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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

My son wants a "friend" for Christmas


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Joined: Oct 26, 2004
Posts: 1
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Posted Oct 26, 2004 at 5:56:43 AM
Subject: My son wants a "friend" for Christmas

Hi!

I "stumbled" onto this website while trying to find information on how to help my 10 year old son, Christopher. :D He is a WONDERFUL little boy. He was diagnosed with moderate ADHD in the 1st grade. He's been taking 5mg of Adderall and (until recently) seemed to be doing very well. He began the 5th grade this year and things are in a rapidly downward spiral! :? He's no longer paying attention in class..........it's like his mind has gone on vacation! AMAZINGLY, his grades haven't dropped!!! My husband and I just met with his teacher, the LD specialist, the principal and the vice principal of the school to find out what is going on. We have agreed to have him re-evaluated. During our conversation, we asked if he plays with any of his classmates at school. We've been told that although he plays with children at recess, he is sometimes seen on the playground by himself. :( The LD specialist told us that he may not be "catching" social cues and that in 6th grade this will hurt him tremendously. I think it's already begun....

My husband and I learned from Christopher, yesterday, that several of the kids in his classroom commented on the type of sunglasses he wore for Red Ribbon week. (They were a wire-rimmed type that I didn't think looked so bad.) 8) I guess his classmates thought otherwise. He told me they said, "Nice shades, Chris." He said he could tell they weren't being complimentary. He asked them if their comment meant: A) Cool....B) ????(I can't remember)....C) Dorky. The kids all told him they looked "dorky." The poor kid was absolutely devastated. :oops:

He told us he wants a "friend" for Christmas because he doesn't have any friends. That just broke my heart. :cry: I cried for him on and off in the bathroom the remainder of the afternoon. (Sorry to be so "emotional"................it just hurts to see him go through this! He is such a SWEET and NICE little boy!!!! Nobody really knows just how WONDERFUL he is, but us!) He told my husband he made a list of names of the kids that hurt his feelings and he wanted him to call their parents to talk to them. (Thankfully, he left the list at school.)

I want to do whatever I can to help my son. Would anyone please offer some advice so that we can help him until we have him re-evaluated? :idea:

Thank you, in advance.

Sincerely,

Sheryl

Sheryl Fisher FOCUSED ENERGIES - Health & Wellness Technologies www.5pillars.com/healthnwellness4u 703-569-2232

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Oct 26, 2004 10:22:18 AM

MY heart goes out to you. You might want to look at Mel Levine's book All Kinds of Minds. He has a section on both understanding attention and social skills.

Beth

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bgb
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 330

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Posted:Oct 26, 2004 10:27:04 AM

Hi, Sheryl.

Kids can be so mean at that age!

Does Christopher have any special hobbies? It might work wonders to get him in a group setting with his interest.

I know there are "social" books that can be read that help in learning social clues. Some are fiction books that explisively state the rules most of us learn on our own. I haven't used them so I hope others jump in with names here....

If I may ask, what type of evaluation is the school doing? Does your son have an IEP or 504 plan in place?

Barb

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jerirat
Joined Oct 25, 2004
Posts: 38

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Posted:Oct 26, 2004 2:18:21 PM

sheryl -

I live out in Loudoun County and have a sweet 10yo, too. He's LD with mild ADD and he has one friend. Not a great friend but at least he has someone. My son is "different" and since he's in special ed pretty much a social pariah. I've had parents tell me that they didn't want K to hang around their child. Guess they think LD is catching. K is different but he's not mean or malicous. I'm working with him on the social skills but they're really not that bad. If you put him in a setting where no one is aware of his IEP then he's treated like a regular boy.

Try and find a creative activity for your son. Mine is in a county drama program since he wants to be an actor. And you know what? He's actually quite a good actor, possibly gifted. Last year he took break dancing but he didn't love it. Before that he took non-competitive gymanstics. K is not athletic so sports have never been a real option for him.

I'm seriously considering putting him in a private school for LD children because it would do him good to be around other kids like him.

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Oct 26, 2004 2:24:55 PM

Send me a private message (pm) -- use the memberlist above to get to me. I MAY, repeat may, know of someone in Loudon County who might be able to help you.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Oct 27, 2004 4:46:27 PM

some teachers including me are willing to suggest the names of other children in the class as possible playmates. You might ask his teacher if she'd be willing to give you a few names of the very pleasant kids in the room so you could try to have them over and foster friendships for your son. Be sure to have a small birthday party for him. Some parents will insist to their children that they attend a party when kindly invited.

My own son took classes at the Y which gave him a circle of friends outside the school away from the clique environment.

Good luck.

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cobswife
Joined Apr 22, 2004
Posts: 30

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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 3:24:00 PM

You may want to consider Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts. This is a controlled social environment where they are taught how to be nice to one another. It really helped my bipolar/adhd son. He was only in it for a couple of years, but the kids were not necessarily from his school. The kids are not allowed to be "mean" to each other, as they are trying to learn to help and support each other.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Dec 22, 2004 4:05:00 PM

you tell the Cub leader (usually an 'Akela' here in Canada) of your concerns. He/She will go out of her/his way to help your son. There will likely be several groups in your local area, so go visiting and ask to observe. They won't mind a prospective parent sitting on the sidelines, especially if you tell them why you are investigating. Cub leaders are 'kid people', usually, and will feel for your son and want to help. Plus, they'll have lots of skills to help!

You can 'facilitate' friendship making...at any group activity, not just cubs. Hang out a bit when dropping off and picking up, make friends with the other moms and dads...get involved! Chances are you can pick some kids who seem likely and help smooth the way for some friendships. You could, after a time, arrange playdates outside the activity...this is easier when you know the parents, instead of waiting for the kids to have the idea.

Do choose 'activity' based playdates to start, ie trips to a local park with you and dad or to areas of local interest...maple sugar bush, ice skating, etc. or movies or whatever if you can afford it. 5th graders still enjoy time with mom and dad, mostly, and that way you can see if things are progressing well -- plus you can coach your son if he does need help. Possibly he won't, if you can find the right kids -- all it takes is the opportunity. Making friends is just like dating, IMO...the 'getting to know you' is easier when you don't have to make too much conversation, and you are enjoying a mutally agreeable activity! Then, as you find kids who are compatible, you can concentrate on those...and then if all is well you can gradually withdraw and let them 'just play'. HINT -- don't pick the most popular kids that 'everyone' is after -- look for kids who seem similar in interests, etc. to your son.

OF COURSE you are emotional! This is your 'heart' the 5th grade world is 'rejecting' -- but there is lots you can do to help! Hope you will come back for advice if you need it -- LOTS of us around here have done this sort of thing...I became a Beaver Leader and am now a Cub leader for similar reasons -- though my son is now on to Scouts and I am staying at Cubs since I love the age group and he NOW needs 'less mom' to improve his independence and learn to interact with other adults without my influence.

My son has a few true-blue and compatible friends and is managing very well in Gr. 6, though he is still by nature 'slow to warm up' and a bit of a loner/outsider...we started very early, but that does not mean you can't help your son acquire a few good friends. And it doesn't hurt to learn early that the 'popular crowd' are not the ONLY crowd! Just cuz those guys think he is 'dorky' doesn't mean EVERYONE does or will -- he needs to learn to actively seek out those who are most likely to befriend him -- for my son, that would NOT be guys who judge what he thinks is 'cool' as 'dorky', or kids that tease and put down others (except buddies who do it gently in fun, of course -- these are the years to learn the difference!)

Sorry this is so long, but I feel for your son and I LOVE to help kids like this in my pack! If the kids participate in all activities, especially camps and day trips outside the meetings, it usually happens without much effort. Even if you are not interested in doing the playdate stuff, just having organized activities with compatible people makes us less lonely -- ergo, we HAVE friends!

Feel free to ask for specific advice as time goes on -- and share all this with your son. "hey, honey, maybe we need to broaden your chances for making friends -- those kids at school aren't the only kids in the world. Now, how about...(swim club, cubs, theatre group, etc). Making friends is a SKILL -- some of us have to learn it, and that is no shame. Take heart, and take action...Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

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