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Does your child have friends? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
My DS is 5 and loves other children and plays fearlessly with them, but he's only now starting to refer to other kids as his friends and it's still a very minimal friendship. It's more like kids he really likes to play with. He's only recently started asking to invite friend x over to the house.

I think 5 is still pretty young in terms of being able to form stable friendships and being able to formulate and share thoughts about other kids and relationships.

Though I wouldn't be all that worried that he hasn't been able to develop deep friendships, I had some of the same concerns LynnS6 had in her pp. If you're worried, do some research or take him to a specialist or two for an opinion. That's what I would do.
post #22 of 31
This may be completely out of left field, but I just heard about something called "face blindness" on NPR. Not that I'm saying this is OP's child's issue, but since some posters brought up vision problems, etc., I thought I would throw it out there.
post #23 of 31


I was just going to say the SAME THING...except I saw it on 20/20. My son just turned 6 and just started kindy. He has one really good friend in our neighborhood who he's been friends with for a year or so. He had another friend who moved, but toward the end of their living here, that little boy had started kindy (several months older than DS, one grade ahead in school) and kind of ditched DS for a couple older kids he went to school with...I think because of that DS never really asked much about him after he left. He mentions a friend or two from school fairly regularly, but I don't think it's occured to him to ask if they can get together outside school. (that may change this weekend, he is going to a classmate's Halloween party ) He also has had lots of my friends' kids as playmates, remembers them, and used to ask occasionally to see them--though now that he's in school all day and has a 'best friend' right here that he plays with almost daily, that keeps him busy.

it really seems like the face-blindness thing might be a very real possibility...given that he's trying to identify people by their clothes and that he doesn't have a problem seeing or remembering other things--finding the car, etc.
post #24 of 31
My 11 year old SS sounds similar. It has changed some since as he's gotten older, but even last year when he was evaluated for his IEP, it was noted that he cannot recall the names of other classmates. And when asked who his friends are he either doesn't know or lists random kids.

I do think it's worth looking into.
post #25 of 31
I have a mild case of face blindness - and that is the first thing I thought of when I read your post.
post #26 of 31
It may be a case where he needs to learn to be a bit more observant of people and try to name of the kids in his class. He may be a bit antisocial this might change hwen he gets older. May be he is shy too. My child has friends but few close friends.
post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
I really don't think he has face blindness. I don't think there's anything physical going on.

I think he's just not interested in other people. That's a struggle for me as well, and I don't want to encourage it for him. At the same time, I don't want to make who he is pathological. I had a therapist once who said, "your main problem is that you like books more than people." Yes, yes I do, and I don't see the problem with that. I think DS probably is the same way.

My question really is how much it's normal. Because I've never had normal social interactions for various reasons, I don't have a good sense of what's typical.

Oh, someone (Lynn, I think) posted about him not connecting the cut-outs on the door to the people. He's aware that the cut-outs represent the kids. It's just that he took it literally when I said to learn the name of a classmate. He learned a name but not the actual child.
post #28 of 31
Well, maybe he just hasn't met anybody he thinks is worth being friends yet. It's not uncommon for kids, maybe especially boys, to just start making friendship connections at age 6 or 7. I remember thinking that there was maybe only one kid in my ds's whole pre-k class that I could see him possibly being friends with. He didn't develop a real friend until he was almost 8 though he did like playing with random kids. This was just the first kid he really liked and wanted to get together with. One of the homeschooled kids in our group who is 6 just started playing with the other kids rather than hanging out with the adults. His parents said he never played with the other kids when he was in school the previous year possibly because he generally had a specific idea of how he wanted to play and the other kids weren't interested in the same things. Now he's joining in with the other kids and they are finding common ground.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
My question really is how much it's normal. Because I've never had normal social interactions for various reasons, I don't have a good sense of what's typical.
I think you missing a big part of what we are saying. You are asking for a simple number of friends that is typical. The reality is that there will be a wide range of normal in this aspect. It will depend on availability of potential friends (not simply the number of children around, but ones who share interests,) how the child defines "friend," social group dynamics, whether the child is shy, and so forth. So when you consider all these factors, the not having friends is not in and of itself hugely atypical.

The inability to recognize his teacher; the not calling his grandparents by grandparent names, but instead referring to them by their relation; not knowing any classmates at all; these things suggest something more is going on.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I think you missing a big part of what we are saying. You are asking for a simple number of friends that is typical. The reality is that there will be a wide range of normal in this aspect. It will depend on availability of potential friends (not simply the number of children around, but ones who share interests,) how the child defines "friend," social group dynamics, whether the child is shy, and so forth. So when you consider all these factors, the not having friends is not in and of itself hugely atypical.

The inability to recognize his teacher; the not calling his grandparents by grandparent names, but instead referring to them by their relation; not knowing any classmates at all; these things suggest something more is going on.
The grandparent thing is the only one I've found particularly odd. SIL & BIL have 3 sons, and for a long time he referred to them all as a combination of all 3 names, as if to remember their individual names was just too much trouble. He no longer does that, but it's one of the things I noticed.

To be fair to DS, he's only been in school for 8 days. His comment about his teacher wearing different clothes was after 2 days. It's not his classmates this year that concern me, it's that he doesn't care to know the names of children he sees for soccer, school, etc. I think people's responses are based on the idea that he *cannot* learn the names, but that's not the case. He doesn't *want* to learn them, and I'm wondering if there's a point at which that becomes problematic.

What I do think may be indicative of some of the issue is your comment about shared interests. I've only ever seen him connect with 1 child, and it was at a science museum. This child was 8 or 9, and in talking to him, he clearly was a brilliant kid with an affinity for math & science. He & DS had a great time together, but that was a one-time experience. We don't live in that city, so it's not like it was possible to meet up with this family later. DS still mentions "that boy at the science center," and it was about a year ago.

I do not believe - and I know this is an unpopular thing to say - that DS has met other children who are as cerebral as he is. He is advanced academically. While we probably will get testing done soon, I don't think that it will matter as far as where he is in class right now. So maybe he's doomed not to have others who share his interests unless we can find a place in which other children are more like him. Maybe that's my fear for him because we're just not in a place where that's particularly feasible.
post #31 of 31
My ds misspeaks names a fair bit. He'll call me dad if he has been talking to dh recently, for instance. He doesn't know the names of many of his uncles though to be fair he doesn't see them much. He was explaining the other day about how he has easy access memory but it doesn't last long (short term memory), probably what he uses for names when he doesn't see someone often. He uses the name during the gathering but doesn't remember it long term unless he has had a really meaningful interaction with that person (like the kid at the science museum). Even then, he's more likely to remember what the person did than their name. And ds tells me he has another kind of memory, those memories take a little longer to call up but they are things that once he has learned he never forgets. I'm always reinforcing the names "Remember Uncle Pete? The guy who played with rockets with you?" That helps a lot.

Anyway, if you think he's gifted, it's really common for such kids to do better with older kids until his own peers get older. It may be that simple, that he hasn't met anyone his age worth bothering with. Check out the gifted subforum if you haven't visited it yet.
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