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My 5yr.old son is having a hard time making friends
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My 5yr.old son is having a hard time making friends

My 5yr. old son is having a very hard time at school as far as having friends, it seems as though none of the children in his class want to be friends with him, hes a very polite child a little shy but not too shy. The teacher says that the children in his class just love him and that he has friends in class but what she doesn't see is when the children go outside or to lunch they don't want to play with him or sit by him, at lunch they move away when he sits next them and when they go outside he will go ask them if he can play and they either say no or they ignore him and keep walking or playing. It breaks my heart when he comes home and says none of the kids will play with him and he doesn't want to go to school because he knows they will be going outside and to lunch. I've talked to the school counselor she didn't do anything to help the teacher wont help I wanted to take him out of that school but as far as the education it's wonderful and he makes strait A's most likely if things don't change he wont go back next year. I ask him just about every day if he wants to go to a different school and he wants to stay I also tried to arrange play dates with the other parents but I haven't had any luck one said she didn't like other kids in her home but 2 weeks later she was taking her child and another child from class home 2x a week, another parent said her little girl didn't play with boys and that was a lie she was bringing a little boy from class home for play dates.When my son comes home crying it makes me cry its a horrible thing to see your child so sad and depressed  I was also wondering if the parents didn't want my son around their children because of me,I have a skin disease called vitiligo I'm brown skinned with white blotches all over and I'm starting to wonder if that is the case. I also wanted to add that my son is overweight and has ADHD and Bi-polar but he is on medication that is working so well it doesnt even seem as if he has it the school had no clue until I told them and they didn't believe me until I brought his meds. into school the only problem he is having with his medicine is that its causing him to be overweight were trying to get it changed to something that wont cause weight gain so if anybody has any suggestions I'm open I don't want to change schools I'm afraid it might cause him to have more problems then he already has.  
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13167_tn?1327197724
Amy,  he needs help with social skills.    Asking "can I play with you" is the kiss of death.  No one ever says yes - kids either say no,  or ignore,  just like what he's experiencing.  

Can he bring things to recess,  like a small bag with several really cook small cars,  lego like things,  etc?  The trick here,  is to be doing something fun,  and other kids will join in.  Racing little cars down the slide,  for example,  is irresistable to other kids.  

I looked at your photo and there's nothing at all off-putting about the way you look,  and if this is a recent photo he's not so heavy that that would be off-putting.  It's his behavior.  Or,  honestly,  my guess is somehow it's gotten out that he has ADHD and is bipolar,  and that's putting other moms off.

Do you have Cub Scouts in your area?  Tiger Cubs are a lot of fun,  and would give him friends to do active stuff with.
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1227097_tn?1267422870
I want to think you for posting a comment, it really made me think of some of the things I've told my son, I wish I would have never told him to go ask the other kids to play because I just made things worse. I have given him hot wheels to take to school it did help for a little bit until some of the kids in the other classes got a hold to them and never intended on giving them back, I wasent to worried at first until every day he was coming home upset, then some of the teachers were taking them away from the children and my son, some of them we got back but others were giving back to those other children. I forgot to mention the cars had his name on them (he's the only Parker in the school). I hope the issue of my son having ADHD and bi-polar didnt get but if it did it wouldnt be a problem but if it did and is I would think the parents would be more mature about it. I finally got to take him and another little boy from his class to bounce U today they had alot of fun they dont play together at school but i'm hopeing than a couple more playdates and they will.It took awhile to get the mother of this child to let her son play with mine but I was very persistant until she finally gave in.We do have a Cub Scouts in connection with the school but the boys have to be in first grade, friday they sent a pamplet home for soccer he seems to be interrested in it he also wants to be in karate so were going to let him decide were giving him two weeks I just hope he likes witch ever one he decides.he does go to a psyciatrist but I still need to learn how to teach him social skills and to stop babying him so much if u have anymore advice I would love to here it
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  My son has sensory integration disorder and I know that adhd and sensory are similar in that social skills don't come naturally to our kids.  I sincerely doubt other kids that are 5 and 6 have learned that your son has adhd and bipolar--------  they wouldn't even know what that means at this point and how would that get out.  This is just an interaction problem.  I have taught my son to ask to play with other kids but also to join in.  What are we playing or if they are playing chase (which boys seem to do at that age-- ) just run along with them.  Does he know how to play tag and police----  universal chase games my son plays on the playground all the time?  

My son did a social skills camp last summer.  They taught them the simple things of personal space, facing the person when you talk to them and making eye contact, not speaking too loudly, etc.  They taught them the right language to use-----  when things go well when you ask to play and when they don't, "okay, next time.  I'll go find another friend".  They worked on fairness, winning and losing games, and being yourself.  They worked on being flexible as lots of kids with adhd/sensory/aspergers, etc. aren't the most flexible.  They often try to control their enviroment for coping reasons.  

A couple of things-------  I would NOT talk negatively about things at school with him and ask him daily if he wants to change schools.  A quick hug and  move on.  You as his mother will have to suffer in silence.  Here is the reason, I was worried about my son starting kindergarten this year (he just turned 6 and is in kinder) and talked to his occupational therapist, the school counselor and the teacher.  I was afraid he wouldn't like it after some past expereience.  Every single person said the same thing------  parents have to stay posative for the child to stay posative.  I'm not suggesting that you don't show your son empathy and that you are on his team--------  but just don't make it worse by lamenting too much about it in front of him.  As far as play dates-----  I wouldn't ask to go to someone else's house.  I'd set it up to have them come to your house and I'd make it fun.  Bake some delicious cookies or have a great snack waiting.  Plan some games to play.  Be involved (5 year olds still like to play with the grown ups and you can guide your son through).  They can play on their own untill you hear voices changing or something then you step in with an activity.  If you have a girl over, plan on doing a craft as a group.  We've had girl play dates and the craft is something everyone loves.  Make it an hour to 2 hours MAX play date.  

As far as activities------  well, I'd get him as socialized as possible.  I'd be going to parks as often as possible (if you live in a cold region, it should start warming up soon)----  every day or every other or just whenever possible.  I'd find kids and get games going with them.  I'd go ahead and put him in soccer AND karate.  That will probably be two nights during the week and one weekend game.  But soccer is a chance to be on a team.  Karate is excellent for self esteem but is more individual.  Both would be great for him and this is a kid I'd get involved in things.  The more the better.

I think I would talk to the teacher again and see if there could be something done to help with friends.  I'd have her identify one other kid that could use a friend and kind of pair them up.  I'd specifically ask for her help on this.  That he feels like he has no friends and you want her to do this.  Not in an angry way or a defensive way but a posative way.  That is an easy thing for a teacher to do.  In kindergarten they do a lot of little games with a partner especially when learning math skills.  She could buddy him up.  She could work on friends lessons in class.  Like we let all our friends play if they ask.  It would be hard for them to say no on a day the teacher was talking about this.  And she could kind of incorporate this into the classroom more.  Lunch is usually super short in kindergarten-------  he should get in the middle of the line and follow the person ahead of him to a table and sit.  Then the others behind him will come too.  Can you work recess duty?  Can you volunteer in the classroom to see what is going on?  Starting in 1st grade our school counselor also offers friends groups.  Kind of a group of kids like your son that are looking for friends and I think cub scouts would be great too.  

I wish you a lot of luck.  It really on takes one good friend to make it better.  I'm hoping that happens for your boy soon.

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1227097_tn?1267422870
Hello specialmom how are you, First of all I want to say thank you for your advice I can use as much as I can get, I really appreciate it. I didnt think that the children were the ones who had a problem with the ADHD and Bi-polar and neither did RockRose we was talking about the parents of those children might have a problem with my child playing with their child. I was wondering if you could tell me the name of that camp it sounds great I'm not sure where you live but I'm hopeing that camp or one simular  is around St.Louis,MO I would really like to check it out. I have talked to his teacher about pairing him up and I've let her know how sad he feels and how he feels like he hasent any friends I've spoken to her on more than one occasion but she seems to thinks their is not a problem because of the fact that the children play and talk to him inside the class she doesnt seem to understand that everything changes when the children are not around her,she did try to buddy him up with another child at the begining of the school year but that didnt work out to well he started to pick on my son she did seperate them and then she told me that the little boy was being picked on by other kids so he turned his anger on my son I felt really bad for the little boy because he is a sweet child and very polite to me and other adults he dosent pick on my son as much any more I have been trying to help him with that, thats something I am good at teaching is how not to be a bully. I do help sometimes in the class I also go on feild trips and help supervise. As far as the play dates I've never asked or pushed the subject of my son going over to the other childs home I've always asked if that child could come to my home,or we could meet somewhere fun,or I could just pick up their child and we go somewhere fun until my child gets used to playing with that child he has a hard time staying somewhere without me dont get me wrong he has been places and played with other kids without me but he usually wants to come home if he gets bored,hungery,tierd,or if the other kid starts to be mean. I think you are absolutly right about talking negitive about things and a quick hug n send him on his way I've read so many parents magazenes but they didnt prepare me for the heart ache of school, I'm pretty sure I'm more worried than he is. Even though my son is 5 I still have alot to learn. Thank you very much!    
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973741_tn?1342346373
Oh, I agree.  Parenting is hard work and at times heart breaking.  All we can do is try our best and hope it all works out.  The camp we went to was affiliated with an large occupational therapy office in my area.  You could call occupational therapists in your area and see if they have such a camp.  

I'm glad that he isn't bothered by this but I am sure you are worried that he will be eventually.  I would try to think what you've noticed that he is lacking in the social skill areas.  Does he talk too loud?  Does he stand too close?  Is he too silly?  Is he too serious?  I ask you to think about this because 5 year olds are still pretty friendly creatures (especially boys).  My son has social skills areas that are not the best but has found kindergarten to be a place that he has friends to play with.  So I am wondering how it got to this point in your opinoin.  Then I would work on those things.  

I would stress to the teacher that you aren't making this up.   Why would you?  And you need her help.  Keep up the good work going out and about with him.  I play with my child and friends often as well-------  5 year olds love it and don't act like it is weird to play with the moms.  

I'd still consider soccer ANd karate.  good luck.  Hang in there.
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