Has he had a full neuro psych evaluation? It sounds like there may be something more than just SPD, but exactly what is difficult say. Getting more clarity on what is going on with him *might* make it easier to figure out how to help him learn better social skills.
You also might check into social skills class. These often don't require any specific dx.
Last, there is a nice series of books to help kids learn specific skills. One of the books in this series, such as this one:
might be helpful for you and your son.
but everything has pros and cons
I agree with Linda you might want to find out if there is more at play than SPD. And social skills classes are great.
Right now we're working with our 11 year old on learning to assume the other person has a good intent before responding. We are kind of at a point where the social skills classes (he is on the autistic spectrum) have gone as far as they are likely to (this by professional opinion) as he gets all the theory. But in practice, because he has very rigid values, he gets into uncomfortable social situations. It's helped to : 1) Teach him to wait a moment and think things through before responding (even a full breath in and out) and 2) Find out triggers to anticipate things.
When my son was six, I found his responses were in "left field". But over time, I realized many of them had common threads and were in character. He's consistently bad with criticism, people who say something that isn't strictly honest, people who give inaccurate information, and people who are insensitive to issues about animals and the environment. He basically has similar values to the rest of the household, but "blown out of proportion" or extreme versions of them. If, for whatever reason, your son tends to exhibit rigid thinking, it helps to figure out what things he doesn't have much "budge" on so that you can discuss a game plan ahead of time.
Explicit rules about how one should speak to others politely (with concrete examples) regardless of differences of opinion are always good, too.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
Thank you so much Linda and Beth for your replies. DS has not had any kind of neuropsychological evaluation. He's only had an occupational therapy eval. I agree that it would be helpful to know if there's more than SPD at play. Even if it's not ASD per se, it does definitely seem like there is another neurological difference in addition to the SPD. Having some clarity about what we are dealing with would help tremendously with selecting appropriate interventions. I will look into a social skills group, that's a great idea. I ordered the book you suggested, Linda, thanks for the rec.
Beth, I am still digesting your post and what you say about your son. Sounds a lot like mine! I appreciate you sharing what has been helpful to him. You've given me some good ideas I can use now and as DS gets older. The idea of assuming that others have positive intentions is definitely one for us to work on, thanks for that in particular.
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