In the Middle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In the Middle
5
Fri, 08-22-2003 - 9:30am
OK, ladies, I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself, but I do so love to have my ducks in a row. As I am a scatterbrain, that is a lofty goal for me, the duck thing.

Liam is still in the evaluation process. But based on the feedback I'm getting from the PhD, there is a good chance he will not get a spectrum Dx. She seems to be thinking his issues are related to his CAPD, ADD, and SID Dx's. I'm working on sound integration therapies, doing Fastforword, and getting him musicians ear plugs. We also do strattera and OT. This goes along with his reading tutoring. So, I'm trying to give him every tool I can to learn to function by building up his strengths and strengthening his weaknesses while catering to his learning style. His private Catholic school is doing an unbelievable job of meeting his needs.

Here comes the "but"! I am concerned about his social issues. He has one best friend, who I suspect is "developing" past him. Because Liam can't really function in a group, and he has a very slow processing time, he just doesn't keep up with other kids if there are more then three or four of them. Also, because it is so uncomfortable, due to the noise, he disses a group, and plays alone. I think he would love and benefit from a social skills class. However, because TEACCH offers social skills training, it isn't offered by our school system. But TEACCH only offers it to kids on the spectrum :-( And, TEACCH only offers it in the summer. In September, I will be doing the IEP with the public school. I want to get them to offer a social skills group or training to my son. As long as they do it first thing in the morning or at the end of the day (hopefully), I have no problem getting him there. The schools are like 3 min. apart.

My question to y'all is, what are the specifics of a successful social skills class/group? And, if they just won't do it, can I do it myself? Any advice on a good model would be appreciated.

My "plan B" is to go to his current school and see if I can get one going there as a club. We live in the south, so I run the risk of them getting it confused with "social".

My "plan C" is to see if, under the circumstances, I can get him into the TEACCH one. Have any of you ever done the TEACCH one and had a non spectrum kid in it? I think it would be both good for Liam and for the other kids. Keeping in mind, he is not, not, not an NT type kid.

Please tell me what you think!

Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
In reply to: sio64
Fri, 08-22-2003 - 1:04pm
Sio,

There are some books that might help you do some training with your son at home. All are available on Amazon (last time I checked):

Raise Your Child's Social IQ by Cathi Cohen, L.C.S.W.

Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success by Marshall P. Duke, et al

Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help Your Child Find, Meet, and Keep Good Friends by Fred Frankel

Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In by Stephen Nowicki & Marshall P. Duke

How to be a Friend: Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Laurie Krasny & Marc Brown

There are a few more, but these are the ones I liked best.

My son is 3 yrs 9 mos dx AS and probably gifted. He tends to ignore other kids in a group and has a slow response time, like you son. My DS gets stuck doing something solitary and can't seem to get out of his head. He is also clueless about using nonverbal behavior and other social conventions, although he seems to read nonverbals well, if he is paying attention. He takes several minutes to warm up to another child, but eventually starts looking at the peer, imitating, and playing much like a normal 2 yr old would. At this point, I am trying to arrange some informal playgroup-type experiences for him. I belong to a MOMS club, so I am starting to offer fun play activities at my house or at a local library/church through this group. This way, Cassian gets exposure to other kids, and the other kids get a fun activity in return.

A friend of mine is doing a similar thing with her 9 yr old ADHD boy, who has difficulty making and keeping friends. She has outfitted her backyard and basement with very cool toys, so that many of the neighbor kids want to come over and play at their house. The bonus is that she also gets to supervise, so she can help her son socialize at little better (encourage turn-taking, etc.). You could also control the number of kids your son plays with at a time, using this tactic.

I have many of the same worries you do, as I watch Cassian play next to other children, absorbed in his own little world. Some kids have even asked me things like, "Can he talk?" (he has a better vocabulary than most kids his age and reads at a 2nd grade level), and "Is something wrong with his brain?".

Suzi

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: sio64
Fri, 08-22-2003 - 2:29pm
Suzi

Thank you for the reply!

I just got the netlibrary link from my public library, so I'll see if I can check out those books on the net.

I also posted on a great CAPD board on Yahoo. One mother gave me an idea from what her son does. It is called "tea party". Once a week, the kids who are members of the group get to pick one friend from class to go to the "tea party", they get to eat popcorn and drink drinks and talk. it is moderated by the SLP and school counselor. The goal is to teach children with social issues the acceptable way to converse by initiation and turn taking. It sounds doable to me. I think she said it only lasts like 15 min., so I'm thinking his school might do it. She said it was started many years ago by a mother of a child who's son had AS. They just hired a school counselor, so maybe she'd help me. I'm thinking it could be the last 15 min of the day!

A teacher at his school told me this summer there are a number of kids with social issues. At least one child has AS. Then there are the ones who are AD/HD, and, of course, the shy ones. And the ones who are LD. So maybe, if I get the ball rolling, it might fly.

My next thought is, how many kids would be a good size group? Keeping in mind, they will each be bringing a friend.

Well, at least this is a start.

Any other ideas?

Thanks!!!!!

Sio

Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: sio64
Sat, 08-23-2003 - 1:05am
hi, My 10 yr. old AS dd needs a social group. She has 1 or 2 friends @ school only but noone in the neighborhood. She will never call anyone or make the attempt to talk to anyone new unless they approach her. My school (public) said they no longer have social group. We tried to get this in 4th gr. I think I could insist on this if we really wanted to, but I do not like the school psychologist. I am going to take her to a private psychologist to the tune of $150 per mo. so she can attend social group with girls her own age. I hope it helps her. We will see how it goes. I am also going this fall to go to an AS support group in our area. I hope this will help me.~ MaryAnn
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: sio64
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 8:33am
Candes,

These sights are great!

I hope the birthday girl had a great party!!!

Thank You,

Sio