Andrew's social struggles continue to get worse. I take every single opportunity that I can to get him out in the public around other kids so I can help him. However, we haven't had any successful tries yet. In fact, it seems to make things worse when I try to give him help on how to play with other kids. He gets upset that what he is doing isn't appropriate. For instance, the other day he kept up walking up to random people and he would just stick his tongue out at them. He did this to several kids and adults and every single time the person turned their nose up at him and avoided him. Andrew got upset, of course, because he wanted them to play with him. When I tried to tell him that it wasn't the appropriate thing to do and I showed him what to do instead, he got upset. VERY UPSET! We have had numerous other situations that are similar to this one over the past few months. However, I just keep on trying to work with him and help him in this area.
Another issue that is rising with him is that he doesn't want to be around older kids. He was at the park the other day and a few kids more than likely a few years older than him, started playing by him. As soon as Andrew noticed the kids, panic took over. His eyes filled with fear, he screamed and took off running away from the playground. He kept saying, "No, no. I don't want to be by older kids." Needless to say, we left immediately because he was done playing.
Andrew has voiced to me on several occasions that he only wants to play with kids his age or younger. I've noticed that everywhere we are, he is attracted to the kids that are younger than him. I believe he feels more comfortable and has more confidence in himself when he is around younger kids which is very typical of kids on the spectrum. I have heard the exact same thing from numerous other parents of kids who are high functioning.....they always play and make friends with people younger than them.
For now, I will continue to work with him and hold on to hope that we can defeat this struggle one day.
Andrew is like many kids who have HFA or what was formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome in the fact that he has some major social issues. In the type of world we live in these days, social challenges definitely do not make it easy for anyone. One of the first things I learned from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst is that parents have to stay on top of this because these are the children that are often bullied and have a much higher chance of suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts. This Momma is trying her best to help Li' A in this area!