I'm not really comfortable with that, to be honest, and sometimes I think I'm "doing him wrong" by not doing this kind of thing more often, but it just goes against my every parental instinct. If he doesn't want to socialize, I'm not going to make him. I'm not sure how this will work out for him in the long run, but for now I know it's what he prefers.
This means, however, that when we're all hanging out at home, it's usually hubs, Child 2 and myself in the TV room, doing family stuff or whatever it is that we do, and Child 1 is in another room, drawing or looking at train videos or looking at a book or something. Occasionally he will wander into the room (more like pass by us on one of his stim laps) and we will ask, beg, plead, bribe, cajole.... for him to stay and hang out with us and do what we're doing, and he will always say no, and then run/jump/flap out of the room and back to what he was doing.
It makes me sad. I mean, I don't feel rejected by him, I don't think he doesn't love us or want to be in our family, I just know that he likes to do his own thing and hanging out with us is not his thing. I can't make him stay in the room with us, and I don't even try (especially if a bribe of chocolate doesn't even work), but... man I wish he would. Not just to stay in the room because he's being forced to, I wish he wanted to stay. I wish the four of us can hang out like a family the way the three of us do. I don't mean that I wish my child was different or a different person, I just mean that sometimes I feel really sad because autism makes him run away from us and I just want so much for him to stay.