11 year old boy needs help with social skills



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Jordan150
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29 Oct 2010, 8:14 pm

Hi, my name is Jordan, I am 11 and live in Australia. I have Aspergers, and I really need help with my social skills, and I dont know where to get help or how to improve without help.

I used to go to a social integration unit, which was good, but it was a long time ago now and they dont take on aspergers kids any more.

My mum wants to help me and is on here with me, but she doesnt understand me and just wants me to talk about my problems with her. She says she can help me if I talk to her, but I dont know how she could understand so I dont see the point of talking to her. I have a lot of stuff deep inside that I dont tell anyone and I dont know how to tell people.

Can anyone please help me?



Pamo
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29 Oct 2010, 8:36 pm

I don' t know what types of services they have in Australia, but a speech and language theapist could help you if you find a good one. I am a speech therapist in the US. I work with kids in groups to improve social skills. I have written a blog that deals with this. Here is the link. http://dontmesswithmrin-between.blogspot.com/

I am on the panel of experts for the AWARES international online autism conference. My paper is on Improving Social Skills in the MIddle School age Child with High Functioning Autism. You may find the conference interesting and helpful. The conference begins November 8. It is very inexpensive. You can register now and read the papers. All of the authors will be available to answer questions when the conference begins. Here is the link for that if you are interested.

http://www.awares.org/conferences/

You may also email me directly if I can be of any help to you. [email protected]

Good luck to you.


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Vector
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29 Oct 2010, 9:01 pm

I think it is a very good idea for people for your age to focus on learning how to participate in an activity that lets you practice your social skills. I was able to learn how to make friends by being in plays and singing in choirs with other kids. Some people do the same thing through sports; it really depends on what your interests are and what's available.

What are you interested in? Are there any activities, either through your school or in your community, that you currently are doing?

I think you should try telling your mom about your feelings, even if it's hard and it doesn't feel like she understands you. It's very hard for many people with Aspergers to label their own feelings-- hard work that you should begin doing now. People can't give you what you need emotionally in they don't know how you feel. It's important to practice this with your mom so that you will have practice doing it with other people.


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Chronos
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30 Oct 2010, 12:18 am

Hello Jordan:

Unfortunately I can't help you much with social skills as far as interacting with other 11 year olds. I did not have such social skills when I was your age and the social dynamics between individuals change as they grow older.

However I can certainly give you some advice for when you are a teenager.

Almost all teenagers are very insecure. They worry a lot about what other teenagers think of them, and they get embarrassed easily.

This gives you a window of opportunity to make friends when you get into jr high or highschool.
To exploit this window, basically you just strike up a conversation with one of the other new kids at school. A good way to start this is to make some sort of comment pertaining to the class or school while to them while you are waiting for class to start or at the end.

Among the things you can say to get the conversation started....

"I hope this teacher doesn't give a lot of homework"
"So, what school did you transfer from?"
"Do you know who won the (insert game name) game last night?" - If talking to a boy.
"Hi, I'm (insert name)"
Remember, they're judging themselves more than you at this point.

If they seem willing to converse, and they seem friendly, you might ask if they want to eat lunch with you.

Talk to both boys and girls because it's good to have friends who are girls and friends who are boys.

IF you start to become the target of a bully, don't try to reason with them...don't even engage in any type of exchange with them. Act as if you don't care what they say. Try to do this early on before their status as your bully becomes cemented. If a bully see's they can't get to someone from the beginning, they will usually give up and move on to the next person they think might be weak.

But if you continue to be bullied, go to the school about it.



Chronos
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30 Oct 2010, 12:22 am

Vector wrote:
I think you should try telling your mom about your feelings, even if it's hard and it doesn't feel like she understands you. It's very hard for many people with Aspergers to label their own feelings-- hard work that you should begin doing now. People can't give you what you need emotionally in they don't know how you feel. It's important to practice this with your mom so that you will have practice doing it with other people.


When I was a kid, it was hard to tell adults how I was feeling because adults either didn't understand or didn't really care to understand and were just focused on getting me to act a particular way. In other words, they didn't really listen.

That being said, I actually spent a significant amount of time trying to communicate to them how I was feeling and they simply did not have the capacity or intention to understand.

The problem is as such:
When an NT says that something stresses them, they usually just mean it stresses them. When someone with AS says something stresses them, they usually mean they can't handle it.

And most NT's don't remember what it was like to be a kid anyway, and they certainly don't know what it's like to be a kid with AS.



TOGGI3
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30 Oct 2010, 4:04 am

interacting with other 11 year olds could be very difficult, especially if they havent matured in the same ways you have. I wont say its impossible, but things will get better for you likely as you get older.



SickSickly
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11 Nov 2010, 1:39 pm

Whatever you do. Don't worry about it. At this age you need to focus on self control and just having fun. Pick up a sport. Even if you don't want to. The exercise will rid you of a lot of stress. If you lower your stress levels, conversating with others becomes almost effort less.
Also, don't watch a bunch of tv. Its the non interactive componet of tv that will take away your abillity to think for yourself.
good luck.
remember to be happy. Life is toooo short to be worrying soo much.



skahthic
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12 Nov 2010, 8:47 am

I hope things improve for you. Understand, you are going into the teen years soon, and things will get complicated and scary. But if you hang in there, you will make it through. Teen years are only temporary, and when you are 30 years old it won't matter who was in your history class or what went on at a school dance. I was bullied alot when I was 11, 12, 13 years old. But as bad as it was then, it taught me alot about people. Some people are nice, some people are not. And it is like that all through life. You will learn much through the years, and though it will be harder for you than for others it still is possible. Don't give up, and don't let bullies get you down. They're probably insecure, too.
Funny thing is, one of my former bullies from grade school is now on my Facebook. We are now friends. When she was in school, she was very insecure and felt hurt inside, so she took it out on others. So you never know how things will turn out.



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