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    Joined: Feb 2012
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    KJP Offline OP
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    DS6 is normal/great with older smart kids but often obnoxious and annoying with kids the same age. He is also nice with little kids.

    He gets some social skills help in OT and I have ordered the DVD of It's so Much Work to be Your Friend.

    Yesterday was a great example. Classroom teacher where DS is oldest in K class said he wasn't working well with the other kids and some of them thought he was annoying. No specifics given. Mixed age after school care teacher commented that he was such a great little conversationalist and he was chatting it up with a bright boy a few years older than him.

    Any ideas?

    Ignore because we are in the home stretch of school and next year he'll be in a 1-6 grade mixed class?

    The mixed age after school science club is going well. I signed him up for a drama class but the age breakdowns mean it will be like his classroom.

    I know older kids can pick up the slack better in a social situation and tend to maybe be more predictable.

    He has an older cousin that he gets along great with but they live far away.

    Just looking for ideas and wondering if this is an "issue" that needs to be addressed or if a "wait and see" approach would be okay.

    I hope to share the DVD with the school so maybe that will help.

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    It could be that he gets along better with older kids because they're "picking up the slack" and more tolerant of his social weaknesses, since he's younger. Kids his own age might be less tolerant.

    Then again, it could be that he gets along better with older kids because he respects them more, since it's a better peer-match, and he gets frustrated with kids his own age for "acting like babies."

    Without direct observations, it's hard to say. The feedback from the teachers is too limited to be helpful.

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    "It could be that he gets along better with older kids because they're "picking up the slack" and more tolerant of his social weaknesses, since he's younger. Kids his own age might be less tolerant."

    I completely agree. This is frequently the case. Also, lots of children are good with smaller kids because the smaller kids do what they want. smile It is MUCH harder to negotiate with peers because they are on equal ground.

    He also might be more bossy with children his own age because he knows he's more articulate. "I explained fully why you should be my sidekick and carry my stuff, and you didn't object clearly and to my satisfaction. So do it, because you haven't given me a good reason not to."

    Their response: "Oh, p*&# off."

    Commence argument. The verbal child continues because he doesn't understand that the argument is over. He doesn't recognize this because he was playing a different game (namely, the one he believes he can, and did, win: that in which he uses his verbal skills to argue a point).

    If that is the case, then it will get worse with age, and he needs to know that people aren't obligated to use reason in social interactions. They don't have to be your friend, do what you want, care about what you care about, listen to you, etc. and that's totally fine. People do what you want when they get something from you, not because they have beliefs about what they ought to do or how awesome you are or they are convinced they "should" like something.

    This is hard for kids with ASD or other social delays to get. And it doesn't have to be severe. There's a girl in my neighborhood who is not socially delayed at all, but who is used to being leader of the pack.

    Once I told her point-blank: "You don't get it. They don't have to do what you say. Just because you want to do it doesn't mean anything. It just means YOU want it. They are their own people and they will do what they want, and what they like, just like you. And that's okay. And you have to leave them alone, because trying to make them do what you want is wrong, because it's irritating. You can invite but you can't force or badger them. PLEASE STOP."

    Her mom had said the same thing in so many words, but she hadn't listened. After that it got a lot better, but the same kid (who has no problems at school--I get the feeling she's a bit of a queen bee there, not cruel-hearted but definitely bossy) still says, "But when you don't do what I want, I kind of feel bad."

    We just keep repeating, "Yeah, life is hard like that, having to compromise. But you're getting better at it. Keep trying!"

    Last edited by binip; 03/19/14 09:48 AM.
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    KJP Offline OP
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    I know he gets frustrated with the fickle nature of kindergarten friendships. The "we are best friends" today followed by "I am best friends with this kid today so I won't play with you" tomorrow.

    It is an age with a lot of differences in verbal skills too. DS is convinced that about half his class are the same as his three year old brother. He refers to them as the little kids in his class. These kids are all about six - ten months younger.

    Still, I know that social issues are often a concern for 2e kids so I want to do what I can to help him.

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    "The "we are best friends" today followed by "I am best friends with this kid today so I won't play with you" tomorrow."

    I thought only girls did that! I have never seen the boys do it. I feel for you because that is just the worst social environment for kids and I don't know where it comes from.

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    It sounds like the demands on his social skills are out of scale with his maturation level. His instinctual skills probably match those of the older kids and work well. But he is also called on to maintain artificial response set for kids his own age and younger. So, he would be advanced for his core skills, but a bit young to be expected to maintain so many different sets of responses (actually many adults aren't good at it either.)

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    Our ds12 usually gets along much better with older kids as well. He has low tolerance for some of the posturing kids his age do as well as behavior he sees as unfair or blatantly hostile. Just has no patience for it.

    I wondered if he would have a difficult time socially this year being grade-skipped but nope. He gets along well with the friends he's made. Some of it may be due to the fact that they're being patient and somewhat indulgent of him, but I also see he's much less bothered by their behavior because they tend to be more mature.

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    Originally Posted by binip
    This is hard for kids with ASD or other social delays to get. And it doesn't have to be severe. There's a girl in my neighborhood who is not socially delayed at all, but who is used to being leader of the pack.

    Once I told her point-blank: "You don't get it. They don't have to do what you say. Just because you want to do it doesn't mean anything. It just means YOU want it. They are their own people and they will do what they want, and what they like, just like you. And that's okay. And you have to leave them alone, because trying to make them do what you want is wrong, because it's irritating. You can invite but you can't force or badger them. PLEASE STOP."

    Her mom had said the same thing in so many words, but she hadn't listened. After that it got a lot better, but the same kid (who has no problems at school--I get the feeling she's a bit of a queen bee there, not cruel-hearted but definitely bossy) still says, "But when you don't do what I want, I kind of feel bad."

    We just keep repeating, "Yeah, life is hard like that, having to compromise. But you're getting better at it. Keep trying!"

    binip, this is awesome! I so wish people would do this with my DD, who does have some ASD-ish traits. She really cares what others think of her and wants to be friends, but seems so focused on her own mindset that she doesn't get it when people aren't thrilled by her behavior--unless they explain it clearly as you did. I think you did that girl (and her mother, and everyone else in her life) a great service, and I wish others would do the same. Unfortunately people seem to assume that DD does 'get it' and is just being a jerk and sometimes feel that then it is fair to be a jerk in return, I think partly because her verbal skills are so good they assume that her social skills and understanding are equally good. Good for you! smile

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    KJP, you've received wonderful advice already, but there's just one thing I'd add. Are you sure the issue is the age range of the kids, or is it possibly the setting he's in when the challenges arise? I'm just curious because the place you've mentioned having issues is in the classroom, and the places you've mentioned with other-age kids/etc are activities etc outside of the classroom. There may be different sets of expectations/etc that he's responding to differently in the different types of settings. So that's the one thing I'd want to think through a bit more, and I would think through it now, while you're familiar with the setting of his classroom etc. Leaving it until next year might mean everything magically is better - or everything is the same, or (hopefully not) everything is even more difficult at school - it all depends on what's really going on. So I'd try to figure out what you can now.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    KJP Offline OP
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    Polarbear, that is a good point. A classroom setting is sort of a personal hell for a kid with dysgraphia, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Maybe he is just a bit overwhelmed and then not handling the situations as well as he would outside of school.

    He plays well with kids at park playgrounds but then again he doesn't have to deal with the fickle stuff then either.

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