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Hurts my heart my little one has such a hard time making new friends

Posted by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM
  • 15 Replies

Today my husband and his friends are out for a long bike ride, they are both triathletes, so I am watching the friend's twin 7 year old daughters. My 8 year old made fast friends with the girls, the three of them are out jumping on the trampoline. My 5 year old recently diagnosed with Autism just can't do it. He wants to play with them but doesn't know how to approach. He wants to show them his room and his stuffed animals but he hasn't reached out enough to even start a conversation. He's in here now watching a video by himself. It breaks me heart. He was so nervous when they got here, he asked me to pick him up and whispered in my ear "what if they don't want to be my friend?" I have no idea what to do to help him. My teenaged daughter is going to bake cookies with the kids, I'm hoping that will bring him into the group.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I tell my son what to do. I tell Liam to go ask the girls if they want to play "his" made-up game or in your case, I would tell Liam to ask the girls if they'd like to see his stuffed animals. If they say no, I tell my son to try to ask what they are playing and if he can play. Usually, this works for my little man when his sister plays with a group of girls.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Bless his lil heart! My son is 10 and still has those issues. He gets his feelings hurt so easily and thinks no one likes him. I bring out play-doh or markers and paper. That way everyone gets involved. Maybe the vigorous activity makes your lil man nervous? My ds is major sensory sensitive so rowdy activities make him nervous. He actually gets a sick stomach over it all.  Have you grouped all the kids together and asked everyone to vote on what they like to do? That way you might find at least one activity these kids can join your son in. Good luck!!!

by Dawn on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

You might want to get him involved with Social Skills training through his IEP ( at school. It can benefit him in so many ways in interacting with people and becoming a good friend. You can also help him create friends in joining grous that follow his interests in life. Another way is through these organizations:,,, and

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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you so much for your feedback! He does get nervous with lots of people on the trampoline. When they came in from jumping I prompted him to ask the girls to see his stuffed animals and he did, he then invited everyone to watch some leap frog show on Netflix which they are all doing now. He's not chatting them up like he would people he knew well but at least they are all doing something together and giggling. My 13 yo daughter went and sat with them and he's climbing on her and horsing around, I hope that helps him come out of his shell.

by Darby on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Hugs mama!  My 4 year old doesn't have any friends...well, to be honest, he doesn't want friends...he doesn't like to play with others...he'd rather play by himself.

by Carissa on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

I always pray that Ashton will meet a special friend. He has friends but he doesn't really want to play with them he prefers talking to adults. We are really working with him on his social skills and he's in group play and everything. He is 8 and the kids he hangs out with the most are girls (his sister is his best friend) and 2 other boys with autism.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:27 PM

my son doesn't like to approach kids, but if kids go up to him first then he will talk to them and they usually become friends. he has always been that way, he's 12 1/2 now.

by Emma on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Well, part of it is he is also so much younger than them, 5 compared to 8 is a huge difference - so even if he wasn't autistic, some of that worry can be normal simply because older kids might see a 5 year old as a bit of a baby.

What I might suggest is telling the girls he'd like to play with them and just flat out ask them to include him. I tend to think the blunt approach with kids works better.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:55 PM

That's not a bad idea to just ask them to play with him. My son is almost 6 and they were recently turned 7, so not too big an age gap. He always gravitates toward older kids, he is the youngest of 4 so he is very comfortable being babied by teenagers but as a hard time making friends with his peers. He made his first friend this year in kindergarten with another boy with mild autism. They both really work at that friendship and their teacher and aides try to help them both with skills they lack so they can learn to share, take turns, etc...

I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if he didnt want to play with them, but seeing that he did want to join in and didnt know how made me sad for him. The kids ended up baking cookies, watching movies, and blowing bubbles together with my teenaged daughter helping to include Vaughn. He didnt make much conversation with the girls or try to engage them much but he was sad when it was time for them to leave. 

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

 awe, poor little guy, did he eventually join the group?  This is dh's biggest fear about our son, he stands by and narrates what other kids are doing and goes "hey, baby!  whatcha doing?" but thats about it ://  HUGS to your little man <3

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