In one on one situations with adults, you might never pick P. out as a kid who struggles with friendships. He is charming, friendly, and eager for interaction. In a group situation with peers, particularly one that is not structures (eg, lunch, recess), he doesn’t know what to do. We have noticed that P. is likely to choose the most noticeable behavior to mimic in social situations. Unfortunately, he almost always ends up mimicking the most poorly and/or inappropriately behaved child in a group. And then P. is the one who gets in trouble.
This year, we are struggling with how P. responds to emotionally charged situations. At home and at school, when he perceives a confrontation or an injustice, he responds with a pure adrenaline reaction and has been fleeing from situations. He has bolted out of school, the playground, and in the neighborhood on his bicycle. This is a significant safety issue that we are struggling to address.
P. also has a hard time knowing the difference between friendly teasing and malicious teasing.