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SolMom
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02 Nov 2020, 3:55 pm

I just had an experience with my 11 year old son (I'm his mother, and we are the only ones in the household).
I had given him some chores to choose from, and he was attempting one, when he decided that the way I wanted the job done in his words was "stupid," and he went on to tell me why it was "stupid" in a demeaning and nasty way.

I've been trying to get him to understand for years now, what constitutes a respectful way to tell something to someone, and what does not. I opted to respond to this one with swift consequences. I know he wants me to just explain it to him every time, but I don't think that alone gets through to him.

Now that he is fully calm (following day), I want to address the problem of disrespectful, insulting talk. Do you find it helpful with Asperger's kids in this stage to merely explain it again? Once enough time has passed for him to be fully calm, it seems like he doesn't really remember what he said or how he said it (or so he claims). I could try saying something similar back to him, but in the past he's denied he has any feelings with the situation reversed, and maybe that's true enough for him. However, many people do feel hurt by how he says things. I can suggest alternatives.

I still think there need to be punitive consequences as well, giving him time away from computer games etc. to ponder why it's not OK to insult someone and to engage in some meaningful work.

Thoughts? Resources?



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04 Nov 2020, 4:28 pm

I had trouble with this too. Still do according to certain people. It was my tone. But the other party also talked with a "tone" and would not apologize or accept the fact they were talking with that tone; but expect me too though. . My mother and father would constantly get on me for my "tone". I had no idea how to control it at first. Sometimes a person just cannot change the tone of their voice if they are upset about something or hurt, even if they are not upset with you. I would try to tell my parents that but they would not listen and when I told them they were using a "tone", they would just tell me "Well a person cannot control it all the time...." If you want to fix a problem in someone else, first look at your own behavior.

Even if he says the chores are "stupid" doesn't mean he's saying you are and punishing or scolding him for expressing his feelings is only going to teach him to hide them. If he isn't intentionally insulting you or someone else, express to him that you know he is frustrated and that sometimes you get frustrated with chores too but explain why they are necessary and plan something fun after the chores are through.


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05 Nov 2020, 11:30 am

Asperger kids often have a very high view of their opinions. For this reason, they often are disrespectful of others, even parents.

One memory that sticks in my mind as emblematic is when my son was 7, he and I were shoveling snow. I asked him to do something particular and his response was, "No, this is the way I do it". I told him that we could have a discussion of physics as applied to snow-shoveling later, but for right now I needed him to do as he was told.

A penalty for error such as disrespectfulness is necessary, especially for Asperger kids, to help them learn. Our standard consequence was a choice for them to either get five minutes sitting on a chair or three swats on the back of the hand with a paint stirrer. They would always select the swats on the back of the hand.



madbutnotmad
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05 Nov 2020, 11:43 am

Perhaps you could ask him to elaborate as to why he thinks the chores are "stupid",
and when he explains the details of why he thinks certain chores are "stupid", then
you could cross analyse his answer and explain why the chores are not stupid.

For example, if taking out the trash is "stupid" in his eyes, then explain to him
what his world would be like if he didn't put the trash out, i.e. an eventual overwhelming
amount of trash would mount up, which would not be pleasant, nor hygienic.

If he explains that for chores such as taking the trash out etc. he has designated you.
Perhaps you could explain that firstly if you did all the chores, you would have no time
to do the other important things in life, but also, as a child without any real life experience
he would actually benefit from taking part in the many chores of life, as this would give him
some basic skills in every day life which he would likely use for the rest of his life.

If he still refuses, then, yes. I would put in place some basic forms of punishment for this,
such as no computer games etc.

Perhaps you could also explain to him that real life usually is centered around work / reward system.
So the quicker he gets used to this idea, the better off he will be in the future.

At least for the majority of us who aren't born into a super wealthy background.

Work = Chores
Reward = time to play computer games

Perhaps in the future, a time will exist where we all can get robots to do the chores and enjoy the rewards without haven worked for them, but this future is alas a long way away for us and does not exist presently apart from in some of our imaginations.

So thats the harsh reality of life.
Not as painful as it could be for some...
good luck



jimmy m
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05 Nov 2020, 2:43 pm

Chores can be very important. They are part of the route for achieving independence. But it should be wrapped up in a carrot/stick approach.

When I was young, I had chores such as shoveling snow off the driveway or cutting the grass. For this I received an allowance. These two elements should be tied together in my opinion.

Then when I was a little older, I learned that I could earn money by shoveling the snow off other people's driveways or cutting their grass. The hardest part was knocking on the door of a stranger and asking them.

By the time I was 19, I was financial independent. I paid my way through college by working and going to college at the same time. All the many jobs I held taught me a rock solid work ethic. One of the problems today is that many Aspies find it difficult to transition from a school environment to a work environment. So I strongly encouraging your child to work while in school. It will better equip them in the working world.

Boys can convert chores, such as cutting the grass into business endeavors, such as cutting the neighbor’s grass. Girls can convert watching their younger brothers and sisters when mom is out into babysitting. The chore of cleaning the house, can transform into the occupation of professional house cleaners.

The next transition towards building independence was part time jobs after school and summer jobs. In high school and all during college, I worked. In high school I worked as a clerk in a small “5 and dime” department store and then in construction during the summer assembling outdoor metal storage sheds.

I worked jobs (20 hours per week) whenever I was in school and (40 hours per week) during the summers, the entire time I was in college. During my four years of college, I worked:
* in the main branch of a bank balancing daily receipts.
* as a postman in the downtown mail sorting station.
* as a parking lot attendant.
* as a warehouseman in a large department store storage facility.
* as a night shift operator on a cyclotron.
* with a supercomputer performing heat transport modeling.

Why were these part-time/summer jobs important?
* I developed a rock solid work ethic and a positive attitude.
* I learned what is acceptable in the workplace and what will get you fired. (normally a career ender)
* I learned to be a productive employee. (The first few months of employment in a career field sets the tone for the rest of your career – therefore keying into this trait prior to establishing a career is a key attribute.)
* It opens up new skills and allows one to sharpen their skills. Work is another form of learning experience. It is essentially a different type of school.
* Managing money.
* Navigational skills in getting to work and finding my way home.
* Skills in marketing oneself.
* Mature your work style.
* The ability to exercise flexibility, adaptability and resourcefulness.
* Sharpens out-of-box thinking and problem solving.
* Overcoming shyness and practicing extrovert qualities.
* Work incorporates both educational skills but also real life skills.
* Evolve time management skills, executive function, theory of mind, organizational skills and common sense logic.
* These jobs also helped pay my way through college.

I passed this tradition onto my daughters.
* My oldest daughter was 13 years old when she started working a summer jobs detasseling corn. It was very hard manual labor. She was building a strong work ethic. It was important that she learned that without an education; this is the type of unskilled labor and low paying jobs available to her. You can be a ditch digger but do you really want to work that backbreaking profession for the rest of your life?
* When my youngest daughter was around 13 years old during the summer she volunteer as a full time hospital volunteer (pink lady) for two summers. She wanted to become a medical doctor and this was good experience. Later she began to work in a store similar to a Wal-Mart. Before she even turned 18, they offered her a top management position in the store but she declined because she was going to become a medical doctor (and she did).

Communicating respectfully is a necessity in the working world. Being disrespectful can get a person fired. So you might emphasize that with your son. You might also have a talk about his future. What does he want to be when he grows up.


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SocOfAutism
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10 Nov 2020, 8:14 am

When my brother in law was a teen, he started expressing himself by using allowable words, but in a derogatory way. Such as not cursing but saying “dang” all the time. So it had a disrespectful tone. My mother in law explained to him that the words he was using were essentially the same as curse words because the intent was clear. We don’t curse, so we don’t use proxy curse words either. That seemed to click with him and he stopped.

But also, I am a NT person with a lifelong problem of being disrespectful and smug. It does get you in trouble sometimes, but you slowly learn and will eventually get by more or less politely.



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10 Nov 2020, 8:29 am

I like what you put Jimmy M. What scared me in the last year or two is that this type of unskilled and semi skilled work I used to rely on as a backup, but what has scared me is that I reached the point through successive burnouts that I now have no back up ability, and this is frightening.


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jimmy m
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10 Nov 2020, 12:18 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
I like what you put Jimmy M. What scared me in the last year or two is that this type of unskilled and semi skilled work I used to rely on as a backup, but what has scared me is that I reached the point through successive burnouts that I now have no back up ability, and this is frightening.


I suspect that your successive burnouts have limited your ability to cope. Your stress levels have risen to the point that they have put you into an almost permanent state of distress. Therefore in your case, you might find it productive to learn the tools for venting stress in your body.


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10 Nov 2020, 12:30 pm

jimmy m wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
I like what you put Jimmy M. What scared me in the last year or two is that this type of unskilled and semi skilled work I used to rely on as a backup, but what has scared me is that I reached the point through successive burnouts that I now have no back up ability, and this is frightening.


I suspect that your successive burnouts have limited your ability to cope. Your stress levels have risen to the point that they have put you into an almost permanent state of distress. Therefore in your case, you might find it productive to learn the tools for venting stress in your body.


When I last worked which was not the summer just been, but the summer before, I was getting chains of partial shutdowns while I worked and shutdowns as well. Never experienced partial shutdowns come one after the next after the next during the whole shift, and trying to work with that going on, and the 4 to 5 hour sleps I had at the time. I was in a right mess!


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