You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Dear Abby - Sunday, March 12


Dear Abby: Schoolchildren, especially middle school or high school students who may not be socially adept, often eat lunch alone because they don’t know what to do when it comes to joining other kids at the lunch table. My grandson, who is on the autism spectrum, is one of them.

Classmates would be doing a great service if they said, “Hey, ‘Josh.’ Come sit with me.” It’s a small way to help others, and they could serve as examples/mentors. Kids with autism or some other challenges can learn socialization from helpful peers who are good in this arena.

It’s lonely to eat lunch by yourself. Please encourage your readers to consider this. — Someone Who Cares in San Diego

Dear Someone Who Cares: I’m glad to do that. The pain of social isolation can last far beyond the elementary and middle school years and color a person’s expectations of rejection into adulthood. Much of it could be avoided if parents took the time to explain to their children how important it is to treat others with kindness.

In recent years, attention is finally being paid to this. A national organization, Beyond Differences, started a program called “No One Eats Alone” that teaches students how to make friends at lunchtime - which can be the most painful part of the school day. It’s their most popular program, and schools in all 50 states participate. For more information about the work they do, visit www.beyonddifferences.org.

It might be helpful if an adult family member discussed your grandson’s isolation with a counselor at his school. Some schools have started programs in which children who sit alone are gathered together at lunchtime with a teacher or a school therapist so they are not isolated. This creates a safe space for autistic children. Regardless of how these lunches are organized, the presence of a trained adult is paramount.

Dear Abby: My son and daughter-in-law recently had a baby girl. My daughter-in-law and her family have extreme OCD and are afraid of germs. I wash my hands all the time, but still she seems to cringe when I or anyone in my family holds the baby.

I want a relationship with my granddaughter. I have expressed my concern to my son, but I don’t want to cause an argument. How can I approach this without causing friction? — Grandma S. in New York

Dear Grandma S.: Your daughter-in-law is a brand-new mother. Many new parents are nervous about their babies being exposed to germs.

A way to approach it would be to talk with your daughter-in-law in a non-confrontational way and tell her you have seen her reaction when you hold your granddaughter. Explain that you are careful about hand-washing, and ask if there is anything else she feels you should do. It might make her feel more in control and put her mind at ease.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Little Woodrow’s turtle races remain a quirky Austin tradition
Little Woodrow’s turtle races remain a quirky Austin tradition

“Racing turtles? Isn’t that kind of paradoxical?” I overhear a woman wandering by the large, green arena with the Little Woodrow’s logo emblazoned across the center of it just before the series of races at the Southpark Meadows location of the bar are set to start. Already, the growing crowd is starting to buzz with the excitement...
Log a cycling milestone with Lance Armstrong at WeDū Texas Hundred
Log a cycling milestone with Lance Armstrong at WeDū Texas Hundred

This must feel like coasting down a driveway to Lance Armstrong, who’s barely firing a calf muscle as we pedal up one gorgeous incline after another in the hills surrounding the small town of Burnet. Armstrong and I are riding part of the course of the upcoming WeDū Texas Hundred, the first Texas event wearing the brand of the former professional...
U.S. death rate from Alzheimer's rose dramatically over 15 years. Why?
U.S. death rate from Alzheimer's rose dramatically over 15 years. Why?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just put out a grim report about Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Death rates from Alzheimer's climbed 55 percent from 1999 to 2014, CDC found, and the number of Americans afflicted is likely to rise rapidly in the coming years. About 5.5 million people 65 years and older have the disease...
Today’s horoscopes - Sunday, May 28

ARIES (March 21-April 19). One of two things is going to have to happen for you to succeed at today’s challenge. You’ll either have to alter the challenge, or you’ll have to alter your approach to it. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Friends will come to you because they need to be heard. Don’t let it stop there, though, or it will...
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, May 28
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, May 28

Today’s Birthdays: Rockabilly singer-musician Sonny Burgess is 88. Actress Carroll Baker is 86. Producer-director Irwin Winkler is 86. Actor John Karlen is 84. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Jerry West is 79. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is 73. Singer Gladys Knight is 73. Actress-director Sondra Locke is 73. Singer Billy Vera is 73....
More Stories