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Wow. I feel kind of weird being the first one to post on this subject. My question is to anyone who has a special needs child or knows one. Does your child have any friends? My six year old has high functioning autism. She only plays with her 10 year old brother and 4 year old sister. It seems like other special needs family don't want to deal with linking up, maybe they just have too much stress already. The other kids her age though, that are not special needs kids don't really want anything to do with her. When my son's friends come over she cries and wants to play with them but it's not fair to make them play with her. My 4 year old (who is very delayed, but not autistic) had someone invite her over last week and my 6 year old begged to go. I feel so bad for her, do they ever develop friendships?
 

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Hi Karen,I remember that when I took a class on Special Education the professor made the arrangements for us to meet with a mom who had a child with high functioning autism. Her kid was almost 18 and he could talk, relate to other people and was begining to read. I do not know if all children with this condition have the capabilities to develop this skills in such a way; what I know is that this mom had all the therapies and special classes for her son and in that way she could see a major improvement than what everybody expected from her kid.You did not mention if your daughter is in school, but I suggest to go to the School District and ask who can help you with this. They should be able to orient you and give alternatives on how to help your daughter. Good luck!
 

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Some places have what is called a 'buddy' system. Whereby a 'buddy' volunteer pairs up with a Special Educational Needs child for friendship. Someone I know does this - he has Aspergers Syndrome and has a 'buddy' - hey go to the cinema etc and socialise together. Maybe there is something like this in your area.
 

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Karen: Great question.. although I must say that I thought this was a children's-issues-regarding-IBS forum. But, that aside....I work with kids who fall all over the spectrum-- autism, PDD, Aspergers-- because of my job and my position as a student clinician (in speech-language pathology). If your daughter isn't having too many problems with social appropriateness, in that she has DEMONSTRATED the ability to:*have a conversation of at least one turn each per person (e.g. "Hi." "Hi, how are you?" (one turn) "I'm fine. What are you doing?" "I'm playing." (two turns))*make eye contact/have an appropriate gaze pattern (able to look down, look up to make eye contact, etc.... just staring isn't good either!)*answer some wh- questions appropriately*follow 2- or 3-step directions... you could put her in Girl Scouts, or a similar group. That would give her an opportunity to be around other girls (or boys, too, if you do another type of group) in a non-academic environment. They often use the buddy system, too.You could also try a special-needs dance class, gymnastics class, etc.Now, I'm not a fully-certified professional yet. So I'm just giving a suggestion. You might want to talk to someone on her IEP team as to what can be done outside of school to enrich her social life.Good luck! Lilymaid
 
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