Sociable is a big word that I never realized how hard it can be for peoople. As my husband says, " You can just talk to anyone." I can't help it, it is natural. However, not natural for many I have learned.
As a young girl my adventures were learning and talking to EVERYONE in the neighborhood... My mom knew I was everywhere on our street talking to many of the older neighbors, I would spend hours at their houses just talking even at a young age. I just love to talk and learn. I would absorb their experiences and learn what they knew. I don't think she ever worried if someone took me because everyone knew me.
So my husband who was never really sociable taught me for the first time about the word "shy" and how he did not like to be around people, not because he is a mean person. He just didn't feel comfortable. I never could understand how you just not be able to talk to someone or NOT want to be around people. I love people and love to have fun! We compromised in many situations through the years......Basically, I learned to not be pushy or personal. :)
So here I am again, dealing with being sociable! Now, many people fear homeschooling because they are worried the children may not be okay in society. Sheltering is a common thought. I believe that many children I meet that are not homeschooled need to learn more about being social and etiquette then others, lol. So in thought, it really depends on the parents and how they teach their children.
However, that is not the case at all because we have always been around people. Aleq is now old enough and at that age where he is realizing he really does not have HIS friends. He knows many people but not a consistant friendship which is what he needs to grow even more. He is very unsure where he stands with others and I know that is an insecurity with his SPD. He is a sociable person but getting to become sociable with someone is his struggle. When he was younger he was just better at just being alone, he didn't want anyone around him. In his eyes, he sees his sister with many of her friends doing activities now. You can see he wants to a part of that but can't figure out the instructions to do it.
Sometimes there has to be a breakdown to rebuild to fix the problem. With ANYTHING in life....Remember this, it is okay for them to have a breakdown. I have come home many times in tears! But the breakdowns is how we learn what to work on.You know how easy it would be for me to just walk around with these flyers with me so others would understand....
Lately, I could tell he has been having trouble around others again. He would pick on them or be rude. However, if you have an SPD or Autistic child you know automatically things can come out of their mouth that all you can do is shrug your shoulders. They do not know the normal instructions, they are not wired that way. So it is our job to repeat the instruction until they can make that decision without frustration and sometime in reality that may not ever happen. But assuring them you are there to help guide them is the key for them.
Our level has grown to another level in many areas but at this age learning to become sociable is the word of the week. Role play is really important.
Sometimes SPD kids do not realize what to do around others they may not know in the room, as in how to talk to them or even what to do when they see others they do know.. ...Sometimes the first reaction for them is frustration, pressure, or I have seen shutting down.We have a game we play...before we go anywhere I try to inform him of what it is, why we are going, and who might be there. Then I try to come up with things to do first, for example ask the person is doing or what have they have been doing lately. If we have had issues in the past with things he may do, touching people or hugging them hard, I try to remind him not everyone likes this. Another issue is knowing to stop if someone says stop, he gets overwhelmed and he shows his excitement with touching or hitting. This is a repetitive game.....What I have realized and you must realize if you have an SPD child that you must never stop this.
I have found a great tool to help him. I have read and learned SPD kids need to be on routine. Well, ding ding ding, as a homeschool mom I have to have a routine so this is easy for me. However, they need to see and know what is happening, nothing spontaneous, if there is a change then we talk about why it has changed. So, I started a weekly calendar that lists our appointments, activities, and daily schedule. This has truly helped him now he is reading better. He knows to go and look before asking me. It also helps with him feeling secure and stable. Then he prepares according to the schedule. My daugther even loves it, she goes and stands before it almost everyday, lol.
Once he can get to be sociable with someone which can take a while, then he is smooth sailing. Every once in a while it is normal that it just becomes overwhelming and he wants to give up, that is when I tell him when he feels that way to come tell me so we can leave or have space. Our struggle most of the time is finding others that understand and have patience. I know that will always be a bump in his path. Finding parents who can be consistent to have "hang out" time is another struggle. It is so important for kids to have that.... Having that time to just "hang out" and bond is important for anyone of any age. However, it seems these days we are so busy with life we are not consistent. This is not good for anyone!
It seems the ability to be sociable is a good skill to have and being able to get to that point. Through the years I have found some of my friends have a hard time and are shy...Are you shy? Are you sociable? Do you have a hard time around others? Just curious...Do you find that your children have become shy or panic around others? I would love to hear your feedback on this.
Have a blessed week and with the Christmas parties coming up....I think this is a great topic to address. ;)
Peace, love, and happiness!