My son Aden is 7 years old with Asperger. He is very active and loves sports. He plays soccer and hockey and actively involved in other sports. He has been playing with two 7 year old NT boys, Lee and Jason since last winter. Lee is a very active and loves sports. Jason does not like sports, only likes art and craft. Aden and Jason are in the same school, but they had never been interested at each other.
Both Aden and Jason love to play with Lee. Since three families are always together, three boys are always together.
At the beginning, all three of them played nicely, and slowly, Aden and Lee were closer, and Aden just followed Lee to exclude Jason, and even called him a “girl” because Jason cries easily. We had been non-stop educating Aden to be nice to Jason.
Starting early August, Lee became more aggressive to Aden. He started to have bruises on his arms and legs. He told me he got them from playing karate with Lee. Later, he told Lee to stop; he did not like it anymore. Then Lee started to move away from Aden and became closer to Jason. Aden was really upset and confronted with Lee with question like: “why were you like me more but now you like Jason more?” We told him he should not ask this kind of question because people can’t answer.
Now days, he is nice to Jason and Lee, he butters them up with compliments. He is accepting the fact that those two are closer. He kept playing with them, and no more sadness. Jason is very stubborn boy, he only likes Lee, and has very low tolerance toward Aden.
Lee plays with Aden well when only two of them, but shuts Aden out completely when there are more friends around. Also he is rude to Aden. When they play soccer together, Lee kept asking why Aden was not passing to him, and consistently blaming Aden. Aden just kept telling him SORRY.
Both my husband and I are not comfortable with the situation. Is it because Aden has the diagnose, we pay too much attention? If he does not have the diagnose, we would ignore the whole thing? Should we be interfering with his friendship development or just leave it to him to handle? Other parents don’t think it’s big deal because they think it’s part of their development. We I tell them about Aden’s diagnose, they think we are crazy to give him a label. Don’t get me wrong. They are nice families and nice people.
We are already trying to avoid too many encounters with both of them. but we are friends and live in the same block, we will have to meet each other offen.
I am looking for any suggestions.
I am no help. My 7 yr old has similar issues. He is very passive and will go with the crowd or will "stalk" his friends when they don't want to play. He takes a lot of abuse just to be friends with 1 particular kid and I have been working with him a lot on recgonizing how friends treat each other and all that. I don't know what the proper way to handle it is. I got in the middle of it and pulled the other parents in and it got worse :( I talked to the other parents about their kid's bullying behavior and they would just blame my child. Yet, they were inside the entire time while I was outside watching everything go down. So, talking with the parents didn't go well. But my son was not getting it and keeps submitting himself to their abuse. Oh and my son just has the ADHD diagnosis and I am still trying to help him navigate this and not sure I am doing it right or just making it worse :(
Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)
I really feel for you! I have a microscope on all of my son's social interactions because of AS. It's heartbreaking. I don't know where the line is of development vs. necessary guidance so he can learn to handle and navigate social issues. I'm happy your son seems to be quite social and playing team sports! My only thought is inviting Lee over for one on one play time so there is no competition. Maybe explain that to the parents so there is no hard feelings. Best of luck!
Thanks Cassie and RJ11. I tried to explain to the parents and they are friends. Their option is we are too detailed because we only has one kid. They also asked Lee why he is not playing with Aden. Lee told their parents he is still playing with Aden. He just wanted to play with Jason more because Aden and he go for hockey all the time together, so he should play with Jason more.
The good part is Aden is OK now with the fact. Last weekend, after soccer game, Lee told Jason, "let's go to park, Aden is not going." Aden heard it, so did I. I told Aden, let's go home and have lunch and go swimming with another friend. Aden listened to me.
Now, I tell him you don't make real friends until you turn teenage. Now Lee and Jason are just play bodies. Emotionally, he is OK now.
Not sure what else I can help and teach him. It's painful to watch all these.
Sounds exactly like what we are going through. We are trying to stick to one on one playdates as much as possible, I think the dynamic of three kids just doesn't work well. Of course that is hard to avoid if you all live near each other.