Funny Thing

A funny thing happened yesterday… My son was kicked out of his social skills group.

Let me assure you that this is funny, in a “I’m searching for the positive” sort of way.

I should perhaps amend these statements by adding that my son is 11 years old, and he has Aspergers…

You see, at the end of his social skills group last week, my son informed me, in no uncertain terms, that he was not going to go back, and I could not make him. I didn’t argue. In reality, I can make him go. I cannot, however, make him enjoy it. There I was, sitting in the parents waiting room with my book open on my lap, distracted by a really bad TV show, while the woman sitting in the chair next to me snored. I caught the familiar voice of my son, up in arms over one thing or another, while the group leader was calmly attempting to convince him of how much fun he was having. I was unconvinced, so I very much doubted her attempts would do the trick, but I do give her credit for trying. I closed my book, grabbed my things, and followed the voices into the hall.  The problem he held on to at that moment was largely irrelevant, as the issue was that I “made him go”.  I did, and I freely admit to my “wrong doing”.  It wasn’t difficult to convince him to give the group one more try, with the promise that if he still didn’t like it, I would not take him again.

I will not be taking him again. He decided this before we walked in the door.

The call came later, from the center director. It felt very much like elementary school, when the principal would call me about one thing or another he had done.  I became tense as the frustration rose in my heart, and I began to run down my list of adequate responses to the onslaught that was to come.  She did not,however, throw a list of grievances at me. Instead, she called to formulate a new plan of action, siting the issues that came up at group, concerns I had talked to her about in our previous conversations, and specific ideas and therapists she felt would be a good fit for him. My own list hung in my mind with nowhere to go.

He did handle the situation fairly well, considering my set up.

1. He followed through with an issue he felt was important. I may not agree with him or like it, but he did follow through.

2. More important than this, he talked to me. He has not always bothered to tell me his logic, thoughts and intriguing processes. It’s not that he didn’t want to tell me, as much as he didn’t think it was necessary. (It was assumed, I believe, that I was a mind reader. I am truly flattered by this core belief in my maternal abilities.)

3. He argued, but didn’t swear, run off, or hide. He told the adults present exactly what he thought (filter!!), and why. He informed me that he had told me he didn’t want to go back, and now I couldn’t make him go to group anymore. Done.

I am smiling.





  1. It’s tough to find the GOOD and PROGRESS in situations that do not go as we had planned; however, you have figured out how to do so. I’d say his social skills are certainly improving at least in the area of self-advocacy!

  2. Your humor and wit shine throughout this slice! So much good stuff here: your lead describing a serious situation which many would find upsetting as funny and then your “assurance” that it is, in fact, funny. Your parenthetical asides- “filter!!!”, “….I am truly flattered in this core belief in my maternal abilities..” Your description of the wait in the waiting room….also funny! It’s not easy to put at positive spin on situations that don’t turn out the way we had hoped. Yet, you do it so effortlessly!

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