19 answers

Asperger Daughter, No Play Dates!

My 8 year old daughter has Apserger's. This is not known to the parents of kids in her class, as we are new to the area. She has her personality quirks (obviously), and I'm finding it hard to get playdates. She hasn't been invited to any birthday parties or had friends come over. I'm a full time working mom and don't get to spend time in her classroom like most of the other moms. I'm worried that the other moms that volunteer in the class see her behavior and don't want their kids to socialize with my daughter. How do I overcome this?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Can you talk with her teacher about classmates who may be good people to invite over for a play date? Sometimes it is hard to break into social circles as a new person, even for kids.

What about getting her involved in other activities, especially those with kids of differing ages? A friend's son has Asperger's and he's in an afterschool program and seems to have found some friends there who are a year or two younger than him. While they're not intellectually compatible, they're socially compatible (I've seen them playing together and having fun).

You may also choose to talk with you daughter's school counselor, social worker, or psychologist as there are lots of things schools can do to help new students or students with special needs to get socially connected with peers. Good luck.

More Answers

My friend's daughter has a girl in her class with a very unusual syndrome that makes her behave differently at times. Her mother sent a letter at the beginning of the year to all the other mothers explaining. I know my friend appreciated it and it's made her very understanding, accomodating etc. You can't force anyone to come to your house but you definitely need to offer to host the other kids. After explaining to the other parents, maybe have a Valentine's Day party at your house? Organize something and hopefully some people will come. Then see how your daughter interacts, if there are any kids who seem friendly to her etc and then pursue playdates with those kids. I go to my daughter's class to volunteer some and then see which kids seem most interested in my daughter and then follow-up with her to see if she's interested and if so, then I call the mom for a playdate. Since you can't do that, a party or some kind of function may be the only way to gain exposure. Also, it takes lots of kids awhile to make new friends in a new school!

4 moms found this helpful

I'm hesitating about responding to this question, b/c it hits home in an unusual way.

First, great advice so far about educating the class and definitely you need to be proactive and invite a girlfriend over for your daughter. Ask your daughter who she likes, who she has played with and start there. If you can't bribe a name out of her, then contact her teacher and ask for recommendations and if she has noticed anyone in particular your daughter has happily spent more time with. You'll probably have to try a few playdates before you find the right fit. Working full time does not help your situation, as it does not allow you to readily connect with the other moms who are in and out of the class. As I would only allow my 8 yr. old daughter to go to s/o else's home whom I have seen on a regular basis.

Here is the difficult part, there are going to be natural consequences to your daughters personality quirks. And I say this from sad personal experience.

I have the friendliest, most non-judgemental children in the world. I've had a mom call them 'little Switzerlands' because they get along with everyone.

So, the sad history....one mom whose son has severe ADHD, continually invited my son over, b/c I felt that playtime is just that, playtime. And I knew that her son was better behaved around my son. I allowed this go on for a couple of years, but when it came time for my son's birthday party, we decided not to invite the ADHD boy. We had invited him to prior playdates and a birthday party, but my son honestly confided in me that this boy was very possessive of him in group settings. So, fine, we'll keep that a one on one friendship. We sent the invitations out and that mom had the audacity to come knocking on my door, upset that her son had not been invited to my son's 10th birthday party. Really. IAM NOT Kidding. She had expected more from me. I was honest with her and told her the above, that her son is extremely possessive of my son in group settings and I was not about to ask my 10 year old to manage that kind of behavior at his Laser Tag birthday party with all those kids running around wild. And on top of it all, she thought she had been doing me a favor by having my son over...go figure. Needless to say, that relationship is kaput. On one level, if this had been a family member, or truly close friend, I would ask my son to suck it up and learn to deal with it. But this was not, this was a friend from school.

The lesson to be learned, is that you will eventually find a friend for your daughter, but you will have to invest time into making it happen. You'll have to continue to educate parents and peers, but please be respectful of their final decision as to include her in group settings.

2 moms found this helpful

Ohhhh this makes me want to cry...I am so sorry to hear that. I think your DD's class needs to be educated on her condition. I'll be she is a wonderful child and while she may have some challenges I think the other parents being brought into the loop can help educate their kids so they can be more inclusive. Ignorance isn't bliss in this situation. Talk to her teacher about your concerns and see how she can help so the other kids can help rather than leave her out.

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe you should do some inviting? I wouldn't worry to much about the reasons why they would not invite her just yet. It may be that since you don't get to spend as much time in the classroom like other moms they don't know you as well? If that doesn't work maybe you can reach out and find others moms in your area who are dealing with some of the same personality quirks that you know would be more patient and understanding. But I think you may make yourself feel worse if you make assumptions about why she is not getting as many invites, though. The reason may not be what you think. Maybe her teacher would have some insight to how she gets along with kids in the class and can offer you some advice about who her closest friends might be or how to get started?

2 moms found this helpful

Why don't you host a party and invite kids from the class? Perhaps its as simple as your the newbies and they don't have your phone #, email, etc. The party doesn't have to be for a reason other than getting friends together.


1 mom found this helpful

MY daughter is 10 and she is undiagnosed because we did not pursue a diagnosis. She has many quirks as well, she does not socialize well with children her own age, but she does wonderful with children who are younger than her. I would not force the issue. Find an age appropriate story hour that your daughter might enjoy. Invite some kids over to your house for some structured playdates ( have planned activities) enroll her in girl scouts and plan on volunteering and attending...but the only part of M.K's response I agree with is basically all kids are different...and if your daughter is not unhappy and does not want to be as social don't force the issue, but if she is unhappy then pursue some of my suggestions= ) You might look into a support group so you could get together and talk with other moms who have children with special needs.
Not every child needs a ton of friends, my daughter is used to having only one close friend.
Also one last suggestion...church is an awesome place for kids to get together socially with like aged grouped kids youth programs.
Good luck to you and your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

Why not either make her disorder known or search for moms in your area with children of similar issues. Many times it is a matter of people don't understand because they don't know.

In any event, people can be hard and she will
come across that from time to time, we all do. There is someone out there for everyone and soon enough she will pick up her friend that will appreciate her for who she is.

Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a daughter with Asperger's as well. In elementary school, she had no playdates and wasn't invited to parties unless the whole class was. We started social skills group therapy in 3rd grade and it did help enormously with her ability to work with peers in the classroom, but still no 1:1 friendships. She attended a middle school for kids with learning issues and did develop several friendships there among other kids like her. Now in high school (she's 15 and in 10th grade) she still has no one she speaks to outside of school, but has made some in-school friends that she sits with at lunch. We consider that a big accomplishment. I also host a support group in Denver for parents of kids like ours, and we all have had similar experiences.
Does she have an IEP? if yes, are there social-emotional goals on the IEP to help her with developing peer relationships? This is very important to have.

1 mom found this helpful

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