(written by DM)
DS had the opportunity of attending couple of family celebrations last summer, where he met most of our relatives (close to extended), was involved mostly by observing what is happening, taking part in his way by welcoming everyone. DS takes pride in being open and welcoming, as kid he had meltdowns when either guest comes home or if he was a guest at someone’s place, sure he has come a long way!
DS likes to be connected with family, friends and relatives, but his lack of social skills and inability to understand the subtle and underlying messages has always posed a challenge. DS was very excited at the thought of relatives will never change unlike the acquaintances, friends who keeps changing. DS had difficulty understanding why some buddies keep in touch, others don’t. We had hard time explaining. We did have concentric circles to represent acquaintances, emerging friends, close friends, best friends moving outer to innermost connecting with examples from our experiences. Courtesy Social Thinking. https://www.socialthinking.com/
DS likes to go for long drives especially to airport and is very excited when we have guests. DD came with the idea of role playing picking up family member(s), building a scenario why they are coming, having a small conversation. We came with idea of concentric circles 0, 1, 2, 3 to represent close to distant family, what we share with each circle is different- we share everything with circle 0 and only central information as they become distant, who falls in which circle. DS was very excited and thrilled about the whole process, which triggered lot of questions from him as we continued. Why they are in that circle, why we share only central message to distant people, what makes family members close, why we feel like crying when someone leaves, if a person is in once circle can they move to a different circle in either direction - what could be the reasons, how do we call each relations in our native language and why etc. All these discussions have enabled DS in relating to different circles of relationships and also expanded his thinking in the area of friends/acquaintance as he began relating and connecting to the instances that happened with buddies, who are good friends, why some avoided, why some sent or did not send mail, who are friendly but not friends, who belongs to which circle & why. DS is articulating every relationship starts at circle 3, takes time to evolve to circle 0 where both have to reciprocate, which is tip of the iceberg.