Tag Archives: socialization

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Friday Night Fun for Teens!

Come and hang out with us! Every first Friday of the month we meet in Costa Mesa for a different activity. If you’re between the ages of 14 and 19, this is the place for you!

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Autism Resource Mom’s ‪#‎Hangout‬ FRIDAY NIGHT FUN FOR TEENS offers teens an opportunity and the encouragement to break the pattern of reclusiveness and dare to overcome their social anxieties in a safe, nurturing and fun environment.

 

CLE-logoThanks to College Living Experience (CLE)-Costa Mesa for helping to make this possible.

Join us on Friday, Feb. 5! To RSVP, click here: http://www.meetup.com/www-autismresourcemom-org/

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Teens and Social Media | Child Mind Institute

This is very intriguing.

Teens and Social Media | Child Mind Institute.

High School Anxieties

OK, my son is in high school. As an individual on the autism spectrum, his biggest challenges are socialization. But he tries. He tries so very hard. And that does my heart good.

I was touched recently as he reached out to me and shared his fears. At 16-and-a-half, this man-child with facial hair who stands over 6 feet tall, still needs me for something.

I am no longer able to help him with homework—especially math and science. He takes care of himself so much of the time. Aside from the fact that he doesn’t drive yet, he gets by nicely without my constant intervention.

And that’s bittersweet for me, for sure.

But recently he asked for my help, and that was wonderful on several levels. Selfishly, it’s always nice to be needed. But more importantly, I am thrilled that he spoke up and asked for help. As you know, that’s not always the case with our kids. I guess the talk therapy is paying off.

Here’s the story: He joined a new club on campus and was going to his third meeting. He got to the room but his anxiety kept him from opening the door and entering. So he called me. Me! His mom! And he articulated his fears:

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Keep your teen talking — if not to you, to someone. Other family members, clergy, counselors, therapists. The more they verbalize their emotions, the less build up there will be. It’s just healthy!

“Mom, I’ve passed by the room a few times, looking in, but, I’m kinda anxious. I don’t think I should go in. I don’t know what to do.”      

I tried to savor that—while also acknowledging his apprehensions but offering assurances and urging him to push through his anxieties. After a brief pep talk, he said he’d give it a shot. Then he hung up.

I must confess, a teeny-tiny small part of me was hoping he’d call right back. Hey, I’m human. And I’m a mom. But a much bigger part of me was relieved when my phone did not ring. And after school his very first words to me were, “I’m so glad I went to the club meeting! It was great! I did it!”

Ahhh, sweet victory! I urged him to recognize the good, happy feeling so he could recall it the next time his anxiety crept up—and use this euphoria as an incentive to push through the angst.

Here endeth the lesson. [My movie-guru son would appreciate this line—it’s a quote from ‘The Untouchables’, the 1987 movie directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet, of course.]

CARPOOLING: A socialization strategy

Carpooling is an easy way to help your child to foster relationships. It’s not like we live close to any classmates, but that’s not even the point. I’d gladly drive out of my way to take someone home in order to see my son walking out of school with a buddy, instead of alone. Engaging with that kid. Goofing with him/her. I could very easily pick them up right at the school gate, but I don’t. I make them walk a distance, with all the other kids. I see it as an “equalizer” of sorts. He’s walking home with a friend, just like everyone else. Plus, that is valuable social time. Same goes for the drive home. When I’m driving my son and his band buddies, there is constant chatter, constant horsing around, constant boys being silly. I love it.

The other day I was panicking, running late for an appointment, but when I saw my son walking down the street with his pal, I stopped stressing and gladly made the extra stop to take his friend home. My son is worth it.

I offer to drive my son’s friends home, but they have to walk to a certain street corner first. I force “social time” upon my son in this way. We both love the results!