Hi, first post.
My son is 11 and has just started secondary. He was diagnosed in January with autism and dyspraxia and hypermobility. This is because for some reason, he's been sent for referrals since he was 4 but the drs kept sending him back.
Since starting school he's been bullied by a group of boys including surrounding him in the changing room. He is such a lovely and funny person but seems to have little to no confidence on himself and tends to only speak to people his age when they initiate conversation. Even then, he is very passive and tries to please them. He stims and repeats, has special interests and doesn't quite grasp social etiquette.
I know he longs for friends but seems unable to make any. My question is how can I help him at school, and where can I find out if there's any Autism specific social clubs nearby so he can make friends with people like himself?
He says he doesn't like himself and is lonely and it breaks my heart.
Hello and welcome to the forum,
I’m sorry to hear that your son is having problems with bullies at school.
I would like to think that support for autistic children has changed since my days at secondary education - I’m in my sixties - when autism was unheard of and violence was meted out by both fellow pupils and teachers.
Do you have someone at your son’s school that you can liaise with and report any particular problems? The school should be made aware when pupils with autism are encountering difficulties and address your concerns.
Tai chi for children is often recommended as it helps coordination, core strength, posture and boosts confidence. Learning controlled movements is known to improve one’s sense of self.
It may be worth having a look around the Ambitious About Autism site. This site is for parents and young people up to the age of 25.
NAS does offer a parent to parent service which you can find here.
This blog is written by a UK Mum of autistic twins. She has been blogging about her twins’ difficulties for 5 or 6 years now, so it may be worth looking through her posts. She is a committed christian but isn’t preachy.
If your son has a special interest that could be helpful in terms of a future career, this should be encouraged. Free text books in many subjects can be found here.
You can find a twitter feed that has a ‘list all of the therapies and supports that parents -can- use to help their autistic kid.’ You can find it here.
All the best, Graham