Struggling to make friends at new high school — Scope | Disability forum
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Struggling to make friends at new high school

CazC Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi, my son is 11 and started high school in September. He hasTourettes, non-epileptic seizures, anxiety and possible ASD. I am worried as we are nearly at the end of the 1st half term and he has not really made any friends. He was so sociable and had lots of friends at primary school and played football outside every lunch and break when he was able to. Now he has lost all his confidence at school and just goes to the SEND hub at breaks. He does chat to people in the hub, but I worry that he is missing out on making friends and just being able to hang out with people or go kick a ball around. I am in touch with the Senco who is fab and they are looking after him but there isn't anyone he could see out of school at the moment.
Has anyone experienced something similar? Any tips or positive stories would be much appreciated. Thank you. X 


  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    Hello @CazC

    What are his hobbies? Perhaps you could gently support him to try a new passion or hobby etc? There are lots of good options out there. My disabled son has just started learning the recorder privately with a recorder tutor at home.

    Could a music instrument help him gain confidence? ABRSM are the leading music exam board worldwide. Additionally, I strongly recommend contacting the national autism society for help and support. Many leisure centres have lots of children's activities during half term, this is another good way to meet friends. And build up his confidence and independence. 

    Can you give us some more details on his personality etc? Does he enjoy sport? Is there a favorite subject or not? If he loves art, use that as a way to help him to make new friends. 
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @CazC
    It is such a worrying time when our kids start high school isn't it?! Its a big change for young people and can be hard to make new friends. I'm glad you have a good relationship with the school SENCO.
    When you speak to your son about this, what does he say? Is there anything in particular that is bothering him?

    When my son started high school, he spent every lunch break in the music rooms and I worried that he had no friends and wasn't socialising, but it turned out he was making new friends in the music rooms and he was perfectly happy. He wasn't a sporty boy and he did find the playground a bit intimidating but he made some great friends in music and found his place in time.

    I hope your son is doing ok and that school are offering all the support he needs, do they do any sort of buddy systems in the school?

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  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,576 Scope online community team
    Hello @CazC. How has he been getting on now he's back? Does he seem to enjoy school?
    My eldest daughter started secondary school last September and I had lots of similar worries and noticed her confidence took a massive hit too. They go from being the oldest children in a setting they are comfortable with, to being relatively small fish in a comparatively enormous and unfamiliar ocean.

    She spent the first term in the library during breaks and lunch and similar to @Sam_Scope's son, it turned out she was making some friendships there. 

    I think one of the most important things to ask is whether your son is happy with the situation. Has he expressed any worries about school or finding friends? 
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