Literal Meaning: I Can’t Have Any Friends!


Okay I definitely need to come up with some creative titles, but here we go..

So as I have stated before both of my twins have Autism. They are considered to be higher functioning. I am thankful for this, but at the same time.. we have our share of battles.

Our current struggle has been getting them to make friends, interact appropriately, and not sending their peers running for the hills.

Usually with Zion he seems to be able to “manage” on his own. I may have to interject here and there. However when he’s not in the mood, “he’s not in the mood!”

Ziah, on the other hand still needs serious help when it comes to appropriately making friends. They both can be inappropriate and don’t know when too much is… TOO MUCH! We’re working on it!

So this past week Zion had indoor recess at school. As soon as he got in the car, he said his famous words, “I’m not in the mood, don’t talk to me,”-

I asked him what was wrong. He stated that he didn’t have a good day. He was bored at recess. He didn’t have anyone to play with. I asked if he tried to play with others. He stated that he asked others if he could watch what they were doing. He said, they said no in a “mean way.”

Now as a Mom it’s my job to protect and advocate for them, right? Right. However sometimes I struggle with knowing when it’s okay to jump in and when it’s not okay, especially since some of his discernment is knocked out by Autism playing a role in all of this.

So then he said that he went back to his desk and put his head down,  AND that he wasn’t supposed to go to school and to make friends. I asked why not. He said that “Dad said I am to go to school and learn, not make friends. I am to go to school to be smart. So I go to school and pay attention so I can be smart.”

While I can admire this from an educational stand point, he needs to implement appropriate social skills! He NEEDS friends! So I tried to break it down with what Dad “really meant”… but NOOOOOOOO. He has it stuck in his head that he cannot go to school to make friends because he goes to only learn.

Lesson in all of this— We forget sometimes that kids with Autism take things literally and sometimes it can be hard to undo what you said… it usually results into an argument or (non)verbal breakdown . Let’s just say we had a little bit of both and I just walked away.

Any suggestions???

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  1. Quita
    November 19, 2012

    Maybe you can undo it by inviting someone from school or his class out to dinner or to the house for an event, they can “become friends” at that time. So, when he goes back to school he won’t need to “make friends” but will already have one that he’s comfortable with. And then you can let him know that it’s okay to be his friend both places. Maybe?

    • December 4, 2012

      That’s a good idea– thanks! He goes back and forth– one day he’ll say he’s doing fine w/ friends at school the next day it’s back to no friends. Hopefully the Social Worker is going to help w/ social stories and groups at school!

  2. December 21, 2012

    Social issues is one of my son’s MAIN problems in school. Even with his IEP, we’re struggling to get him to act appropriately too, especially with the ‘safe body’ aspect. One of the things that has helped him, was the school made these laminated p.i.c.s (don’t remember what it stands for, but they’re basically picture tools for children with special needs)
    On one side, there were pictures of every child in the class. On the other side, pictures of activities available in the class. Each one had velcro on the back.
    Then there’s a card, where he could velcro a picture of a child, and an activity, and show it to the teacher, to get help asking that child to play that activity. This helped him get over the anxiety portion of asking someone to play with him, until he became comfortable asking himself.
    Often times, children with special needs know what they want, but don’t know how to voice it.

    It might also be helpful, since dad opened his mouth, to have dad explain what he meant, to try to CYA and fix it a bit.

    Not that there’s anything there that I know could help, but I have a special section on my blog for Parents of children with special needs. I’ve got lots of resource websites..maybe you can find some more information there? worth a look!
    You’re welcome to use/copy/take any of the sites or information that you see on that page for your own use, or to disseminate to your readers!
    You can also link to it, if you think your readers would find the page useful! 😉

    Marianne Sandling

    • January 22, 2013

      Thanks for your comment. I love the picture idea. Maybe I will bring that up to the twins Social Worker.
      We struggle a lot with this issue because the twins are right in the middle. Because they are high functioning it feels like a fight all the time to get them services that they need.

      I will check out your resources as well! Thank you!

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