So I’ve written about this once before….
We parents of dyslexic kids don’t talk about this at all, our conversations are dominated by the challenges related to reading, spelling maths and writing. The reality is that for many neuro-diverse kids, social skills is an equally challenging area.
For us, it’s become a real challenge and a major source of worry and frustration.
In the last 8 months suddenly Jasmine’s social skills, or lack of social skills, has become so apparent. When we go out to dinner, she can’t sit still, stands up constantly, fidgets, fusses, teases her sister, talks loudly, laughs equally loudly, lies down, talks over people and the list goes on. It is incredibly frustrating, annoying and embarrassing.
We do everything… conversations before and on the way to the event about expected behaviour, manners charts, punishments, taking away treats etc. We seem to be making no progress and sometimes I just get so fed up with it, I want to scream! I get to the point sometimes that I just need to take a time out and tell myself “tomorrow is another day”.
She is not naughty or disruptive it’s just these subtle behaviours that are odd, strange that cause people to stare and parents to tut tut… I see people shaking their heads in disapproval.
Our counsellor says this is normal, neuro-diverse kids just don’t instinctively understand the way they are meant to behave, they can’t read social cues etc. Social skills need to be taught and like everything else, repeated and repeated and repeated over and over until one day I’m told, it clicks.
I hope this is true.
I worry that people will not invite her to parties because of her behaviour that she will be excluded from activities and events. I worry that she will grow into one of those odd adults that we’ve all come across at work and in the supermarket, you know the ones who are socially awkward and rude that people avoid.
We will persevere with continuing to reinforce good manners (and demonstrating them), the social skills classes, the manners charts and rewards and hope that it sticks.