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How to help DD with ASD socially

6 replies

Catchingatstars · 03/09/2022 07:34

I hope it is okay to ask this - I'm sorry if I offend in anyway by doing so.

My DD10 has just received an ASD diagnosis. It's a relief in many ways as she has been struggling for ages and I hope this will help her (and me) and get her better support from school.

DD has always really struggled socially with making friends, talking to others and really struggled with making eye contact. This makes her really sad as she would love friends and to be included in conversations etc. How is it best to help her?

Do I try to 'teach her the rules' - try to show her how to do it such as making eye contact - though this clearly is difficult and uncomfortable (she already has some mental health problems probably brought on by years of masking at school). Or let her be even though she is lonely and isolated (again not helping her mental health). Or hopefully their are some other suggestions. She already does some dance classes that she loves and has started to make a couple of friends there - this has been very positive for her.

I'd be so grateful for any suggestions or advice.

OP posts:

Dadaya · 03/09/2022 08:47

I think people with autism tend to cope better with structured activities where there are rules and they know what they have to do, rather than open-ended interactions where they have to decide what to do themselves. So things like classes or organised activities are good. Drama groups where people have lines and a specified role. Games groups where people take turns and it’s clear when it’s your turn. Etc.


Catchingatstars · 03/09/2022 18:13

Thank you. I think that is why she enjoys the dance so much. It's mainly organised with some social bits as part of it.

OP posts:

MyNoseIsCold · 08/09/2022 17:36

Can you organise some play dates? 1:1 time can be easier all round. If she doesn’t want friends in her space, maybe organise a walk in the park.

Having a great house for play dates so that other kids want to come over can be a good strategy. It can be an important part of breaking down some of the social barriers, particularly if she’s not considered cool to hang with.

Gaming can also be a valid and useful way to connect with peers so don’t rule that out.

Don’t push the eye contact - it’s up to the Neurotypicals to accommodate that one. But it might be helpful to spell out some of the social rules - like girls need “proof of friendship” on a daily basis and may think you are not friends anymore if you fail to say hello, or don’t play at break. She doesn’t have to do these things - but it can help her challenge misunderstandings “I’m still your friend but sometimes I need to be by myself for a while”


MyNoseIsCold · 08/09/2022 17:37


sidewayswalking · 10/09/2022 13:43

The biggest thing for me would have been to learn myself better and understand I didn't have to be the same. I know you say she wants to be included but is she possibly just thinking that Hecate she feels that's what people do? If someone had told me when I was 10 that I didn't have to fit the n, be like the rest, have a group of friends it would have been life changing.


Coffeeandcakesplease · 04/10/2022 20:52

I'm just returning to this as it had some really useful comments. DD is doing well at school and has made some new friends which she is very pleased about but as time goes on some cracks are appearing. Whenever she can't cope with a situation such as the group of people gets too big she just walks off from people. She doesn't want to tell people about her ASD as they are new friends, but the girls are now starting to think she is rude or ignoring them and she is becoming more isolated again.

As an NT person I've been trying to give her advice on how to handle it - eg just saying something simple like bye I'm off to the library so as to explain what she is doing. But in the moment she says she simply can't do that and is starting to resent my advice thinking that I am constantly criticising her. Any suggestions? I'm clearly getting it wrong but don't really know how best to help/support her.

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