Here is a part of an episode where Sheldon has created a schema for making a friend. See for yourself!
I feel that Sheldon actually is a success---he has a great job, has a circle of friends, a nice place to live, and many interests (maybe not shared interests, but interests all the same) He has the ability to reflect on his behavior and attempt to make changes. I hope the same for the kids at my school.
The episode here was real for me. I have piles of speech therapy materials which all attempt to teach friendship skills. It's often elusive and difficult to concretely explain. Friendship and conversational skills all require on-the-spot flexibility that this character does not possess. Sheldon and others like him will struggle, but he's on the right track! At least he's aware he needs to learn.
Hi Ruth, saw your blog on Lindsay's facebook. Ha! I'm such a stalker. I just had to comment on this because I read an article recently on the HuffPo from John Elder Robison (who I find to be so interesting). It was a little about his newest book Be Different, which I have not read though I would like to when I find the time (so probably never, maybe I'll listen to it on tape...hmmm). Anyway, he talks about this very issue of making friends (in reference to children w/ au, obviously) He says:ReplyDelete
3) Teach your child the art of peaceful coexistence.
Parents talk an awful lot about helping their kids make friends, something all of us aspire to do. However, there is a social skill that's even more important, and it's actually easier to learn: how to not make enemies.
Then he goes on to explain a little bit about what he means about that. Until I read that I had not heard it explained that way. We have a lot to learn from people with autism. I am not very accommodating to the autism because I want to give my child the tools to live in the world and be many things. But it is certainly possible that he (and maybe others with autism) are simply not interested in having friends. Functioning socially in the world is a necessity (as Robison explains as "peaceful coexistence"). Having meaningful relationships with family and my friends, sharing experiences, is important to me, but it may not be a priority for everyone. Hard to say. So I will give my child the tools so he has the option. Something to think about.