Be A Friend
A fundamental difference between many children with learning disabilities and other kids is that they often have social issues that can be more debilitating than their learning problems.
If that’s the case with your child, it’s time to throw out the rule that says you can’t be your child’s friend, and replace it with the notion that everyone deserves at least one pal—and for the time being, that may be you.
In the absence of peer buddies, it’s up to you to teach him how friendships work—the give and take, the constant support, and the unwavering acceptance. What he learns from you will transfer to new friends as he becomes a better friend, himself.
The tricky part is bridging the gap between parent and friend, particularly if your child is at that stage where he’s naturally asserting his own independence.
What to Do
Begin by becoming his confidant. Win him over with survivor tales from your past (the time you went to a new school and ate lunch in the bathroom for a week, while you figured out how to make new friends).
Once he’s willing to confide in you, guide him through the horrors of playground politics. For example, help him find an answer for those hurtful comments. Sort out the possibilities—hit the offender, turn your back, walk away—and come up with a verbal response that works better: “I’d like to see you just stand there with a ball coming at your head about 100 miles an hour.”
The important point is, at a crucial time, you’re helping him learn the skills he needs to make and keep his own friends.
When that happens you can return to your rightful job as enforcer—just in time for the high-school years.