This week Maha, Suzana, Hasna and Alison chat about social interactions! They explore managing their own anxiety, how to guide their kids through navigating social situations and practicing social skills with their kids.
00:00 - This Life, The Chronicles of Autism Moms podcast, series 1 episode 11 – Social Interactions
00:27 - Alison kicks off the show
01:13 – Suzana, tell us about your experience with uncomfortable social interactions with your son and how that looked for you in the past
01:49 – We didn’t have the issue of not wanting to interact with people, but more of how do I interact with people.
04:11 – What was the reaction from the other moms when your son came to get help from them when dealing with social situations with their kids?
04:50 - Maha, as a parent, has navigating your child’s social interaction every became overwhelming for you so much that you’ve decided not to attended a gathering?
06:31 – I have to get myself into a good state before heading into a new social situation because I’m not sure what my child’s reaction would be.
08:14 – Work on skills when you’re not limited by time or if you need to be somewhere or not. That takes the pressure off. Make sure you have patience.
09:16 – We’ve all done the iPads!
10:16 – I’m happy for my son to go out with friends but when I’m with him I can help steer the situation a bit more. I’m not embarrassed of him, I want to protect him from people who are not understanding of his behavior or make fun of him. I want to teach my son to disclose so that he can advocate for himself
11:23 – Some days you’re willing to face that anxiety and other days its just too much
12:25 – I need everyone to understand our situation and I want people to understand that my child has Autism. Disclosure is power and people tend to understand once they know. The problem is that a lot of people are not compassionate.
13:45 – Social skills are learned through practice
14:19 –That is my fear with social interactions: that my son gets bullied, he gets hurt, he doesn’t understand the situation.
15:10 – There’s always a fear if it will always be like this, it’s very stressful
16:00 – There’s not enough compassion, awareness, effort etc, by the schools
17:44 – Maha tell us about a “crash and burn” situation.
20:20 – Sometimes we have to pick our battles and say that’s not the right thing for him right now
20:51 – You definitely start to accept that that’s how your child is. I always have a plan b if plan a doesn’t work out. We have to become more flexible when maneuvering more situations.
23:40 – We want our kids to be in situations where they are comfortable and sometimes uncomfortable so that they can push themselves
25:13 – Outwardly, my son doesn’t look like he has Autism. It’s so annoying to have to explain ourselves all the time.
26:43 – It’s hard to deal with the judgement from others on if I’m parenting well.
27:32 – What it’s like navigating doctor visits
30:50 – what helps me is to keep regular appointments so that the people and places are familiar and it becomes easier and more predictable for my son. It’s all practice and it gets easier.
33:38 – Top Tips for navigating social interactions