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There is a boy with Aspegers in my sons school. For a while my son and he were friends - but it became a very strained friendship. The ASD child would ask my son to come over daily, and try to do things to drive his other friends away. He was sort-of stalker-like<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
After several months of this, we spoke to the school, and let them know of the situation. they instituted a "break" where the kids were not really supposed to play together at recess. Fine.<br><br>
After about a month, the ASD child asked my son over to his house, My son said yes, and the whole cycle began again.<br><br>
About 2 weeks ago, we went to the school again, and the school asked my son to send a very firm message to this child. Essentially they asked him to say "We cannot be friends". He did this, but it was so hard for him!! He genuinely did not want to hurt this boys feelings (and he did like him on some levels, just not his behaviour). He actually came home from school physically sick the day this meeting took place.<br><br>
Fast forward to today, we are at the park. my son is there and the ASD child (with family) show up. It was so uncomfortable. The ASD child asked DS over and over and over "if DS was his freind". DS said no once, but another time said he was willing to wipe the slate clean, and start over<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: So yes, my DS does send mixed messages but that is because<br>
a) he is trying not to hurt the boys feelings<br>
b) he sometimes gives into The ASD childs pressure because he thinks it is easier.<br><br>
His teacher feels Ds should firmly say "NO" again but that is not going to happen. He said "NO" once, it was very hard on him, and it did not change much.<br><br>
I am not sure why I am posting this here... DS would very much like to be friendly with this child but not freinds. How can he get this message across to a child with Aspegers? What have positive relationship between ASD children and NT looked like?<br><br>
Kathy
 

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I have no idea what to tell you, that is so sad and complicated. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Poor kids...both of 'em.
 

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My son was recently diagnosed with Asperger's and I've done quite a bit of reading. In Tony Attwood's newest book he discusses how friendships are difficult for a child with Asperger's. They often-times have a strong desire to have a friend (or friends) but don't understand the dynamic of the relationship. It is not uncommon for the child with Asperger's Syndrome to look at the child as kind of property - you're my friend so you can't be so-and-so's friends. They don't understand that friendships can be more dynamic than that. This is just what I read in the book but the explanation made sense.<br><br>
Perhaps your son can try to explain to the child with AS that yes he is his friend (if that is what he wants) but that he also has other friends. Maybe your son can try to introduce the AS child to his other friends and together the group of them can work with the AS child to help him understand the dynamics of friendship.<br><br>
I'm pretty new to the world of Asperger's Syndrome so hopefully someone else will chime in here with more advice but I wanted to share what I've learned thus far.
 

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have you talked to this child's mother? That's where I would start.
 

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Maybe I'm missing some steps that were followed, but I think your son was given bad advice and he knows it! He sounds like a good kid in a tough situation. I think your son wants to be this boy's friend without having him do annoying stuff.<br><br>
Was the child ever told exactly what behavior of his was unacceptable? Was your son ever given an alternative to cutting off the friendship completely. Were the boy's parents contacted and what was their response? I would envision something more like a professional sitting down with you and your son and mapping out 1) what your son wants from the relationship (would he like a 1x per week playdate and 1 phone call, and a rule that he only approach him to play at school if he's ready to be polite to other friends and include them in the game, for example?), 2) what behavior he wants to stop in very specific terms (i.e. don't call my friends names when they try to talk to me, don't tell them I don't like them any more, don't follow me around everywhere at school, etc.) 3) a plan for laying out the limits with the two boys and their parents that lays out expectations and consequences. Your son could also be coached in expressing his feelings--e.g. "I like playing with you sometimes and consider you a friend, but when you come over every day and are unpleasant to me or my friends, then I get angry and I don't feel like playing with you the next day."<br><br>
Lots of people can be involved in the support for this. There could be a social story developed with whoever works with him on social skills. This will allow him to envision contingencies in advance. His parents and teachers would cue him in advance (i.e. you called X yesterday, so the agreement is that you will not call or stop by his house today, what will you do instead when you get home from school?) Your son will also have clear guidelines for what to do if the other boy doesn't follow the agreement or react appropriately to a verbal reminder from him.<br><br>
Maybe your son doesn't really want any of this and just gives in to pestering <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> If you're not sure, you could show him or read him this post and see whether he thinks it would be helpful.<br><br>
Sherri
 

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Wow, I know exactly that other little boy feels. Thats how I was growing up, though I wasn't actually brave enough to ask people to be my friends. But when I did find a "friend" I latched on. Mostly I just followed my friends around and interjected when I could...but usually I just listened. I agree with the "property" statement. I remember a new girl coming to my school when I was in 9th grade. The jerk popular kids were talking to her and I was "no way, she's going to be MY friend!"<br><br>
I think you'd probably have to talk to the parents to maybe coach their kid some on settling down a bit on the activities. My son is also Aspergers and we're trying to help him understand that not everyone wants to do what he wants to do all the time...he's only 3 though, so its slow going. I think its super sweet though that your son wants to be friendly with him.
 

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Jennifer, I just wanted to veer OT and mention that if your 3 y.o. might like the book about the little train with TS--Tobin makes friends is the title? Tobin is the train.<br><br>
Sherri<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow, I know exactly that other little boy feels. Thats how I was growing up, though I wasn't actually brave enough to ask people to be my friends. But when I did find a "friend" I latched on. Mostly I just followed my friends around and interjected when I could...but usually I just listened. I agree with the "property" statement. I remember a new girl coming to my school when I was in 9th grade. The jerk popular kids were talking to her and I was "no way, she's going to be MY friend!"<br><br>
I think you'd probably have to talk to the parents to maybe coach their kid some on settling down a bit on the activities. My son is also Aspergers and we're trying to help him understand that not everyone wants to do what he wants to do all the time...he's only 3 though, so its slow going. I think its super sweet though that your son wants to be friendly with him.</div>
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Wow, it sounds like your son has done his part and beyond. What a tough and sad situation. He sounds like such a nice boy, so patient and thoughtful.<br><br>
It sounds like now the situation has gone out of his capacity to deal with it. It sounds like maybe you should talk to the other boy's parents gently, and tell them what your son has gone through with their son, and ask for their help or intervention, I think that that is their responsibility to explain to their son; they know the capacity of Asperger's and what their son is capable of handling. Perhaps they can give you tips and insight on how to best deal with their son's particular personality.<br><br>
I absolutely believe in getting our children to deal with most situations on their own, independent of a parent, and your son did, extremely maturely, but now, short of ruining the other child's self-esteem (by shouting or telling the naked truth), it seems like your son has done everything he can do. The other child is just wearing him down.
 

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What a tough spot for both boys. I am sad for everyone.<br><br>
Well, I know with my Ds (he doesn't have any friends yet, and barely tolerates his brothers) routine and consistancy is crutial for him to be functional. I know that is so hard for your ds and the whole situtation. Your ds sounds like such a sweetheart trying to protect his feelings. I know my ds can be very intense so I suspect perhaps this other little boy is very intense as well. Seriously a rough spot.<br><br>
If I were the other little boy's mom, here's what I would like to see perhaps. You and I would talk and just kind of lay it out. My ds has social challenges, your ds wants to be nice and yet feel safe and not harrassed. Maybe set up that perhaps once day a week they play if that is ok with your son. Keep it consistant as possible. Then perhaps just when the other little boys realizes that your son plays with other kids and still plays with him one day a week that everyone can be friends and it's ok. Maybe his mom can talk with him more about friendships.<br><br>
I would not rely on the school to pass on the info concerning this to his mom. She may be oblivious. Maybe if you engage her in a postive way she can help.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Really it's tough spot. It's so thrilling to see the other little boy make a friend, but so frusterating for your son. Your ds really does sound like he has a heart of gold.
 

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That poor boy. I just keep thinking they should get that kid together with an Asperger's group or something. I can't blame your son, but I can't help knowing exactly what the boy is going through. My DH can relate too. We're going to be sitting here holding hands all night saying "it's okay, it's over, we're grownups now."<br><br>
My God, junior high school was a dark place...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just wrote the longest reply...but the server was too busy<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
First off, thank you so much everyone! I will show my Ds this thread in the morning, he will be pleased to see all the thoughtful and positive responses to him and the situation.<br><br>
After today, I am throwing this ball back to the school. I think they have been focusing on him saying clearly "NO" and telling a teacher if the child with ASD does not listen to him. It IS too much on his shoulders.... and not a very caring thing for either child.<br><br><br>
I am torn about whether to talk to the mom. We were both at the park today - I tried to initiate conversation but she was very hurt by the situation. I do not think she wants to talk to me. Maybe in time, or in a meeting at the school. I am certainly willing.<br><br>
kathy
 

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If your DS wants to be this child's friend could they set up some sort of "scehdule"? A calander and circle a couple days that he can play with his friend. Let the other child have it. Many ASD kiddos do really well with written schedules and can refer back to it when they want to know if they can or cannot do something at such and such a time. I'm just thinking of my DS who wants to know exactly when things are goign to happen and will ask over and over and over until its lain out very clearly and to the letter. A written schedule works well for my DS.<br><br>
If your DS doesn't want to be this other child's friend then I think you should talk to the other child's parent and explain that your DS is uncomfortable in the situation and likes the child but does not want to have playdates right now. They could talk to thier DS and give advice on how to proceed for your DS as well when the other child approaches him.
 

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How old are these kids?<br><br>
People obsessions are pretty common for aspies... it sounds like your son was the object of a person obsession (aspies develop obsessive interests either in subjects or people). I had this ALL the time starting in kindergartren and I still have it. It causes me a lot of heartache.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7910776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am torn about whether to talk to the mom. We were both at the park today - I tried to initiate conversation but she was very hurt by the situation. I do not think she wants to talk to me. Maybe in time, or in a meeting at the school. I am certainly willing.<br><br>
kathy</div>
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I'm not a SN mother myself, but I grew up autistic, so I read here a lot.<br><br>
I would really like to point out that it's extremely likely that ASD child's mommy is really tired, heartweary, and in a lot of emotional pain.<br><br>
Perhaps if you can approach her again, and tell her honestly, "I can't pretend to understand what it's like to parent your young one. I would really love to have the two boys have a relationship, though, and perhaps you and I could begin considering a friendship, as well?<br><br>
"I would really like to work with you on getting the two boys to a happy place with one another. I bet you are really going through a lot, and if you'll let me, I would very much enjoy finding a positive resolution to this for everyone. I think < your son's name > would very much like to work something out. He loves < her son's name >, but just doesn't know how to interact well with him. Could you teach us?"<br><br>
If you can approach her with compassion for her situation, and ask for a way to resolve the issue, she might be willing to change her mind and work with you. Just be loving towards her, and remember that she will probably feel alienated from you. She's going through things that she will feel like you can't possibly understand.<br><br>
Offer her a compassionate ear herself, and a place where her son is wanted. Try to understand how she might have been hurt so far, and let her know that you were NOT following what < your son > wanted to do, but rather what the SCHOOL told him to do.<br><br>
Knowing that it wasn't you or your son's idea to tell her son they can't and shouldn't be friends might help to ease her hurt (and protective!) feelings a lot.<br><br>
Maybe some of the moms here can chime in and tell me if I'm wrong, before you make another attempt.
 

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While it's 150% possible I could be projecting a little <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> , I can guess at why the other mom might be feeling hurt, especially if the school did communicate with her about it. It doesn't sound, to me, that there is anyone at the school who has the goal of really helping him through social sticky spots with NT kids.<br><br>
I homeschool and planned to before I realized my son would have issues, but I could imagine that someone who sends their Aspie child to school would hope that school would help with social issues and that their child who has a hard time making friends would make some. The Mom may well have been very excited when her son made a friend who he really looked forward to seeing. Then when he is socially inappropriate with that friend, they don't say, "Let's use this as an opportunity for both boys to clearly express what they do and don't want in a friend. Let's help him learn to change and compromise. Let's prepare him for difficult situations by talking through it first." No, it's "he's being socially inappropriate, so let's stop letting them play together at school. Instead of having a caring adult work through his feelings, we'll make his friend cut off the relationship and tell him they can't play anymore." I would imagine that the school spends a lot of time calling her to complain about her son without actually offering him much that would help him grow and feel supported and cared about.<br><br>
It's just a very sad and frustrating situation. My son could so be the other boy.<br><br>
I also think that the fact that your son is having so many ongoing struggles in this situation may be that he doesn't just write people off easily and wants to be fair. I think it's more important that he continue to be that kind of person than it is to get out of an uncomfortable situation quickly.<br><br>
Sherri
 

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Sherri - I totally agree - the school should be focusing more on social skills issues with the AS boy, instead of teaching the OP's boy to be firm.<br><br>
This makes me so sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Man, why are social skills so damn hard for these schools to understand? It crosses into everything. It makes the AS kids life so hard.<br><br>
Do not make your child shut this guy out. It is not fair to anyone. Work with the mom, the school whoever and do not allow them to say just tell him to go away. How cruel. I would be very hurt if I learned that someone was telling my son to go away and I don't want to be your friend.<br><br><br>
Doreen
 
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