This Message Will Self-Destruct in 60 Seconds…

Our son, like many AS children, is interested in other people.  Wants to make the connection with them, but can’t always figure out how to make it happen.

When he was little, we used to let him loose in a play area.  Very shortly, he’d be back, saying the other kids had ignored him or didn’t seem like they wanted to play.

It’s not a new story.  I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone out there in the same boat.

So we gave him missions.  Yes, secret-agent-type missions.  Things like: go in, locate two friendly-looking people, and report back.  Then it would be to approach those people and ask them their names, remembering to offer his own name in exchange.  And so on.

He loved it.

It gave him a concrete goal, rather than putting him in the confusing, chaotic social world without any support.  If the kids got him involved in a conversation, or started a game, he knew he could report back later.  If something unforeseen happened – say, an unidentified child made friendly overtures – he could follow up on that and report back with additional news.

For us, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce social skills like:

  1. Practicing what to look for in a prospective friend
  2. Saying Hello, Hi, etc. to others
  3. Giving a name, and asking for a name in return
  4. Asking – and responding to – questions like “how old are you?” which in kidspeak really means “I want to play with you”

For a shy day, scouting missions worked great.  Just observing and discussing what the other kids are doing builds communication skills and helps to reveal those vital clues that unlock social understanding.

Missions work.  They can help the goal-oriented mind accomplish everyday tasks, such as greeting friends, getting supplies, accomplishing work, or finding someone to talk – or play – with.

This message will self-destruct in sixty seconds.


About aspergerfamily3

Living in an Asperger's World, surrounded by a love of learning, interesting people, and daily challenges.
This entry was posted in Social Skills and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This Message Will Self-Destruct in 60 Seconds…

  1. asdmommy says:

    What a GREAT idea! I’m going to have to try that with my son.

    Thank you for commenting! I enjoyed your site, and plan to check it out every once in a while

  2. schonakessler says:

    I have to agree that makes it fun for both you and him! Cool! Will have to remember this! Thanks

    Thank you for commenting. Checked out your site, and it sounds like you lead a very interesting life!

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