He doesn't high five people who are trying to be friendly

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sonic, as y ou know, is eighteen, but since our problems with him are more the same as younger kids, I'm going to keep posting mostly about him here. I hope nobody minds. He's just not a parent emeritus kid.

    The story: Sonic bowled so well in the Special Olympics (his average was 139) that he got to go onto the regional. For anyone with a "different" child who has any cognitive issues, even if his IQ is normal, I strongly recommend this group. Sonic, as unsure as he is with other people, has old friends from way back and exudes a confidence I never see in him when he is there. But that's not the issue.

    Hub and I noticed starting with the first bowling tournaments that the other kids get excited for one another and do a lot of high fiving, whether they have a good or a bad frame, but especially if a frame is good or somebody gets a strike. Sonic often walked past outstretched hands and acted as if he didnt' even know they were there...lol. This was usually when he was disappointed in his frame. He did not look defiant. He looked preoccuped. We actually had to explain to him that everyone high fives to be friendly and to pay attention because his friends were disappointed when he didn't notice. He said, "Yeah, I know."

    I don't know if it's his shyness or just him being angry at himself if he has a bad frame. He certainly breaks into a huge smile and usually high fives everyone when he does well. He bowled 125, 107 (shockingly low for him) and 166...so he came in fourth rather than third and could not go onto State Finals. Still, he was one of the youngest in his particular ability group and did really well. We had great fun watching all the athletes. But the high five thing puzzled me. Any thoughts from those with kids on the spectrum? Sonic WAS interacting if others engaged him (and they did).

    In a way...it was funny.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    From someone who played team sports for many years, that's pretty typical teen behavior. The difference was if you didn't want to high five, you'd make yourself look obviously preoccupied (talking to yourself angrily, head down, you know the drill) or wander in a different direction to "walk it off."
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Q is the same. Will high -5 on his terms and sometimes if cued. Never is encouraging to others not being mean,just socially clueless. If you ask he'd say " I know" too. But it is just not important to him. He also inappropriately hugs and he has learned to do hi-5 or fist bumps instead. Still needs cuing at times. They're not being rude on purpose but if they don't take the perspective of others well and/or care much about those kinds of things??? Pretty much typical for lots of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids in my humble opinion. So great he loves that. I'm gonna make that my mission this winter. Thanks for the reminder.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion it is absolutely, positively, typical Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behavior. Sounds exactly like son.

    I noticed it a few years ago when we'd run into friends from school in various places. They wanted to give him an interactive "hello" and he'd refuse. At one point, he even went into a whole spiel how he was concerned about germs (just a convenient excuse). At that conversation, we got son to concede to a fist bump. Currently son can and does high fives with his friends now. However, the coaxing and teaching of this social skill, came from his friends and cousin - not from mom.

    Just like any other social skill, the importance of high fives needs to be TAUGHT to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids.
  5. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Wearing emotions for all to see is pretty typical for my difficult child. If he's excited he shows it and will participate in the socially appropriate high-five. If he is not 'feeling it', no way will he defer to the socially correct format for other's sake. Obviously this causes problems sometimes, but maybe you could think of it this way: your difficult child was showing disappointment-maybe the other participants should have been practicing THEIR social skills and acknowledging his disappointment instead of trying to high-five....
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I would just continue to encourage him. Not sure exactly how ...
    My difficult child high fives at baseball games because he HAS to. At the end of the game, they form lines, and pass the other team one-by-one, slapping hands. difficult child's hand is so low it's amazing anyone can see it, lol! But this is peer pressure and part of the rules. Bowling is more independent. Sigh. Wish I had more to offer.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I love SPECIAL OLYMPICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We hesitated putting the boys in it because I did not think they'd be accepted due to their normal IQs. But they are! Eeyore didn't like it because he felt it made him look 'more Special Education' but just the 6 months of SO gave him enough confidence to try regular sports.

    For Tigger, it has been nothing short of a miracle. He developed confidence, made friends and so much more.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most of the kids act pretty much like "normal" kids. There aren't any meltdowns or cryng. A few kids have Downs, but that's ok. Sonic knows about Downs and just like everyone else I want him to accept those who are OBVIOUSLY different. Most of the kids and young adults are pretty much emotionally and reactively the same as other kids at least during practice and tournaments. The diagnosis. are all over the charts. The kids are held to high standards and must display good sportsmanship, but are guided by awesome volunteers. I recommend the group to anyone who's child has "cognitive" issues, which can be executive function, inability to utilize a normal IQ, etc. Sonic is the latter here. His IQ is 107, but he is only at a fifth grade level at school. I thought Sonic would feel funny being with "different" kids, but he isn't at all. Heck, he knows he's different and, being Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), is fine with anyone who is nice to him and is disinterested in age too. He was the youngest bowler at 18. It went to 21 in his age and ability level. The positivity in this group and the older members I think show the younger members that they can enjoy life. Now onto Sonic...

    It's true that most of his oblivion to the high fives was during his 107 game, in which he was doing very poorly. I think this may be one way he shows anger. He is not very overt about it. However, in the car later we did instruct him on how the athletes expected him to high five ALL THE TIME, not just when he was having a good game. We're going to keep after him on this. I agree with whomever said this is just more Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) having to teach them what is appropriate. Sometimes it gets tiring. In general though the Special Olympics at this level was great fun.

    Sonic also does Cross Country Skiing and is going to start year round bowling and play softball in the spring. They offer basketball too, but he isn't that excited about basketball, and they have track and field in spring. He is good at track, but doesn't like it so we don't force it. Much of the sports, plus overnights, is FREE...no cost to the athletes or their families. Year round bowling is the only sport w here Sonic will have to pay, but he loves bowling so much we are going to cough it up. Otherwise bowling would be over now for him since he did not qualify for State (you have to be first, second and third in your group to qualify for State).