My Aspie son has no idea how he's not getting social interaction at school.

I had to write this.  I have to share it.  For the first time in a very long time I feel as if my heart is broken.  I have tried not to cry over my children having autism.  Crying does nothing.  Being strong and getting them the therapy they need and the support they so crave and desire is what I have done.   Last night, I broke down and cried. 
My son, E has Aspergers.  When we finally got that diagnoses, things started to make sense.  We were able to figure out what worked best for him, we got him onto an IEP for his trouble with his OT skills.  The thing is, I am at a loss on how to educate my son socially.  People with Aspergers have a social deficit.  The everyday things that most people overlook can cause a meltdown for a child with Aspergers.  E doesn’t understand many jokes.  Sarcasm is completely lost on him.  He says things out loud that most people would find inappropriate or rude.  That is just who he is.  He doesn’t have a filter or a way to control it.  Especially not at 6 years old.  Those are just a few examples of how Aspergers affects him.
Back to yesterday.  Every day I ask E how school was.  I ask him if he got his work done with little prompts to keep him on task.  I ask him what he ate for lunch.  Yesterday I asked him what he does at recess.  He looked at me and said that it takes him a while to get outside because he likes to wear his coat.  Ok, I get that.  I asked him what he does when he gets outside, like does he go on the swings or does he play with the other kids or whatnot.  He told me that he doesn’t play with other kids.  They don’t like him.  Instead he spends his recess talking with the aides that watch the kids.  He said that they are his only friends and they are the only ones who are nice to him.  He said that they even let him help them get everyone inside for lunch.
Inside I died a little.  My little boy is already not fitting in.  He has no clue why other kids don’t like him.  Instead he gravitates towards the adults who show him positive attention which makes him think that they do like him.  He thinks of the aides as his friends.   I can’t even try to explain to him what is happening.  He is different and that is wonderful but at the same time what on earth do I do to show him how to associate with kids his age?  He should be playing and running around.  He should be doing things that other 6 year old kids do.  He isn’t like other 6 year olds though.  I get that.  He doesn’t.  The other kids don’t get it either.  I fear that it is only going to get worse for him.  I fear that kids will soon starting making fun of him and he is going to be miserable.  Actually, I think it is already happening and he is too afraid to tell me because knowing him, he probably thinks that it is his fault.
My heart is broken.  School is hard enough without having challenges like his.  I am open to ideas and suggestions.  

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paula patterson September 25, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Call the teacher and explain what is happening. Call an IEP meeting and get some social skills into that iep. Talk with the speech person in your school building, and the guidance person and insist that they put in ways to work on social skills. He has to learn them, and the other kids need to learn to deal with all sorts of people! And have play dates at your house--make them the coolest play dates you can think of, the the other kids will see what an amazing child your boy really is!
Mary Jo Stack September 25, 2012 at 01:29 PM
My son had a child in his class, don't know the diagnosis exactly. But each year this childs mom came into the classroom at the beginning of the school year, brought donuts and explained to the kids how her son was different. I know it made a huge impact on my son and the way he treated this boy. Sometimes you need to teach the other kids. Its worth a try.
Valerie Middleton Winter September 25, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I completely understand. Find me on facebook and I'll share with you. Valerie Winter
Lynne Mazeika September 25, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Cleveland Clinic as a WONDERFUL program called Social Spies. My grandson, age 10, has been going for three years and it's made a world of difference. They also have a 6 week day camp in the summer as part of the program, he loves it. It is a mixture of typical and spectrum kids. I can't tell you how much this has helped.
Brianne Knight September 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I just want to thank everyone for the ideas. I am going to contact the teacher today about revising his IEP and the donuts thing sounds like a great idea!


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