So far, we are surviving high school. Euan has only had a couple of meltdowns at home and none at school. He's managed not to lose anything too important and is even managing to do some of his homework.
But I am still very worried about his social isolation. I know this is tough for all the kids as they settle in, they have to make new friends in a big, scary place. And I know that he doesn't need to be in a big group, he just needs one or two friends that he can connect with. But he does not seem to be able to make connections at all. We've tried role playing (eg how he would initiate a conversation with someone he recognises at lunch time), we've discussed strategies and people (eg focusing on one or two people that he knows in different settings, eg from scouts and school, or who are in more than one of his classes), and we've tried to get him to sign up for a club (but he doesn't like any of the ones that are offered for his age group and despite me writing to him homeroom teacher to ask him to help him find out about others nothing has come of this). The school has tried inviting him to a recess club where he can take part in activities rather than be in the playground, but he doesn't like the other children there. And despite our asking for in in the transition meetings, he hasn't been placed in a homeroom with any of his friends from primary school. And he will *not* allow us to give him a mobile phone so he can't even try to catch up with his old friends.
I don't really know how to help him. He isn't that bothered, he is just trying to survive at the moment, and the teachers just give me the brush off (they all find it hard to settle in and make friends, give it time). Problem is, his birthday is approaching. We've discussed a lot of options for this and Euan wants to go karting. He has never tried karting at all (so I think his dad is going to have to take him on his own before his party) but he is adament that he wants to do this, and I can see that, if we can get anyone to come, it might work out ok - karting is the kind of thing the kids his age would enjoy and so to go to a karting party would be 'cool'. I have booked a karting party and he can invite up to 11 friends, they get exclusive use of the karting track for an hour and then have pizza. How hard can this be?
We cannot, between us, find 11 'friends', and it is going to be pointless as a party if no-one turns up. I don't know any of the other children or their parents and last year we invited 10 kids to an outing at a butterfly and wildlife centre of whom 1 turned up. (Actually, that was ok, because Euan had a very good time with 1 person). Euan has in his head what a 'party' is and this is what it looks like (I think also because he hasn't been invited to anyone else's party for the last three years this doesn't help).
I am just getting this off my chest because I know you guys will get this. We have a couple of weeks to go before we have to send out invitations, so it might be ok. But I don't think that will be long enough for Euan to actually connect with kids in a way that would make them accept an invitation. I am sure that to them he is this wierd, geeky, awkward kid. And they are all busy trying to settle in to new school themselves and the last thing they need is having to go to a wierd, geeky, awkard kid's party. I think when I booked the party I had some kind of idea that a cool karting party would outweight that it was being held by a non-cool person...*sigh*
Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)
"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"