I want to play, I don't know how

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I know V is doing so good, but those little non-events jus break my heart.
    We stopped at the park and Partner's friend and her little brother were there.
    All 4 of them are running around playing. V is desperately trying to fit in but it is obvious that his attempts are not working. He then comes to me and starts tearing up "no one plays with me. I don't know how to play with them, I don't know what to do". I told him what he could tell them, how to engage them "Now, I'm going to cahse you guys and if I catch you you will turn into a vampire". Of course, I did not make that up, but simly followed what the whole game was about.
    I cried a bit more "I can't remember all that, I don't how to tell them".
    I assured him that it is hard but he should try anyway. He simply could not do it so I decided to step in and told the kids "V is going to cahse you! Watch out, he wants to turn you into vampires!" and for a brief moment, V was part of the game. It did not last and we left shortly after. Everyone left, not just us, it was quite windy.
    It is hard to see him struggle and now that it is unlikely to get better.
    He was trying to get the other's attention by being goofy, standing too close to them, being loud...The more he tried, the worse it was. And I was standing there, powerless.
    All those little experiences beats him down, he knows. I wish there be something i could do.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    ((Hugs)) Tigger was the same at 5. I hope it helps you to know that Tigger, at 13, has many friends.

    At 5, I still remember my heart shattering when when Tigger wanted to know how come no liked him.

    We just taught each social skill one at a time and set up playdates where he was more likely to be successful. Yes, there were (many) failures but slowly he started to get it and around 10 he made some huge developmental leaps and he continues to get better.

    *social stories
    *structured play dates
    *narrating social situations
    *discussing Sesame Street,etc's social situations

    Is he in a social skills group at school?
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    At school, except for a wonderful teacher, he has nothing. I meet with his team (his K-teacher, an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) specialist, guidance counselor and principal) tomorrow. His teachers wants to request testing for services.
    I'm trying to keep our social group going, but right now we are not meeting. I hope soon.
    Did you write the social stories yourself? I find it very time consuming to write them myself. And then he always understand them very litterally and it can create other issues.
    I have some flash cards that we do: it presents a situation along with a picture and he has to tell what will happen next, or why things are happening a certain way, or has to give a detail answer to a specific question (ie: explain your way to school).
    I hope he gets better over time like Tigger. It is especially hard since Partner is a social bug. Why is Partner invited to birthday parties and not him? Why is M playing with Partner and not V? V sees the gap. I always have to remind him of his few success stories, but they are far and few a part and I can't hide it.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh, sweetie. :hugs: This sounds so much like Jett...
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ktlc... We had the reverse. Oldest has social problems, youngest is a total social butterfly. It was twice as painful... to be surpassed on the social scene by your "baby" sibling... For us, the gap remains. Not that difficult child hasn't made huge strides, but... because we have had to clue him in so much, in detail, for so long... K2 has soaked up every detail 100x better than difficult child and... sibling just shines brighter. <sigh>
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I felt so sad reading your post, Ktllc. To be unable to join in and to know it... this is hard, so tough for a small child. How does V fare one to one with another child? Does he find it easier to be with a girl rather than a boy? I agree that the more social situations you can set up for him the better, for him to learn and practise. V obviously has a sweet, loving nature and wants to join in, wants to relate. That in itself seems like a seed of hope. Hugs.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    In certain situations, I have indeed seen V get along with little girls pretty good. But right now, he is in the stage "girls? Yuck!". I wonder if it is reinforced by his classmate.
    Tomorrow, we go to a birthday party. The little girl is turning 5 and V and her get a long great. It will be in a context where they'll be lots of adults and probably few children. I know V will do great in this kind of environment, even if we can't plan every single stage of the party. He will be able to handle the overstimulation because the adults around him will be attentive and understanding.
    His wanting to join and his constant misunderstanding of social situations is very sad though. Sometimes, I feel it would be easier if he did not care so much about playing with others. He would not get hurt so much. Hopefully, he can turn this personality trait into a strength one day. I don't know.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That is always heartbreaking. Hopefully it will get better for V.

    For us that unfortunately didn't really happen (except a little when difficult child became older teen.) And like IC our socially clueless and friendless is our oldest. And our youngest is very skilled socially and popular. And it really hurt difficult child when his little brother did so much better and was even better liked among his own peers than him even though easy child is three years younger. difficult child also ended up badly bullied at school and even a bit in his hobbies.

    We tried social stories, giving advice, organising play-dates, helping him get into the play (but he still very easily dropped out of the play when there was a smallest change) and what not. Only thing that kept him with others were sports. There he was mostly able to keep up with others and do same things and at least it gave him peer group and certain camaraderie. But at times he got bullied also in there (even though discipline was much better than at school) and getting excluded also there hurt him a lot.

    I hope things turn better for V.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is V at all interested in any sports? At his age he is probably old enough to start soccer locally in a recreational team. Now dont think that he would have to know one iota of how to play soccer because most of the kids on teams at his age dont. Keyana was on a team of 4/5 year olds and they basically ran around like lost puppies chasing a ball...lol. No one would really notice if he didnt get the idea of how to kick it properly at this age. It would be the idea of being in the group.

    Cory was extremely in your face when he was a small child and it bugged kids. Now toddlers didnt seem to mind so much if a two year old gave another two year old a hug but 5 year olds started getting icky about it and 7 year old boys certainly didnt want another 7 year old boy to run up to them and hug them and stand very close. We had to work with him very hard on what we called everyone's personal bubble of space that he couldnt enter. Part of what helped that was sports again. We had both younger two boys in three sports a year...baseball, football and basketball every year and they learned what team work was about. You got to cheer for your team, you got to high five, you played the best you could. Now were they always good? No. We actually coached Cory's first flag football team so we could make sure he was okay. Ended up we had all the difficult child's in the league...lmao. We had an awesome team too.

    If he isnt good at that, try something like dance or gymnastics or swimming.

    I think something very structured would be good for him where he doesnt have to wonder what the rules are. We got incredibly lucky with our coaches but I know in most, if not all, of NC counties have county rec leagues and they are good starting points. They take everyone so the kids dont have to try out and they are inexpensive. Our coaches actually understood both Cory's and Jamie's issues and they would keep Cory occupied when he wasnt playing in the game. Like in baseball if he wasnt in the game, he became "assistant manager" and he would hand out bats and batting helmets to the coaches. A busy Cory was less likely to get into trouble. In other sports they found different jobs for him to do. We were lucky in that most of the coaches also coached each of the different sports and the boys played in all the sports with our boys. To this day we still see these men around town and they ask about them. Its been 20 years since they started.

    Think about it.
  10. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Good morning Janet, your post popped at the same time I turmed my computer on! :)
    I have thought about sports and he has been signed up in soccer during the summer. It went real well. He was the youngest of the group and the other kids forgave him a lot of his lack of understanding.
    Swimming was 1 on 1 and it was wonderful for him.
    V is actually VERY physical and I had thought of gymnastic for him. He is always practising accrobatic moves on my kitchen counter, couches, etc... And gym is structured and not too social, so V should be able to enjoy it. It's always the debate I'm having with myself: not make everything therapy time, sometimes he needs to be himself and accepted for that. Know what I mean??
    But with 3 kids, single parent during the week and work. I just haven't had the courage to sign him up (than I would have to sign Partner up and it would be at a different time). They are only 18months apart. I usually wait until they both can be in the same group... I kow it once again puts V in Partner's shadow but it also guides him and saves my sanity! Crazy schedule are not good for V anyways.
    I have signed V up for an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) summer camp though. There is a lottery so he is not garanteed to be going yet. But I keep my fingers crossed. It would give him a "typical" summer camp experience in an environment that understands him. The ratio is 1 to 1 or 1to 2 depending on the functioning of the chld. He doews not know about it yet. I want to know the lottery results first.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You might want to consider Special Olympics Young Athlete program. Everyone there "gets it".
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have the app for special olympics and a doctor has to certify that he is either developmentally delayed or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), so now that you have that diagnosis. he could qualify I would think!

    The apps are online.

    I have responded to this thread twice only to lose it on both of my mobile devices. SO frustrating.

    Not that I had much to offer, but I can certainly relate to that heart tug when they get it that they are different. Q once asked me to tell his teachers that God made him this way and could they please know he is doing his best???? I about died when he said that!

    Our kids do live a more stressful life.

    I think getting in there and directly showing him what to do and supporting each step is great. You might try his fm unit and you can then put a clue in his ear as he is running around.
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Just so people are aware, each state is slightly different in how they handle "eligibility" for Special Olympics. In Illinois, there is no "certification" process. Essentially, if you feel your child needs SO, sign them up.

    There is a certification process for National/World games but each state can make their own decisions for their State Games.

    Also, most SO activties are run through SRAs (special recreation associations) and they often offer many programs in addition to SO. Ours has adult day care, youth and teen day camps, dances, and many other rec programs. They can also provide support for a child in the regular park district programs.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Cool. In mn you have to fill out tons of forms and the doctor has to certify that they are developmentally challenged in some way. Just a diagnosis does not work.

    But they have some free health programs associated with it too. I just have put it off because we do something five of seven days now. I am considering it for summer though.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Poor V. I wasn't nearly as bad, but once sports became the main focus, I was a very lost girl. Never did grasp why anyone CARED where the ball was or what t did. I manaed to fake it sometimes, but not often. It is such a tough thing to experience or watch your child go through.

    I do think soccer at this age would be a BIG help. J played at four and it was hilarious. About the only year I found truly entertaining, if I am honest. It looked more like trying to wrangle a herd of puppies, lol. We had a truly amazing coach, and his ONE goal for the season was to have a game where no one on the team cried. Usually it was his child who cried as the boy had special needs, but overall most of the kids really enjoyed it.
  16. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    JJJ, you must have send us some very good vibes by suggesting the school puts V in a social skill group!
    I had a team meeting today (which by the way leads to an up coming IEP meeting and for V to be tested within 90days, the 504 plan will stay in place until we have an IEP in place) and the guidance counselor told me she is writing a plan to put a social skills group together!! She will let me know the details in the coming weeks. How great is that?!
    The principal already talked about keeping some of his friends in the same class next year so that V does not have to rebuild his fragile social network.
    She will also make sure one of the 1st grade teacher will get some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) training and put V in her class next year. The University program which tested V are the ones providing the training.
    Could I dare hoping for lots of help coming our way? Finally! I hope.
    I will look into SO, it had never crossed my mind before.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You are my hero! This is the kind of district that I worked for, they got it and really did try hard. I am so glad for you. And how cool that the training comes from the same center!

    This is going to be good. I really do think you have a right to celebrate.

    As my dear friend (two kids with autism, also a sp ed teacher) says, look, we always have to be on our toes, nothing is perfect, but if you have people you can work with, who will try???? That is a huge deal. I like your principal. Sounds like one who might get it.