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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

You Gotta Have Friends (or at least a good swimming pool)

A boy in a children's swimming pool.

Image via Wikipedia

From the time we were young girls, neither of us had any difficulty making friends (Note: This may or may not have to do with the fact that we were the only kids on our street with a swimming pool). Even as adults, we make friends wherever we go.

“Hey Gene, are you free Saturday? I made plans with Sandy, the toll booth woman.”

“Oh, the one at exit 55 with the three kids with autism? Sure Pat, I’d love to spend more time with her. The Fast Pass just doesn’t give us enough time.”

And now that we have a Facebook page and website and are quasi-famous, friends come right to us. Well, at least those who aren’t afraid to approach us.

“Gina, I’d like to meet you and Patty, but I’m kinda nervous because you’re celebrities.”

“Nonsense. We put our Spanx on one leg at a time, just like everyone else.”

While making friends comes easy to us, it doesn’t come that way for others, particularly children with social issues. Many simply don’t know what to say or how to initiate or maintain friendships. And if you’re a parent of a child like this, there’s nothing that breaks your heart more. I think most of us mothers would pretty much do anything to find friends for our lonely children. “Mommy, I really like Emily, but her mother, Gina, kinda creeps me out. She’s always hugging me and giving me candy. And she said she wants to pay for my college.”

So how do you find friends for your special children, short of putting an ad on Craig’s List or posting a Friends Vacancy sign on your driveway?  The article (see link below), provides some insights.

What are some of the measures you’ve taken to find friends for your special child?

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2 Responses to You Gotta Have Friends (or at least a good swimming pool)

  1. Rhiannon January 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Moved my 11yr old(ADHD, ODD, OCD, Mood Disorder) to a new school after having been in the same school since kindergarten. Feeling this would help him adjust before going to jr high, i.e. friends. He had some outbursts at first and there are only a couple kids that don’t judge him. I try to help this by allowing him to have them over or vice versa even if behavior may not warrant it. I am hoping this helps in the smallest of ways.

  2. Robin January 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Two team-style activities that my big girl *can* do – her special needs dance class and her regular swim lessons/swim team – have been a great place for her to meet and become friends with other kids. The big three sports that are always recommended to parents of kids on the spectrum seem to be swimming, tae kwon do or karate, and horseback riding. We’ve found that swimming in particular lets her work with, and compete against, same-age peers and sometimes even be the one everyone else looks up to.

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