Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sheetrock and babbling

The first half of our sheetrock needs will be delivered tomorrow, along with the foam insulation for the basement and the studs for framing.  Woo Hoo!  Now we can finish the upstairs bath and start framing in the basement. Guess what we'll be doing this weekend!  

I12's 6th grade graduation party was amusing.  They had custom t-shirts for the kids and each one got a sharpie to sign each other's shirts.  There was also the customary display of baby pictures for guessing who was who and they did a wonderful photo montage set to music of pictures of the kids and activities from school since they were in kindergarten.  And finally, they had cake.  Not just any cake, but one with each child's name on a piece so they got their own name from the cake, decorated in the school colors.
It was also a bit sad. I12 is my 'worrisome child'.  He has always had delays in language and social skills.  We took the leap and tried him on meds for his ADHD last year which has helped with his school work.  I'm not so worried about him academically though,  He's a bright kid, just inattentive (he is really ADD, without the H).  What worries me is the social skills part.  As all his classmates were running around, chatting and laughing and signing each other's shirts he stood there, not knowing what to do.  I do so worry about how he will fare in junior high.  He has very few friends his own age.  He does have a few friends from the after school program but they are all a couple years younger than he is.  We took him in for a full psych evaluation last fall, since I still think he falls somewhere on the autism spectrum but they didn't really tell us much.  Part of the problem with the eval is that he does really well with adults, especially one on one so he was a shining star in the clinic, his problem is that he can't relate to kids his own age.  We've tried to get him involved in activities to get him 'socialized' but haven't had much luck.  He doesn't like sports- he would much rather spend time with a book or video game (his dad and I are the same way) and has different interests from most kids his age.  He does like acting though, so I was going to look into some summer programs at our local rec center to see what I can find.  I do hope that when he gets to junior high in the fall that he will find a group of similar kids who "don't quite fit" the normal mode and make some new friends.  He's going to have several hundred new friends to choose from.  I'm also hoping that he'll do some growing up over the summer- I think a little maturity will help.
Although, when I think about it, both V and I were 'misfits' in our schools when we were growing up.  We both had few friends (and still have just a few close friends) but somehow managed to find each other.
How about all of you- did you feel like you were part of the 'in crowd' when you were young or were you one of the outsiders?


  1. Well, let me see...I lived in 8 different states while growing up and I always seemed to make friends really easy, but my older sister had a much harder time than I did. I pretty much talked to anyone who would listen and loved to be funny. But, I had a hard time when we lived in Texas because I am dark complexed with brown eyes and hair and the school we went to had few Mexicans - I had a lot of teasing from kids and would go home crying many, many days, but I think that made me all the more outgoing - maybe I needed to prove something. Finally in the 6th grade during lunch some kid was teasing me and I finally said really PROUD, that my mom was Indian (like the wild west) and that my dad was Irish (O'Brien) and told them I was an Irish that they left me alone...When I told my blond haired blue eyed mom that story she nearly fainted. Dad thought is was funny. Mom was I think he will find his way and will probably find several good friends when school starts. He just needs a little time perhaps. While you are struggling with dry wall and framing the basements, I want you to stop and close your eyes and vision me on a Pontune Boat, puttering around a beautiful lake in Ninety Six, South Carolina. We are going on a road trip in the morning for 4-5 days. Am excited.
    Have a good weekend!!! Don't work too HARD...debbie

  2. Hey Judy
    This post strikes a chord with me. Your son and I could have been twins. I NEVER fit in-I would have much rather been with a book or outside in the woods. I HATED it when my mom pushed me to group activities. As a very sociable person, she just couldn't understand her quiet shy daughter. You can't make a person change who they can only try to understand how they are. Your son represents 25% of the population-he sounds like an introvert. There isn't anything wrong with that, its just different. Please read "The Loners Manifesto", and "The Introvert Advantage".
    Introverts gather strength from within....extroverts need people to gain energy. I'm not being mean or anything, please understand! But, pushing him to be social is a whole lot worse than accepting him as he is. The greatest scientists, artists, etc are usually introverts. Your challenge will be to find his strengths and show him what an advantage it really is. Hope this helps. The only time I didn't feel at ease growing up was when I was made to feel different.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Don't overdo!

  3. Like Sue, I too have been an introvert all my life (and still am). Large numbers of people, activity, unknown places/people - all big sources of anxiety. I don't know if it started because I didn't have the easiest time in school social-life wise, or if the lack of social relationships happened because I was solitary by nature. The story about the t-shirts is very familiar. At any rate.... I made it through. I will say though, that even though there are not many objectively real downsides to this personality, it *has* been hard for me as an adult to teach myself to get out there when it is necessary for my work stuff. I'll often hide under the proverbial covers or find reasons not to do things that might be beneficial, which is not good. It's a work in progress I guess.
    I12's graduation sounds like a lot of fun. We didn't have anything like that.

  4. We have a close friend who works at your place of employment who has a son who though hasn't been diagnosed, seems to me to be in the spectrum of autism. He isn't hyper and he is extremely smart and can spell really well at the age of three but he just doesn't have any social skills at all. At my daughter's birthday party last weekend, all the kids ran off and played on the playground and he stood not knowing what to do. There are lots of other signs that lead me to that conclusion but I have a sense of what you and my friend are going through. I still hope and pray that since it is just a subtle shade, that her child and yours will still progress out of it and lead normal lives eventually.

    I was never in the in crowd at school but still fit in since our school was extremely small (graduating class of eight) and you knew everyone whether or not you wanted too. It probably wasn't until halfway through college that I socially began to mature and meet people. If there was hope for me, there is hope for anyone.

  5. Thanks all,
    Sue and localzone- I don't have any problem with him being an introvert- I was as well- and I try really hard not to PUSH him into anything. The problem, and maybe I wasn't clear, is that he feels left out. He came home last Friday- after he had taken treats for his birthday- really down saying he was the most invisible kid in school because only 3 people told him happy birthday. He is very friendly but his peers ignore him because sometimes he is just odd. He still has speech patterns that aren't 'normal' he has facial tics and he tends to blurt out random facts or quotes at sometimes inappropriate moments (another thing that leads me to the autism spectrum theory).
    If he was just a shy child I wouldn't worry so much but he is just so 'different' and feels like he doesn't fit in. It's his feeling left out that bothers me.

  6. Apparently we are a pack of introverts. I too am most comfortable by myself. I NEVER felt a sense of belonging in school-all the way through high school- college was good though. I sometimes wonder if i ever was a child or maybe just an adult trapped in a child's body. Introduce him to the acting but don't push. My 11 yr old is alot like me-no interest in sports, dance, music-but then we hit on horses and boy is it the right thing for her! He will find his place! Kris

  7. I was definitely an 'outsider' and still am in many ways. He sounds a lot like I was at that age and I remained that way through middle school (I did gather a few friends though) By the time I got to High School, I did blossom a little bit more and had a robust (for me) social life through my twenties. It will be hard on him (no doubt) because our society (IMHO) labels Introverts as something abnormal (it's not). I would guess when in situations with a lot of other kids, he literally feels his energy being drained away from him. He gets his recharge from his time spent with "alne" type activities (you and your Dh are probably the same as I am too).

    My heart goes out to him because I found the middle school years the worst as far as socializing goes. I think you are on the right track to find "concentrated" interests and he will find his social circle. And his maturity will help him accept the fact he is not a social butterfly and that is ok too.

    Hugs to him and you!

  8. I just read Sue's comment and that is exactly what I meant too!! Sue, we could have been twins too (including having an extroverted, outgoing mother who didn't understand her shy, socially awkard, shy bookworm daughter). In fact, in many ways, I am still that girl; however I have *learned* to be outgoing when necessary (work situations, etc.). I have few RL friends (but have many here). It is the energy thing.

  9. This sounds familiar!!! I am much more the loner than Todd - I would much rather do my own thing than run around in a whole group. And Jessie is the social butterfly - complete with ADD (which she was just diagnosed with 10 weeks ago). Tyler is more like me - he'd rather entertain himself than be in a great big group. Hopefully when he gets to Jr. High - he'll have more kids to choose from and can find some that he feels comfortable with. It's worrisome though, I know what you mean.

  10. PS. you're a winner of my lame-o prize.

    I was an outsider... still am for the most part. I always feel like everybody got a rule book about social interactions when they were young, but I was standing in the "imagination" line. :)

    YoungSon is the same way, and yours sounds a lot like mine. We laugh that he's bright but socially inept, just like his mom. (No, wait. He and I laugh about it together, not laughing at him)

    Middle school? I'd like to say something positive, but have nothing. It's a brutal, painful, searing time. Which explains why I mostly dislike kids... the majority of them have never learned to be decent human beings. (no baggage here!!!). We found it helped to let YoungSon be himself, steer him toward the things he enjoys, only "make" him do one or two things outside his comfort zone and find a supportive faith-based program. (the odds were a tinier bit better that someone would correct stupidity on the part of the cretins. only a bit better odds though)

    I can only say that one day, he'll be a self-possessed young man, dating an older woman, marching to the beat of his own drummer and happy with himself.

    Lots of tears along the way though mom. :(

  11. I was a total outsider, too, much more comfortable with adults and solo activities. I'm still a bit of an introvert, but I can be social if I have to be.

    We're all different, and it would be such a relief if we could celebrate those differences.

  12. Wow, you could be describing my 6 year old, except for a few differences in language skills. He never spoke a word until he was 2, but is way above average in that dept now. Problem is, he favors conversations with adults and consequently, has trouble relating to his peers who are having "typical kid" conversations. He lags behind in the physical area, not yet riding a 2-wheeler, not great at hitting a ball, etc..he much prefers to be building Legos, reading, or designing these great buildings on paper, and gets great grades. When he has friends over, he kind of over-compensates by acting out adult things, like offering drinks and snacks and directing the activities (I call him Julie the Cruise Director, for those of you that remember the Love Boat, lol). I feel for you, it worries me some too, since I know it will be harder for him as he gets into middle school. It's too bad kids can't realize that middle/high school doesn't mean much in the game of life! The true test is what kind of person you are when all of it is done and you are an adult...and it seems to me that when I think of what some of the "popular kids" are doing now....hmmm, let's just say that the quiet "nerdy" types are more successful :)
    As for myself, I moved alot being a military brat, so I had trouble making close friends. I had plenty of "acquaintance/friends", and always had weekend plans, but only one stands out as "THE friend" from high school! To this day, I still am on the move in the military and find that I have only one close friend and my husband that I can confide in. I have no problem socializing and making acquaintances, I just can't seem to open up and let just anyone in!!

  13. Goodness me! This post definitely struck a chord with people. We are just a bunch of introverts aren't we. Maybe that's why we do what we do. We have all learned the hard way to march to the beat of our own drum and live just a bit outside the mainstream.
    I'm sure the junior high years will be a painful adventure (they were for me) but we'll get through. He is just such a sweet, sensitive boy that I hate to see him get hurt. Oh, I know that as a parent, I can't shield him from all the pain of growing up- I just want him to be happy.

  14. Gosh-I hear you-there is no pain like a mother watching a child go through pain. It's awful. (i have 7 kids) I was going to make a quick suggestion about having your son checked for Tourette's syndrome. I know I may be way off base here, but we have a couple of children in our church who have a mild case of it-the facial tics is what got me to thinking. Hope you won't be offended-just an idea.

  15. Judy, your son sounds so exactly like my 12yo son! It's like I could've written the same exact words. I've learned to try to think positively about him, and be okay with having a quirky kid, though I do still have occasion to worry. Mature, he's not, but very very smart. I think you got it right thinking about you and your husband and how you turned out fine. There are such narrow parameters for kids these days that some stick out like sore thumbs. I think they'll turn out fine! (Really, I do...) I was kind of an odd one out a lot, but I always had a few friends and now have a great life, great husband, great kids.

    I haven't visited your blog in a while...trying to get back in the swing of bloggie things. I hope to read more faithfully, but then you know...time...I'll try! I always like what you have to say. Love your header photo.

  16. Ooh, just read Sue's comment. Thanks, Sue! I instinctively know you're right--having been an introvert all my life as well and hating being forced into social things if I didn't want to do them. My son is just even more introverted than me, and I try not to push. Thanks for sticking up for introverts! I will find those books.

  17. mom. RELAX. he'll be fine. who knows. maybe now that I'll be having him get internet savvy and coaching him in the art of the JH student, he'll bloom. He'll be fine.


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