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      Maria,

      My youngest child had some of the social issues- having her be around other children in small controlled (ie: parents watching) groups helped very much. At first, her idea of “asking” a child to play was to either pull her off the jungle gym (physically!) or follow her around like a dog that wanted another dog’s bone….not a good feeling for anyone involved.

      Afterthe group time was over, she and I talked through who was nice, how she could be a better friend, how to ask someone to play in a reasonable way. It sounds so basic, but some kids just aren’t born with the ability to “read” the other kids for some reason. Our school system helped us with this as well, but her issues were caught at a much younger age that your son is now. Some kids (and parents) are more willing to help out by being friends with a special needs child…if you have anyone like that near you, I would suggest you schedule time for your child to be around their child on a regular basis- maybe making cookies, watching tv…just normal kid things. Then after the other child goes home, discuss with your child what went well, what didn’t go so great, and what he could try next time to “be a better friend”…we neverused negative terms when discussing the inability to connect with anotherchild.

      Middle school is rough for even non-special needs kids! It is very important to make your voice heard with the people in charge at his school- not to complain, but to explain- this is my child, I love him, he doesn’t always make the best choices when trying to make new friends, how can we work to help him have a good year? For us, being the ones to mention it first to the teachers rather than having it just happen was huge- when they know how to direct the kids prior to having an issue it seems to go more smoothly for everyone involved.

      HTH

      Lisa G.

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