Author Topic: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid  (Read 2103 times)

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Aggiesque

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 11:00:42 AM »
I would suggest finding an activity- that's social- that he really likes (acting? acedemic group? playing an instrument within a group etc), as well as doing some volunteering with him, esp with less fortunate people. That seems to really "open the eyes" of a lot of kids when it comes to looking at different viewpoints.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 11:03:09 AM by Aggiesque »
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Corbin

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 11:34:54 AM »
My DS is a misfit (of a slightly different variety, but with many similarities) and I really think that the social skills group he got into at school has helped. Some kids need a little more help in picking up social cues and bouncing back from relationship issues. Most schools have them, or at least can tell you where to find one. I am also going to jump up on the marital arts bandwagon. It seems to work really well for a lot of kids. And a good instructor will work around any muscular issues (we had a young man in our dojo who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair off and on. Our black belts were able to modify and adjust moves so that he could still do them, and his physical therapist said that it made a huge difference!)
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Squeaks

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 11:41:30 AM »
I think you need to get him into debate/forensics.

He likes to argue, and dwell on things,  put it to constructive use.  He sounds like he would thrive and enjoy it.

I would also tell him it is ok to not have a lot of friends.  You said he does not seem to like most of the kids, he likely doesn't.  There is nothing wrong with that.    

Where do you work? Could you bring him in to do little things?  A lot of kids can end up enjoying the little tasks adults find tedious (things like mass copying or stuffing envelopes).  Even if it does not help him learn to interact socially with his peers, it can help him learn to act professional, which is still helpful.   I did stuff like that with my mom and always enjoyed it.

Is he into video games?  Try playing some with him.  If you are not a gamer let him teach you.  At least you will be doing something with him and he will feel less lonely. That is one way you can indeed be his friend but still his parent.

Also 12 is not too young for contacts, if you think that would help, i really encourage you to look into it.  




kitty-cat

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 11:58:18 AM »
Oh, just remembered this too- middle school by definition is awkward. Anyone who is remotley diffrent at all will be picked on for no real reason. Everyone is trying to figure out who they are, but at the same time, they are scared to do anything diffrent for fear of being teased.

It does get better in HS because not only is high school usually bigger, there are many more activites for students to do in order to find themselves. There are also more classes- if your DS is really academic, AP classes may be good for him (or AICE, or IB; whatever your school has) Being around others kind of like him may make your DS more "normal like" for lack of a better term.




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cicero

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 12:47:12 PM »
my DS (is 24) had /has a lot of social issues. he was first diagnosed with ADHD and then a few years ago was diagnosed with Asperger's. your son sounds a lot like him.

i can give you advice from a "misfit" adult's view - things i observed, and things my son has told me.

first - and i think most important - your son is *not* a misfit. he is a human being. I know you didn't mean anything bad by this, but it's important to start to see him as a person. parents of *special* kids spend a LOT of time and energy focusing on *discovering* what is *wrong*. going from therapist to psychologist to special ed teachers and not always getting straight answers. we sometimes forget that there is a kid underneath all that. so my advise to you is treat him as a kid, a regular kid. As one of DS' teachers once said to me 'what these kids want more than anything is to be normal' (whatever "normal" is...)

second- i nth what others suggested- find "something" that he can excel at. I would suggest some combination of physical (sports, martial arts, etc) and something in the arts (where he can find an outlet for his feelings - drawing, ceramics, music, writing, psychodrama).

good luck


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JordanX

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2010, 01:17:45 PM »
Thanks so much for all the replies.  He does like theater and will be auditioning for the school play in a few weeks (everyone that wants to participate, can).  He is also a talented writer, but I haven't been able to find something in that area.

He tried karate a few times when he was younger and complained about it.  We've done swim lessons, swim team, music lessons, etc. but he does not want to stick with most things and I don't want to fight about it.  Kid triathlons have worked best, but he is very sensitive to being one of the slowest kids in all of these sports activities.

I do want to clarify that I don't see him as a misfit, it's just a shortcut term to give a sense of how he feels.  Teachers and counselors really enjoy him, I just think he's one of those kids who finds their way once they get to college.  I just want to get him to that point as unscarred and with as decent self-esteem as I can.

He does get picked on, and it's hard to avoid the "blame the victim" mentality.  I'd say about 60% of the time it's mean kids, but 40% of the time, he brings it on himself by being bossy or missing social cues.  I've tried a few social skills classes, but so far most of the kids in there are the bullies, not the bullied, or else the kids have issues that are much worse than my DS, so it's hard.

There's just not enough time in the afternoons to get exercise, do homework, go to a social skills group, participate in an extracurricular, and have time to just be a kid.  I'm having a hard time prioritizing on which areas to work on, while making sure not to focus too much on where he may fall short...and my other kids need me too  :-\

Aggiesque

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2010, 01:41:46 PM »
Quote
He tried karate a few times when he was younger and complained about it.  We've done swim lessons, swim team, music lessons, etc. but he does not want to stick with most things and I don't want to fight about it.  Kid triathlons have worked best, but he is very sensitive to being one of the slowest kids in all of these sports activities.

This may help with some of his social/empathy things, but I'm wondering- have you guys MADE him finish the groups he started? I know my parents always made us finish out the set of lessons/semester/season(sport) we had signed up for. When we didn't like it, we didn't have to do it again, but we did have to finish- and got big speeches about how it isn't fair to the rest of the team/how someone was depending on the income/how much time the coaches/teacher took in preparing for that 30m lesson a week/and how it affects everyone else when we drop out of something we had agreed to participate in, and were depended on, for a certain period of time. That always made a big impact with my siblings and I growing up.
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hobish

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 01:54:58 PM »
Are there any activities he enjoys and does semi well? Could you look into setting up a group or enrolling him in a group for that activity? Like he likes putting on shows, maybe D&D? Or a local theater group?
I'd think that having more friends outside of school might take away some of the pain of not being super popular in school.

Oh, sure, make him a D&D geek on top of it!   ;)

You know i kid. I was thinking the same thing. It's got rules and communication and creativity ... i know it sounds backwards; but finding the group of kids i played D&D with really helped me be more confident and less awkward when i was young. Other things like 4H and youth group did, too; but i don't think that is the avenue you are looking for.



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HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Advice for mom of "misfit" kid
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 02:25:59 PM »
Many of us D&D nerds do fine in real life.   ;)  (says the lvl 5 ranger about to become a Vampire Slayer)

I think debate team sounds like a really good idea.  It would provide some good structure for knowing how and when to be argumentative.  I was never on my school's debate team, but many of my friends were. 

What about choir?  I used to be very involved in school theater, but I was frustrated that I kept getting really small roles.  I enjoyed choir more - we were all more or less singing the same thing.  There were some solos, the but the focus was harmony as a group (both musically & socially). 
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