Social maintenance requires that your child work to keep friendships alive. Parents of toddlers and early-elementary children are used to being responsible for their child’s social maintenance. As children grow, they become more interested in taking charge of when to initiate contact with their friends and choosing the activities. You will have to keep the job of social maintenance manager far longer than parents of non-Asperger’s Disorder children. Your child will have more social activities if you take charge of inviting friends over, planning activities and outings that are enticing to her peers, encouraging your child to telephone her friends, and taking her to buy birthday, holiday, get-well, and special-occasion gifts and cards.
Expect to become a social repair expert. Your child will surely have many conflicts with her peers and potential friends. You will have to teach her very directly what she did that upset her friend and what exactly she needs to say and do to try to fix the friendship.
Remembering that it will take years to teach these skills will help you be patient and walk the fine line between giving your child the extra help she needs and being smothering.