Elf isn't doing so badly. I'm letting him flounder and figure it out for himself. It looks like every now and then, though, he might need a little hint about what to say and do.
I've been asking him to do things like tell me the names of two other students this week, and tell me what people are talking about in the lunchroom, and tell me about what you are saying in class, and all sorts of things like that. It worked very well in Mr. McC's class last year. He eventually learnt the names of six other children and was able to even tell me a little bit about a few of them. This year, not so well.
At least he does seem to want to talk to me about things. But he's making more than a few social mistakes. One of the teachers had an "icebreaker" sort of conversation a bit ago and went around the room asking each of the children what they were doing over the weekend. Elf's response? "None of your business."
Yeahhh, he has been coached that next time, "I'd prefer not to talk about it," or "Can I please skip my turn?" would have been better answers. The teacher also had a "discussion" about "respectful behaviour" as well.
Or this. Elf has figured out that table "18" has the best conversations. They don't have very interesting chats at 15, Elf told me. It got pretty boring there, and Elf wanted to (I guess??) talk about something else.
"Could you please spice this conversation up a little bit?" he asked them. "My mom wants to know alll about the things we talk about here, and I don't want to have to give her a bad report."
Can you believe this approach didn't work?? Can you? Things just don't work out for this kid and he's trying to figure out why. So. He can go to "table 18" on W days or something like that. They have the best conversations. One of the things they do is play some sort of "pass the expired milk carton" game and another is to discuss which food is the nastiest and plan a large "last day of school" food fight. I'm now cluing Elf in to the fact that the last day of school is NOT a good day to sit with the people at "table 18."
Patrick is trying to teach him to say "Yo Mama said so" at the table as a good way to socialize. I dunno, I guess that's what the high school kids do, so maybe it will be avant-garde at the middle school. I remember hearing this "Your mama" thing in college. One fellow from the 'hood just threw, "Yo mama so fat she breaks chairs" or somesuch into the conversation. MYYYY, was I insulted. I told him he didn't know my mother, and how dare he? He thought this was all HILARIOUS and started in on other Mama being fat jokes. I told him for his information that my mother lost QUITE A BIT OF WEIGHT on Nutri/System, so that just shows how much he knows.
Rolling, he was.