I know from when bullying threads have popped up in the past that many ehellions did not have great middle/high school social experiences. I'm looking for insight and advice: what did your family do right, what did they do wrong, what do you wish they had done when you were a kid?
My DS, age 12, has a difficult time socially. Some things are beyond his control: he has a physical muscle condition that affects his coordination, resulting in an inability to play sports well (most but not all boys at that age socialize through sports) and a tendency to pack on weight (despite eating healthy and getting regular exercise). He is just basically "awkward," glasses, braces, etc.
Other things are within his control, and those are more frustrating. He will harp on a topic, even when his classmates ask him to stop/move on. He has difficulty compromising, even though we are careful not to give in to him being unreasonable. He still throws "fits" at home, although he usually is fine at school. He insists on playing "his" way (like if he and his friends are putting on a "show") and has difficulty with compromise.
He definitely feels like he is different from the other kids, and that is upsetting to him. I'm proud that he is true to himself but I also feel he brings a lot of problems on himself by judging other kids too harshly. For example, if he gets in a fight with a friend, he stews for days, decides that kid is not his friend, etc. Meanwhile, the other kids seem to recover much quicker. He wants to have more friends, yet to hear him speak he doesn't really like many of the other kids.
I will say, he does not have a mean bone in his body, he just reacts to feeling picked on (sometimes justified, sometimes not).
He doesn't have Aspergers, but there were enough symptoms that we took him to several doctors over the years trying to get a diagnosis because he fits many of the descriptions.
We've got professional help on various things involving motor and social skills, while at the same time trying to encourage his individuality and not make him feel like we're focusing on his deficiencies when he has a lot of great qualities.
I've tried to include the most helpful points, but it's hard to sum up a person in a few lines and I'm sure I didn't do a great job. Please let me know if you have any advice for me on how to help him get through the rough years. Thanks!