I have not been actively bringing them to the playground cos I was either busy working or cooking before I pick him up from school and I'll usually just bring him home right after school. But since he stopped attending one-to-one therapy session, and Dr. advised to let him mix more or attend group social therapy (only once a month), I guess going to the playground is the best option besides another bigger social group therapy (which is his school. We figure that being in school for more than 5 hours each day is better training than attending once a month and expensive therapy :P )
So before I pick him up, I have to cook faster, work faster, clean the house faster so that everything will be done before that. And right after school it's playground time. At first, everyone ignored him and his brother. With a lil help from me to introduce him to the rest of the peeps and showing him how to ask if he can play along/join in, finally he blend in.
There were times when he had minor meltdowns in the playground when some kid scolded him for not knowing how to play certain games and also when he cannot kick the ball properly. Once, he was crying cos he hit some kids and they complaint about him hitting them. But when I asked him why he did so he said "we were playing bad guy and good guy. They asked me to be bad guy. I thought bad guys hit people? So I hit them. But they scold me when I hit them! Mami, how to play and be bad guy???" .
All these scenario is sad, but it's okay cos it's part of the "real challenge". So we will go home, and I will talk to him before we sleep and teach him what to do next time. Like the bad guy scenario I have to acknowledge his feeling (I know you were upset about what happened in playground today. But can you tell me why did you hit them?) and then teach him to just "pretend to shoot them". And he said "oh... that's how you be bad guy?" I am glad he listened to me and knows how to improve himself.
One thing that we need to do each time before we go to the playground is to remind him of the "rules". For example: no showing tongue, no pushing, no arguing, no crying, must play with other ppl and not ownself. However he got used to it after some time and he began to tell me the rules even before we step into the playground now.
It has been about near to 2 months since we go to the playground everyday after school and he really look forward to go and play with his FRIENDS. Finally, he can call them friends and not just "those people". Maybe he is happy that he finally got accepted and got invited to play along rather than just walking around nearby hoping to be invited and get real sad when we're on our way home.
Yesterday, he played so happily and when we were getting into our car, two of his friends said "BYE JAYDEN!!! BYE JAYDEN!" and he said "BYE SHAUN! BYE DAVID!" And they went "BYE JAYDEN! BYE JAYDEN!" and he said :"BYE SHAUN! BYE DAVID" and they went "BYE JAYDEN!" and he said "haiyer.. why they say so many times bye?" *lol* when nobody said bye he said he has no friends. But friends say bye for too many times, he said they say it too many times. But I know deep inside, he was very happy.
P/S: so am i. :D