8 year old asd son struggling with rejection from school friend

My son is 8 years old and has suspected Asperger syndrome...we’re waiting for an official ASD diagnosis. Meanwhile, he’s been struggling with a sudden and unexplained rejection from his best friend at school. My son is very sensitive and struggles socially, so he has found this rejection very hard to deal with and is very confused by it. The reason for this rejection is unknown and, tbh, unimportant at this point, as kids will be kids and these things happen all the time in school, but what I’m really worried about is how this is affecting my son. I’ve noticed him displaying symptoms of depression at just 8 years old and I can see that the situation is really playing on his mind. I want desperately to help him, but, not having had a diagnosis yet and therefore any therapy or even advice, I’m not sure what to do. I have been thinking about talking to my son’s teacher to make them aware of the situation, but not sure how that would help or if they can even do anything about it. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Please help! Thank you.

  • I can't give you advice from a parental point of view as I do not have children. But I can relate to your son so much. This happened to me a lot as a child. Actually it still happens as an adult. I think looking back it perhaps wasn't as sudden as I thought. Because it happened numerous times I think there probably were signs but with my autism, I didn't pick up on them. My social skills weren't good and I think I had a tendency to "cling" to the friends I did make and after a while, they would get fed up and not want to be my friend anymore. It was and is really hard and I can really sympathise with your son about it. I think it probably is worth speaking to your son's teacher. They can't wave a magic wand to make it better for your son but it would allow them to keep an eye on him and perhaps try and help him socially. They may even be able to speak to the other child to see what the problem was. A lot of school is social and as much as the teaching is their main concern, schools are usually good at trying to deal with social problems. If he is showing signs of depression, it may be worth a chat with the gp? Things at that age usually get referred to CAMHS but the waiting list is always really long so it may be worth getting on it incase the signs get worse. I wish I could give you more advice. Rejection is such a hard thing to deal with. I hope the situation improves for you and your son.

  • Hello, I’m sorry to hear about your son feeling rejected.

    NAS does offer a parent to parent service which you can find here. It may be worth looking at this site as well. Ambitious About Autism

    It may be helpful to talk to your son’s teacher, as they might be able to offer some insight regarding the social dynamics of the classroom. All the best, Graham.

  • Yes! I have this problem with my daughter she is almost 8 and only really Has the one friend and when she rejects her or is even perceived to not want her my daughter falls apart. 

    Unfortunately 8 year olds are not known for their tact or sensitivity and they can go through a very fickle phase at that age. His friend probably doesn't have the slightest idea how much this has affected your son it's probably just something as simple as he wants to play with new people and if your son struggles with change he will feel excluded ( happens regularly with us) 

    Try reassuring him that sometimes people want to play with other people it doesn't mean that they don't like you and talk to class teacher they might have an idea if something has changed in class they can also talk to the whole class about not leaving people out this helped in our case as the friend in question realised that she had been leaving my daughter out and made more effort to include her. 

    Just keep reassuring him and allowing him space to vent his feelings any 8 year old can be challenging I supervise lunch time play at school covering year 3-6 and they can be very tactless until reminded how they make other children feel

    Good luck to you and your son