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AlmiraGulch

My heart is broken. Again.

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:grouphug:

 

B

 

Remember. . .amidst the sadness, there is also SO much we can find to celebrate and appreciate in our precious ones - whether others do or not.

 

http://seasonsoflearning.blogspot.com/2010/01/mothers-grief.html

 

 

Peace to you. . .

 

Beautiful. Thank you! It's comforting to know I'm not alone.

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I'll second Ottakee's advice. Ds enjoys Special Olympics a lot and he's met other hfa/pdd/asperger kids there so he fits right in. He also attends a social skills group that's let him meet lots of kids. Plus, we always have invites/kids to invite that we're pretty sure will come to an event. Even in places where ds is the only quirky kid, he's gotten more confident just by knowing there are lots of other kids like him.

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I will go against the grain here but say that you might need to look for friends OUTSIDE of the homeschool or even church circle.

 

School has been VERY positive for my kids with special needs. Our local schools have very good social skills groups, mentors and do a nice job of integrating the kids.

 

Special Olympics can be very good if the child likes sports at all. Some kids are only very mildly affected but do very well with special olympics.

 

A local ministry has a teen "club" for young adults--age 14-26 with special needs (autism, Aspergers, cognitive impairments, etc.) that meets 2 evenings a week during the school year and 2 afternoons and 1 evening during the summer. It is a drop in club with videos, games, kareoke, video games, crafts, puzzles, and lots of fun and fellowship with mentors and other peers. They even have a summer camp where the kids have a 1:1 mentor and to volunteer work, etc. in the community.

 

I have found that homeschool is OK for social stuff for K-5/6th grade but in the middle and highschool years my special needs kids were just too special to fit in with the homeschool groups and activities.

 

I agree and appreciate the affirmation! Actually, the only hs group we're involved with is the one enrichment group she's in. We do not belong to a church.

 

I just joined a couple of meetup groups thanks to a recommendation on this post, and so hopefully that will be fruitful.

 

She has decided to go back to ps for 10th grade next year, so maybe there will be more kids there for her to find her niche. Also, she has so much more confidence now than she did when she first came home last year that I'm hopeful she'll have a more positive experience. I

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We're in the same boat here, and it breaks my heart. We found a tween aspie bowling group that we are planning on joining after the holidays through meetup.com. The recreation department in town has a program once a week with crafts and sports skills, and he loves it. None of the kids have made friends, but they all enjoy being together. I've been networking with the public school moms of special needs kids, and have found more opportunities there than in homeschooling groups. I often pray for just one friend...

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That blog post was beautiful...

 

It's comforting to know that others are in the same boat.

 

It was nice to be reminded to look at the positives.

 

Also I wonder whether sometimes we (the parents) suffer more than our kids? I felt devestated recently when a child didn't bother playing with my child when our families and another family got together. This other child had been very sweet to him a couple of times before, but in this instance there was a "normal" child her age there, and those two played together, excluding my son (not really intentionally, he just doesn't make proper efforts to join in without a huge amount of encouragement, and then only if he's in the mood). I felt betrayed on his behalf - I saw the other child as as a fair weather friend who would use ds to play with but only if there wasn't anyone better available. However, I honestly don't think he saw it that way. If she sometimes interacts with him at times when he feels like interacting, then that's actually a good thing. It doesn't bother him that he isn't her favorite person, or that she doesn't always want to play with him. Does that make any sense?

 

Also I have very strange moments when I start wishing he were *less* normal!! No doubt I'd change my tune if I had a few days in the shoes of a profoundly autistic child's mother. I am truly thankful for what my child can do, and I know that there are mothers who'd give a lot for their child to function as well as mine. But just sometimes, I feel that high functioning kids have the worst of both worlds - they don't and can't fit in as normal, yet they are normal enough so that they don't get any sympathy and people have high expectations. If an autistic child doesn't talk, people think it's because he can't talk, but if an aspie kid doesn't answer appropriately, people think he's being rude and needs punishing. I've lost count of the number of people who are certain that my child has nothing wrong with him, but is just badly behaved because he doesn't go to school and isn't disciplined according to their preferred method.

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From me too. I"m in the same boat. My dd 13 is an Aspie and doesn't have any friends either. :( :grouphug:

 

Mine either. And the church kids just ignore her. It makes me so sad, and her too at times. Hard to know what to do exactly to change this.....

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My 13 yr old dd just read your post and said she would love to be a penpal to your daughter. :) Let me know if this is something you'd like to do.

 

Mine did too. pm me if you'd like to exchange addresses.

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That blog post was beautiful...

 

 

Also I have very strange moments when I start wishing he were *less* normal!! No doubt I'd change my tune if I had a few days in the shoes of a profoundly autistic child's mother. I am truly thankful for what my child can do, and I know that there are mothers who'd give a lot for their child to function as well as mine. But just sometimes, I feel that high functioning kids have the worst of both worlds - they don't and can't fit in as normal, yet they are normal enough so that they don't get any sympathy and people have high expectations. If an autistic child doesn't talk, people think it's because he can't talk, but if an aspie kid doesn't answer appropriately, people think he's being rude and needs punishing. I've lost count of the number of people who are certain that my child has nothing wrong with him, but is just badly behaved because he doesn't go to school and isn't disciplined according to their preferred method.

 

:iagree: :(:(

 

Wendi

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I can relate. My ds14 asked me to help him find a friend. The only social connection I know of is our homeschool class organization. I told him it would probably take months to really connect with someone. So we talked about how he'll have a better chance when he gets a part-time job in a couple of years and again when he's in college. He's so sad.

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All I want for Christmas is for my child to have a friend.

 

I'm so sorry. I can only imagine how you feel. I am starting to wonder if I should feel this way too. On a different note, I think that we are neighbors. I was getting ready to enroll my 9 year old dd into the HEArts program for the spring semester!

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I too agree with Ottakee. In one hs group I was a part of, there was a girl who was lovingly brought into the teen scene by the other teens. It was beautiful how they loved her and accepted her. However, I do not think that is the norm. Thankfully, my ds is 1-extremely high functioning and 2 - doesn't notice that he is not connecting with others at the same level that my other dc do. He is also still young enough that I can [again, extremely high functioning] do the right types of behavior management with him to improve his reading of social cues, etc.

 

I am always trying to help my kids see the value in all people, even the ones who may seem a bit different. I hope it sticks. And OP, :grouphug:

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I will go against the grain here but say that you might need to look for friends OUTSIDE of the homeschool or even church circle.

 

School has been VERY positive for my kids with special needs. Our local schools have very good social skills groups, mentors and do a nice job of integrating the kids.

 

Special Olympics can be very good if the child likes sports at all. Some kids are only very mildly affected but do very well with special olympics.

 

A local ministry has a teen "club" for young adults--age 14-26 with special needs (autism, Aspergers, cognitive impairments, etc.) that meets 2 evenings a week during the school year and 2 afternoons and 1 evening during the summer. It is a drop in club with videos, games, kareoke, video games, crafts, puzzles, and lots of fun and fellowship with mentors and other peers. They even have a summer camp where the kids have a 1:1 mentor and to volunteer work, etc. in the community.

 

I have found that homeschool is OK for social stuff for K-5/6th grade but in the middle and highschool years my special needs kids were just too special to fit in with the homeschool groups and activities.

 

I agree with this. My mild autism and mentally disabled 13yo went to a self contained special ed classroom in 2nd semester 5th grade-now. He has never had a friend in church or our neighborhood, but everyone in his classroom is just like him and they all relate so well - like a little family of 8 quirky kids. Children with mental disabilities graduate at 21 yo. So, they stay together for about 5 years of middle school with the same teachers - 8 children, 1 lead teacher and two assistants. Several special ed student teachers rotate in to help tutor one on one.

 

We went to their Thanksgiving lunch. They had a patriotic extravaganza. They each recited poems, sang solo songs along to a smart board lyrics. His teacher is a Christian and it was really moving and a most special day! They always allow prayer before they eat lunch together. They call one of the boys "Preacher Charlie". The teacher had him give a little message/prayer for the parents and it was so moving and special. We all stood up and clapped. I LOVE that class - even though the way public school educates mentally disabled children drives me nutso! They usually work with me and the benefits for him socially outweigh the academic negatives.

 

They also have Community Based Training every week where they spend a day out in the community doing different things. This week they are all going to see my daughter perform in the Nutcracker ballet for a daytime student performance, then out to a bbq buffet restaurant. The teacher has been reading them through the Narnia series with a comprehension guide. They are finishing Dawntreader by next week and will see the movie together.

 

 

I'm really thankful for what he gets there - how he feels like he fits in. I say all of this only bc my county school system also has a self contained high functioning autism class, that migh provide the same benefits to the original poster. When it is time for him to go to our church youth group, we've already decided I'm picking up some of his classmates to bring each time - if they want to come with us. No one from will ever say more than a greeting to him, sad to say...

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Also I have very strange moments when I start wishing he were *less* normal!! No doubt I'd change my tune if I had a few days in the shoes of a profoundly autistic child's mother. I am truly thankful for what my child can do, and I know that there are mothers who'd give a lot for their child to function as well as mine. But just sometimes, I feel that high functioning kids have the worst of both worlds - they don't and can't fit in as normal, yet they are normal enough so that they don't get any sympathy and people have high expectations. If an autistic child doesn't talk, people think it's because he can't talk, but if an aspie kid doesn't answer appropriately, people think he's being rude and needs punishing. I've lost count of the number of people who are certain that my child has nothing wrong with him, but is just badly behaved because he doesn't go to school and isn't disciplined according to their preferred method.

 

As a mother to both a profoundly Autistic son and a highly functioning Aspie daughter, I can totally agree with what you are saying. Both of my kids are very challenging to raise, but they have different sets of issues for the most part except for some overlapping sensory things that effect them both, but for the most part, my son is the easier one believe it or not. The challenges with him are mostly safety concerns since he doesn't speak, he cannot tell you when he's hurting or if something is wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, for example, he had to get a crown put on his tooth because he had a deep cavity that was right on the nerve and it was too deep to have just a filling. I cannot imagine how much pain he was in or for how long and he just can't tell us. Same when he's sick. I've learned to just really rely on trying to read his behavior, but it's really easy to miss it, like I did with the tooth. But other than those kinds of things and having to have my house like Fort Knox so that he can't hurt himself and having to make sure I know what he is doing every 5 minutes and taking him to the bathroom etc, he pretty much does his own thing. He lives in his own world and seems pretty happy there.

 

My dd on the other hand straddles both worlds. She's got one foot in Autism and the other in the "real" world and it is so painful to see how she struggles. Both of my kids break my heart, but I usually suffer the most for my dd. If my son is ignored by someone he's oblivious to them and could care less, but my dd on the other hand WANTS to play with kids and when they ostracize her or ignore her, she knows it and feels it keenly. Often she'll ask, "what's wrong with me?" and it just kills me. :crying:

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:grouphug: Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this. It give me hope.

It is very possible -- for all of you parents to have hope. I think us parents tend to feel the pain that other (neurotypical/"normal") parents have no clue how difficult it is to raise an Asperger's child. In addition to lots of work socially, there is much pain emotionally seeing your child left on the wayside by well meaning "friends" who simply do not understand. To them, your child looks normal -- but how can they have a disability?

 

One family we bonded closely with (they were not homeschooling -- we met them via friends) over 8 years, hurt us the deepest. The kids adored each other and were wonderful. But the mother of the children was very insensitive to our son and did things that were just hurtful. One time, we planned a sleepover (a big deal in our house) with one of her sons -- came over to their house to pick up the kid, only to find out there would be no sleepover. No explanations. The parents weren't there and only their kid was left home alone clueless and upset why he couldn't come to our house. I felt bad for that kid and mad as H#%% for my son who was devastated. The father of the kid said they do not do sleepovers anymore -- but we found out the kids did sleepovers with their public school friends all of the time. We tried to remedy the situation and compromise. But the parent acted passive-aggressive and never addressed the issue. It killed me when their kids asked if they could come and do a sleepover at our home. I politely told them their mom makes the decision. (Grrrrrr...)

 

The same parent knew our son considered her son to be his BEST friend -- but we were not inivited to his birthday party one year. Only his public school friends from junior high were invited. Wow. That hurt big time. Later, we found out that the Mom was very jealous of us and how her kids came back and raved over how much "FUN" they have at our house. (Well, D-U-H... I have to create a fun inviting environment to get kids over since my beloved son cannot socially interact. AAAAUUGH.) It was another issue with her family as she dealt with anxiety and depression -- she was not interested in raising her kids and left them to fend on their own. Her husband was sweet and we liked him a lot. We had to make the decision to end the friendship. It was painful. I don't get people like that. She knew my son's LD and Asperger's in great detail and yet was so mean to him. I still have a hard time forgiving her over that.

 

But -- I digress. LOL :D Despite the bumpy paths and emotional heartache we are all on for our AS kids, there is hope. Take it one day at a time. :grouphug:

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I'm so sorry. I can only imagine how you feel. I am starting to wonder if I should feel this way too. On a different note, I think that we are neighbors. I was getting ready to enroll my 9 year old dd into the HEArts program for the spring semester!

How fun! Evin has loved it there. It has really been a positive experience for her.

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I would second the person who suggested finding friends through interests. My ds 14 is different and doesn't fit in, but has found a group who like him and appreciate him because of a shared interest. It makes my heart smile to see him being happy with this group. He doesn't go to a friends house, or get phone calls, but is happy with the level of friendships he has. He joins in group things at church, and volunteers for work (church cleanup after meal, set up for events, etc.) So in these he works alongside others and has some camaraderie (don't know how to spell that). We spend a lot of time together as a family and I think that's a good thing in this peer-driven culture. I feel for you, I have known that heartbreak. Here's encouragement for you to keep facilitating all the opportunities that come along. BLessings.

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It seems with Aspies that the best way to make connections is through their interests/obsessions. So I'd suggest looking for a club or class that allows her to explore her interest, show her skills and knowledge, and find someone else that shares her interest.

 

Wendi

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