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smartyjones

words of support - ?

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oh dear forum friends. . . I am trying to get my kids back on track after some hard years and suburbia sucks as a place to do it -- with political BS of sports teams and social groups. I know I am taking this little setback way too hard -- this is actually my older, less affected ds -- who just really can't seem to catch a social break after some lonely years - from his own and from difficulties due to brother.

 

anyone to wallow with me -- or give me some words of wisdom?

Edited by smartyjones

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Smartyjones--

 

We're live in suburbia, too. (My DS is a high school senior, undiagnosed and refusing all treatment, but his pediatrician and the other specialists we, his parents, have talked with all say that his symptoms are a dead ringer for OCD and very possibly PANDAS.) I hear you about suburbia. My son's high school is huge and full of high-achieving students; it is a diploma mill, really, and the counselling staff has been friendly but not responsive to my son's situation-- they are too busy writing letters of recommendation for all the high acheivers who are applying to very fancy colleges. Once an honor student, my DS is now failing out of high school because of his OCD symptoms.

 

So, to soften the blow of all this, when my son is willing to listen, I tell him that it gets better after high school. The world opens up, there is less conformity, the kids who are socially powerful in high school no longer rule. And through the years, I've helped my son get involved in some off-campus groups in the nearby urban center during the school year and in a very healthy wilderness camp in the summer to expand his vision beyond the limiting atmosphere of his school. My son loves the friends he's made in these out-of-school situations and they and their families are some of his best supporters.

 

Not sure of the ages of your kids . . . but I hope this helps!

 

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I could blabber on, let you know I feel your pain...but the best advice I have is to get on Netflix and rent "Meet the Robinsons" A little boy wishes he could go back in time to change one event, so that his life would be happy. Instead, he ends up finding out that because of his hardships in early life, he goes on to accomplish great things and finds his "clan". At the end, he's brought back in time and is given the chance to change that one event - and he chooses not to.

 

My favorite line in the movie is "Congratulations on your failure! May it lead to many successes!" My kids didn't understand everything in the movie, but they have that phrase memorized!

 

I promise that while it won't be like opening a can of "insta-Friends" for your son, it will help you make that small mental shift and will make your current funk more bearable.

 

(on a more practical note - my kids have found online Minecraft to be a great place to be with like-minded "friends" when their school friends let them down. it gives them a clan and they sit side by side, each on a PC - it's actually made them like each other (sometimes))

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Oh, Smarty! How well we know how that feels! We're in suburbia, too, and there are definitely "pressures" here that don't well-suit our families. The "bummer" feeling of knowing there's a birthday party on the weekend that all his "friends" are going to, but he wasn't invited. The long school break periods (winter and spring) when he gets bored of family and wants to do something with a friend, but he can't think of anyone he's comfortable with inviting, and even if there is a kid or two he'd consider, they're more "social" than he is and so have other invitations that they prefer over DS's company. It stinks!

 

And while I hear arrowhead's advice that life opens up after high school, we've found that life opens up dramatically the older a kid gets, regardless of when that is. Moving to middle school was scary, but put DS in an environment that was a little less restrictive, a little less "by-the-book" and a little larger, thus with more kids more "like him" with whom he found some comraderie. Then, the move to high school opened things up even further, with more kids with whom he feels some kinship, more opportunities to share kinship with like souls (Video Gaming Club, Computer Programming, Robotics Club, etc.).

 

I do agree with LLM about some on-line community opportunities, too . . . in his younger years, DS played MineCraft, also, and now he logs into more adult sites like Tom's Hardware to trade computer tips, questions, ideas, etc. Another thought would be to look into whether or not there might be a home-schooling group or co-op in your area? We have one here that has welcomed families from all around the metropolitan area, and ours tends to consist of a lot of 2E kids and the like. The group hosts field trips, social outings, guest speakers and "master classes" for the kids, and you can participate even if your kid is enrolled in a standard school program. It's a great social outlet for these bright kids who might be just a little bit "different" from your run-of-the-mill little-Leaguer!

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we went through similar stuff with dd10. for this reason, we changed schools from public to small private and are hoping that she develops friendships that would last her through highschool.

second thing we did, we tried to find other odd kids. dd did it instinctively, it seems.

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I don't look forward to this part at all. With my twins, age 8, I suppose I will start to see some of this. I do know that many adults have horrible memories of social isolation for a varying number of reasons and end up living happy healthy lives. That being said, as a parent, to watch our children suffer some of this will be hard.

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This topic hits me in the gut! It is one of my biggest stressors. My youngest was homebound since the age of 13 and on up during high school. His friends (had many) moved on. As he started to feel better I just think he had trouble relating after all he had been through and the maturity he acquired. Also not going through high school, puts one at a social disadvantage. He returned to boy scouts which was a great experience.

 

Fast forward to the present, he is a junior living away at college and has adjusted well to academic life, although still no social life. He is just too sick with severe chronic fatigue. But he claims it doesn't bother him, and i believe him. He is completely focused on college work, works well with his peers there, and is goal oriented.

 

I have had to accept the fact that he has no social life, a tough thing to do. There are things that are just out of my control unfortunately, but I completely understand your pain! I believe it will all work out when he feels better.

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