HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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When Your Aspergers Child Can't Make Friends

If your Aspergers child doesn't ever talk about anyone in his class, doesn’t ask to bring a friend home, never gets invited to any of his peers' homes, and seems to be a loner in general preferring to play by himself, then he might be having trouble in the friendship department (his teacher may be able to confirm your suspicions).

Aspergers and HFA children need to understand when to reach out, pull back, blend in, speak up and let go. So, how can parents help their Aspergers child make and keep friends?

Click here for strategies that you can use to help your child make - and keep - friends!



10 comments:

Nonie De Long said...

This has been the most difficult of raising a child with Asperger's. It is not made easier by teachers that damage fragile self esteem and school boards and clubs that are exclusivist. I've found it to be heartbreaking. Very good suggestions, but very hard to address, in my experience.

Anonymous said...

We noticed in Kindergarten and first grade that my son had one really close friend. When that friend switched schools mid year in first grade, our son was lost. He didn't know how to talk to anyone else even though I kept telling my son before he left that he had to make multiple friends. Having the Aspergers diagnosed now it makes more sense what really happened. He has a couple of friends now but no one as close as that first close friend.

Anonymous said...

I find that homeschooling during the middle grades is a good option, as the parent can better supervise peer interactions and prevent some of the negative social experiences. YMCAs often have homeschool classes, and there are co-ops in some areas and art classes, etc., to enable positive social interactions.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is one of the most difficult and I had no idea my son was Aspberger's till recently and he is 15. Now everything makes sense to me. He only has 2 really close friends and does not like to socialize at church in the youth group but prefers just sitting in church with us. I hope he makes new friends this coming school year.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a sister who most definitely has Asperger's (she was never formally diagnosed, but it wasn't easily identified or discussed 35+ yrs ago. Watching her go through the struggles of finding same-age friends was heart-breaking. I now have two young children of my own who both exhibit a high degree of social anxiety, and all of the feelings of shared pain and sympathy I had for my sister is fresh again. I don't have any suggestions other to say I understand the pain and frustration parents of children with Asperger's go through. Hang in there, and love your kids the best you can!

Anonymous said...

This has been a big issue for my 7yr. Old Asperger son. I often have to remind him to talk about what other kids want to talk about and to play games others want to play. He often fogets this give and take aspects of friendships. Boy scouts has been a big help as well this is a group that learns to work together no matter what their differences are and there is no ongoing competition.

Dominique Denardo said...

This is the most tragic aspect of Aspergers. Watching my son struggle.is excruciating. He is 10 recently lost his best friend. The friend couldn't take the screaming, crying, yelling, controlling, bossiness and lack of reciprocity. My son has been in social skills/social thinking groups for 5 years and he still doesn't get it.

Sara Woods said...

My son is approaching 13, he has aspergers. Making friends and keeping them is very difficult for him. His best friend at school has been name calling him and it has pulled my son down into a depression. My some takes things very literally and thinks with his heart. I am in close communication with the teacher at his school that actually is working with both boys. Any help is appreciated and I will try some of these methods. I believe I have done this but I'll try different variations to see what works. It is truly devastating to watch your child in this much pain.

Lisa said...

My 8 year-old son with AS gets very attached to friends. It is difficult for him to focus on more than one friend. He speaks obsessively about his video games although we are encouraging other interests and providing opportunities for other activities. The friend in his class shares his intelligence and enjoys video games as a common interest as well. He gets put off by my son's preoccupation with video games and must have said something to his parents. The friend's parents have now labeled my son as someone who "doesn't do anything" and as a "bad influence". They have told their son not to play with my son and said they do not like him. My son's friend than comes back and tells my son what his parents have said. It is very hurtful to my son and to us and it is not true.
I don't know what to do. I've talked with my son about how wonderful he is and how it is bad manners and untrue for his friends parents to say such things and for his friend to repeat them. I want him to know he has not done anything wrong and I want the negative feedback to stop. Does anyone have a similar experience? I'm thinking of speaking to the parents and perhaps the teacher. The problem is obviously the parents, but I don't want my son to continue to hear hurtful things. Should I explain that my son has AS? Any help would be welcome. Thanks!

Clare Crooks said...

Making friends with other parents when your kid is the one taking off his clothes or spitting or lashing out is impossible. No way to model any behaviour, we are social pariahs. The only time I've been able to see it nearly working was when we met the local homeschool group by chance. Open minded parents and chilled out kids put my son at ease and he had a great time. Not been repeated since.

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content