at least 1 good friend. How do I help him make that connection. It breaks my hears watching him circle the playground alone while the other kids play with each other.

Chandra Thu 02-Jun-05 02:46:16

Christie, there are a good amount of mothers here with children with aspergers. It is a bit quiet here at this time of the night but if you post during the day you may get more responses, they are a very supportive group.

Philly Thu 02-Jun-05 08:27:46

bump

101StressPuppy Thu 02-Jun-05 09:03:21

bump (sorry I've no experience of AS)

Twiglett Thu 02-Jun-05 09:10:43

Others will know much better (as I have no direct experience) but initial thoughts are

Can you involve the school in addressing the situation, from the teacher explaining how all children are different to getting him a playground mentor

Identify those children, with help of teacher, he has more of a connection with and arrange lots of playdates at your house on a one on one basis - can also help you get to know the parents and elicit their support

HTH whilst you're waiting for more experienced people's advice

emily05 Thu 02-Jun-05 09:36:14

My little sister was really bullied at school because she was small (?? ridiculas I know!) She used to always be on her own. I remeber that my mum sent her to lots of after school stuff (like brownies) and she made friends there.

Could he do clubs and things to meet friends outside school?

Cosmo74 Thu 02-Jun-05 09:38:20

Christie

Oh it must break your heart - this is my worse fear for my DS too - as I know already the kids in his class see him as different, but luckily he does have some friends at the minute but I don't know if they will stay with him as he gets older.

You must talk to his teacher about this and get her to keep an eye out for him or arrange activities so he can be included.

The only advice I would have is to find out if there is a support group in your area maybe through that you could meet other parents and kids and go from there.

Good luck

BTW the people here are wonderful support so if you need to talk there will always be someone here for you to lean on.

coppertop Thu 02-Jun-05 09:41:22

Hi Christie1.

My eldest son is almost 5yrs old and has high-functioning autism. What extra help has the school given your son since he was diagnosed? It sounds as though they should be offering him some social skills help. My ds1's school has a social skills group which he goes to every week. They learn about things like what facial expressions mean, how you have a conversation, taking turns in games etc. His progress is monitored by the SALT (speech and language therapist).

It's also a good idea to talk to the teacher/school about a buddy system. A lot of schools have these now to help children in the playground who, for whatever reason, have no-one to play with.

aloha Thu 02-Jun-05 09:50:59

Definitely the school should be helping here. Also does your son have any particular interests that would help him connect with others? Can he play board games or does he love trains or anything really.
What do you say when he says he is different? Have you talked to him about how to make friends? My son has dyspraxia and is slightly eccentric in his social interaction. So far all is fine in nursery but I too wonder how he will get on at school.

macwoozy Thu 02-Jun-05 10:12:30

This doesn't sound trivial at all, and this is also my greatest fear with my ds who has Aspergers, which I find incredibly upsetting. My ds attends a language group as well in his school, and they learn all sorts of social skills. This was organised by his SALT, and she has also mentioned the possibility of a "buddy" so it might really help if you contact the school and see if they can offer your ds any help.

I can't encourage other children to play with my ds when he's at school, but during the school holidays I take him along to a couple of playschemes that cater for children who have certain difficulties, which he thoroughly enjoys, and at least I know he's making friends there even though its a short lived friendship.

By the way where do you live, my ds would love a little playmate

Eulalia Thu 02-Jun-05 13:18:52

My son (5 nearly 6)has autism and gets extra support at school, particulalry at lunchtime with his social support. He also has no friends but fortuntaley is unaware of this. I take him to see my freinds at the weekend and he plays with their children. Also he seems to regard adults as his friends too which is useful. I try not to allow him to mix too much with adults alone and have some balance of his peers but I think ANY kind of social contact is a good thing. 6 is still quite young and your ds may be better with an older child, even just one or two years older so he has someome at his own level but who can appreciate your ds's problems. As someome mentioned here a buddy system within the school may work or even someone visiting your home after school.

fipower Thu 02-Jun-05 17:05:29

My 5 year old daughter has Downs Syndrome and we are currently facing the same concerns in her school. I have invited children to come and play with their Mums and this one on one play has proved sucessful. It also makes the parents more aware of my concerns and may help them to encourage their children to be more inclusive in the future. I am also trying to give my daughter lots of outside interests so that she can bring skills to the class and meet new friends, e.g. joining a local acting group. I will be discussing the buddy suggestions with my school at my daughters next review.
I think most parents worry about their children being unpopular, special needs or not.

christie1 Fri 03-Jun-05 00:42:17

All very good advice and much appreciated. I really like the idea of the playground mentor or buddy system, never thought of that. I will talk to the school. I hesitated because I didn't want him labelled by authorities but I now see it is not a negative thing if the school can help. He has speech and occupational therapy but they don't focus on social interaction. I guess I need to find something to work on that, like the social skills group. This is all still new and a big learning curve. I like the idea of doing something with like minded kids. He does love boardgames and chess so maybe if I could put him in such a club. He really does try to connect with kids but it is tough and doesn't come naturally. It must be like trying to drive a car without knowing how to drive. I understand the middle school years are when it really can get cruel, bullies and stuff, so I would like to use the time we have to build him up and teach him as much as possible about dealing with people and making friends.

Chandra Fri 03-Jun-05 00:45:29

Oh Christie, glad to see you around I was a bit worried that you have left the site without realising you have got all these posts

mumeeee Fri 03-Jun-05 21:48:22

Hi Christie. I recently started a simular thread about dd3 who is 13 and has Dyspraxia. Her school is going to start social training next term . She does go to guides and drama club which helps. I looked on the NAS sight as suggested by Davros and found some books which might be helpful. One was caleed Tobin learns to make freids and is for young children with aspergers Syndrome. The other 2 were for older children and I wondred if anybody had used them and could tell me if they might help my DD. They were both social skills training books one bh Jed E Baker cost £19.95 and the other was by ursula Cornish & Fiona Ross cost £15.95. Thanks.

TheRealMrsF Sat 04-Jun-05 19:15:25

i have only just read this- and feel so much for you as i have 3 boys- 2 are have Asperger's and the 3rd is just 6 and seems to have it too.

something 'spooky' about how many AS kids start to notice themselves how they feel different at around 6 or 7. The party invites stop coming...and as others start to form 'proper' friendships ...ours are the ones left out.

It's not much help i know...but YOU are NOT alone in this....and nor is your son.....

Please give him a hug from ME and tell him that my boys feel just the same...so he is NOT different in my eyes.

It's gut renching to hear how he is so isolated at school and teachers aren't always aware of the ones who wander aimlessly around- minding their own business...they seem to only notice the ones causing trouble.

If you are relaxed about talking about this to his teacher/other mums...and you feel able to invite a child round who you or the teacher etc feel may be a possible friend...then your son will be in his own territory and feel safe....basically... i have to 'guide' my son's with friendships....they don't do it naturally...so like many AS parents i end up inviting people here for tea...and accept that the invite is never the other way.

My 8 yr old is frustrated that no-one likes his current obsession (yu-gi-oh trading cards)so i have started a thread about that hoping to find him some 'online buddies'

I wish i didn't have to be so involved...but like you i cannot bear it if my son feels issolated.

My 11 yr old AS son however...has occaisional knocks at the door to go out...and he declines...and they still call back...so i guess i have to accept that he is happy.....and liked. But when he was 6 or 7 it was a bad time- he withdrew to the back of the class...he felt so different.

So....in his case..he is now happy doing his own thing. He finds kids his own age irritating!!!

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