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Friendships Disappearing
  • Garden
    Posts: 329
    Our daughter was diagnosed PDAS a couple of months ago and I am still trying to get to grips with the implications. One thing I've noticed this summer is how few friends she now has - I can see that in the past other kids were happy to be bossed around by her and now they won't tolerate it (she's 8) and are fed up playing mummies and daddies ALL the time (where she is the bossy mummy).

    I can see how this behaviour fits into PDAS but what do you do about it? I assume that PDAS kids don't get on well with each other as they'll all be trying to impose their game on everyone else, but is that true? Is it appropriate for her to play with younger children who are happy to do what she wants? Are there any services out there that people think work particulary well for these kids?

    We went shopping today and as it was raining I told our daughter that no, she couldn't push her baby buggy to the shopping centre, we'd have to go by car. So she took her dolly car seat instead and carried it all round the shops (and it's bulky and heavy), along with her handbag, while treating her big sister as her other child. We used to marvel at her role-playing abilities and just thought she had a great imagination - it's so sad that it's because of PDAS.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,566

    You have touched on quite a sensetive subject ie friendships and I now that as a very social person myself it troubled me for a long time when mine were primary school age.
    Because I wanted and needed friends and a social life I asumed that my 2 boys (1 PDA, 1 Aspergers) also needed this too.
    However after millions of miserable failed attempts at having children back for tea etc. I began to realise that my PDA son didn't need or want friends outside of school. When he came home from school he needed to unwind, relax and be himself in his own imaginary world.
    My Asperger son was different. He longed to have friendships but could only sustain friendships with boys or girls who were into his obssession ie computers! If they liked computer games then he could maintain a friendship with them. He is now 16 and to this day he is still obssessed with computers and also now MUSIC. He has taught himself to play the guitar, the piano and has a great singing voice. He is in a young teenage rock/pop band and they had their 1st paid GIG this summer. He has a few good friends but all have been made in the last 2/3 years, NOT school friends but people who are interested in the same things as him.
    I hear you saying but what about the PDA son? Well, he does have a few friends but they are adults and really his carers, but he loves them to bits and has never asked for any other friends. This is his choice, we have tried many times to help him sustain friends of his own age but it hasn't worked. He does have 2 friends in school whom he loves to play with but he does not want them to come to our home.

    This has been a big lesson for me to learn, I have had to stop forceing them to conform to what society expects and what I thought they would need.

    I have let my PDA son play with younger children if he wanted too and on the whole it has worked in small doses. They do have a development delay after all!

    As for services? Well you could try Social Skills courses, if there are any in your area.
    Or I joinned the NAS Befriending scheme and they sent a trainned volunteer to befriend my son, play with him in the home and take him for trips out. This worked very well.

    Be led by your child but know there limitations. If they do have a child round to play, keep it short, say 1 hour to begin with then build it up if it works.

    My son with PDA lived in his imaginary world when he was 5 but slowly this decreased over the years and now at 13 he very rarely retreats into imaginary play.

    Sorry this was long, my children have changed, they still have their problems but we and they have accepted them and progressed over the years.

    Take Care.....Paula
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    My experience is similar to Paulas. For me it took a little time to see it was my problem not M's. I was the one that was aware of what was socially expected and it was me that really wanted friends for M not him.
    One of the biggest lessons I have learned with my sons is that if I looked hard at my own thoughts and feelings and work out the difference between what M wants and what things are my own social expectations I could actually take a lot of the pressure off of M which helped with the whole anxiety problem.

    I have to be honest and say over the years more progress with M has been made this way than trying to change M.
  • Garden
    Posts: 329
    Thank you both for your responses. You are so right - our daughter is pretty happy in her own little world and it's me that's anxious for her. She likes nothing better than to come home after school and just get right into her role. I'm the one who wants something more for her and, I suppose, for me, as it's so isolating, particularly over the summer holidays, when she doesn't have any friends to play with. Our other daughter has severe ADHD (for a girl at least) and so she doesn't have friends either. I probably need to learn to be more accepting of what they can and can't do. Well, actually I think I already behave in the right way as I stopped inviting friends back years ago - it's just that I keep hoping that maybe she'll find a friend some day. She's incredibly popular at school etc - very charismatic and enormously pretty- but somehow it doesn't translate into anything more substantial.

    Thank you once again.

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