Reply To: Concern for my 14 year old son and his isolation

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My son is now 22, but suffered terribly in the small, private school we thought would work for him. He also had no friends, even though he was so smart, sweet, and funny. He felt like the kids in his class were from another planet and couldn’t understand why they were so mean. I was lucky to learn about a place near us which also helped autistic and Asperger kids with a special group format they simply called “Friends’ Club.” Even though my son had neither of these issues, after meeting our son (then 8), the director explained why this group would still work for him. To my happy surprise, she was correct. My son was treated like one of the “lead” helpers, because he was so kind and considerate, while he actually helped the group function during the hour-long sessions. He was equally helped with social skills he lacked due to his ADD and intelligence. He spent one year going once a week and it was the best thing I did for him.

I say all of this to offer the hope that the group you mentioned may actually offer something more than you’re expecting. The group near us (Carlsbad, CA) had groups for kids of all ages, up to 18. It’s possible the group you mentioned is worth another look.

My son is now getting straight As in college (granted, on a slower ADD track), and does have friends there, but he STILL doesn’t invite anyone over! Apparently, that’s just how he is comfortable in his life. He, too, spends time gaming on the internet, both with friends he knows, and with gamers he doesn’t know beyond the game itself. I do wonder what people like him did before the internet provided this outlet, but he is happy and is enjoying his adult life.

Two other points about him, just FYI: (1) after suffering through “regular” school up through grade 3, I finally took his pleas to homeschool him to heart and he successfully graduated with a lot of help from our local junior college which allowed students under 16 to enroll with professor’s permission (he started taking classes at age 14 and loved it). During those homeschooling years, he and his little sister who barely made it through Kindergarten, thankfully made friends within the homeschool community); and (2) He still doesn’t drive… another concept we just have to figure out: even though he WANTS to drive, he just doesn’t have the “drive” to make it happen on his own, which is aggravated by the admission that he’s worried he’ll kill too many bugs with the car and is fearful he might try to avoid a bug at the expense of whoever might be around him. Yeah, that’s scary!!

Good luck, there’s a lot of great suggestions from others to your questions 🙂