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tjsmommy
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25 Oct 2007, 10:57 am

I have a five year old autistic boy. I was wondering if anyone else has one with alot of fears. Like mine will be afraid of things like his room or his bathroom. I used to think he was just avoiding bedtime or brushing teethe time but he is literally pee in his pants scared of these things and others -open drawers and cabinets, pictures on a wall (same ones that have been there all along), a desk chair, .... I dont understand it and why he is afraid of them one day and not the next and then scared again..... we moved into a big house compared to a tiny one bedroom apartment we were in but it has been four months ago and he is like this anywhere....there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the fears but i know that is genuine and i have to figure out how to help him.... i cannot stand to think of him so afraid..... school also is hard this year he is in regular kindergarten classes and he hates it but only twice has he gotten aggresive so far at school..... any thought or ideas......



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25 Oct 2007, 12:39 pm

Any other sensory changes you might have noticed? Clothing? Lighting? Food? If something else is setting him on edge, it might increase the issues he has with other things, that would be the first thing I'd start checking. I just finished reading Attwood's Guide for Parents & Professionals, and it does seem like irrational anxiety is a problem for a significant minority of those with AS, but your son seems too young to consider drugs as an option, unfortunately.


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25 Oct 2007, 2:03 pm

tjsmommy wrote:
I have a five year old autistic boy. I was wondering if anyone else has one with a lot of fears. Like mine will be afraid of things like his room or his bathroom. I used to think he was just avoiding bedtime or brushing teeth time but he is literally pee in his pants scared of these things and others -open drawers and cabinets, pictures on a wall (same ones that have been there all along), a desk chair,...

Wow! That was me as a kid. I was afraid of a number of objects in my home, and my parents lived in a condo. The object I was afraid of the most was a chandelier. It looked like a glass barrel with light bulbs inside and steel decorations around it. That thing scared the daylights of out me, and whenever I saw it, I'd either run while looking down at the floor, or stand paralyzed with fear. My parents weren't sympathetic about it, but that's a whole different story. Over time, I stopped being afraid of the chandelier when there was daylight out, but at nighttime, I was scared of it until the day my parents moved to a new place, shortly after I turned ten.

There was another thing I used to be afraid of. In the bathroom, there was a metal pipe sticking out of the floor in the corner. It used to hook up to a water heater. That pipe scared me too, and I kept my eyes closed whenever I went to the bathroom. My parents caught on to this, and came up with a solution: my dad painted the pipe white, so it blended in with the wall tile. That made bathroom trips a lot more tolerable. I guess they showed more sympathy here because I was only seven, and painting a pipe is a lot easier than changing a chandelier.

In the light of my experiences, here are some solutions. Are there ways you can eliminate the fear triggers? If there's a pipe in the bathroom that's scaring your son, then paint it white. (Just kidding, but I'm sure you see my point.) If a fear trigger can be moved out of his room, move it out. As mmaestro pointed out, try to determine if any lighting or sound conditions are intensifying his fears of the objects you mentioned. And most importantly, remember this: "No matter how trivial it seems to you, it's very real to the child."



tjsmommy
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25 Oct 2007, 6:08 pm

The object I was afraid of the most was a chandelier....... thats funny cuz i was too but not a particular one just all of them in general and ceiling fans scared me too..... it has to be something i am missing so i am going in there to look at things again.... i think one thing is when my husband is on the road(hes a trucker) i leave tv on in living room for noise and light and when he comes home he insists on turning it off..... sensory issues i dont really know how to figure it out thats the problem..... i know certain things bother him like ringing phones and if i talk to him from another room in the house, certain faces i make that kind of thing... he hates the vacuum but i dont know how to tell like he never says i dont like this shirt or the food smells yucky or the lights bother him.... he never tells me when he is sick or hungry either so i dont know how to get to bottom of what it is.... i have absolutely no help as far as therapists or anything but he is high functioning and i got tired of the docs talking about him in front of him soooooooooooooooooo.... i decided to just wing it til i have to do something....(not that i have any help here anyways) oh he is on risperdal 2 mg per day..... it was working great for the past year but now it seems to be not quite as effective or bcuz of school he is stressing more.... (he does rock and finger flick and trace the whole house of tile with his fingers and spin his helicopter top which tells me he is stressing over something)



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26 Oct 2007, 1:34 am

I was utterly terrified of a venting system we had in an apartment building we lived in. During the summer it would come on as the building heated up in the lobby area. It was large and quite loud. To this day I am afraid of large fans or propellers. Very creepy to me, and I cannot explain why. I didn't have a large array of fears, just a couple. My daughter is the same way. She's terrified of smoke detectors (and it sucks because we have many, as per fire code). She thinks the red light on them is an eye, and since red eyes are evil she is certain it's going to get her. She imagines it moving too. Poor kid. Just reassure him in any way you can. Patience, patience, patience. It's not easy.


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26 Oct 2007, 12:33 pm

siuan wrote:
She's terrified of smoke detectors. She thinks the red light on them is an eye, and since red eyes are evil she is certain it's going to get her. She imagines it moving too. Poor kid. Just reassure him in any way you can. Patience, patience, patience. It's not easy.

Reassurance is good, but it works best if combined with eliminating the fear trigger. As a simple but effective solution, you can put white electrical tape (it's made of vinyl, and meant for wrapping around wires) over the red light on the smoke detector. Just make sure the tape doesn't cover up parts of vent holes. The tape should be thick enough, so the light wouldn't shine through it; if not, use two layers.

If you know about electrical engineering, there's a more complicated solution. The red light in the smoke detector is usually produced by a red LED (light-emitting diode) inside. Open the smoke detector case, and locate the place where the LED connects to the main circuit board. Disconnect the red LED by touching the connection points with a hot soldering iron. Put a new LED of the same size in its place; I recommend using white (it's neutral and non-threatening), although you can ask your daughter to pick the color she likes. Solder the new LED to the same place in the circuit board. Close the smoke detector case.
("What's a soldering iron?" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soldering_iron)



Goche21
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26 Oct 2007, 12:36 pm

Kids can get afraid of things that seem a little silly to adults, aspies and NT's alike. Why not put child-locks on the cabinets to keep them closed and take down the pictures in the bathroom? I can imagine how the shadows they cast could give a kid the spooks.



tjsmommy
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26 Oct 2007, 2:53 pm

thats a good idea i have taken down everything in bathroom and his bedroom and still he is scared he goes around the room pointing at things left and right and i am just wondering if maybe he doesnt really know what makes him scared.... i layed in his bedroom last night looking around and he has a smoke detector which has a green light and he has an attic access in his room i am wondering if this is what he is afraid of but dont know what to do about the attic thing..... i will tape over the light on the smoke detector ...... he is just so anxious lately and disagreeable and i know he doesnt want to be that way he just has issues he cant help and he thinks they should be obvious to me.... lol



tjsmommy
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03 Nov 2007, 1:06 pm

well gotta update on this one .... figured out part (a big part) of why tj has been so fearful of everything.... he brought home a book from school that his teacher had been reading to them and for a halloween present she bought each kid in her kindergarten class one..... The lady who wasnt afraid of anything is not a good book for autistic children who have their own fear issues as it is.... Its not so much the story but the very vivid pictures of scary forest and shoes and clothes and gloves that move on their own as they chase the lady through the forest at night and then at the end there is a scary looking pumpkin that says boo.... which apparently teacher read this very loud to "scare" them.... so i do believe that is what some of the problem was ..... his teacher is not real bright its her first class ever and she has no clue apparently :roll: :x



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03 Nov 2007, 7:13 pm

Goche21 wrote:
Kids can get afraid of things that seem a little silly to adults, aspies and NT's alike. Why not put child-locks on the cabinets to keep them closed and take down the pictures in the bathroom? I can imagine how the shadows they cast could give a kid the spooks.

I was/am full of "irrational" fears about various things but much of the trouble was I couldn't explain why I was scared. Even now, I am terrified of talking to strangers especially on the phone but people think I am being silly.

There is a push on where I work to have us do phone skills training - I can cope with phone calls providing nothing goes wrong but it can happen because when I'm stressed, my vocal skills deteriorate markedly.


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04 Nov 2007, 3:07 pm

I know for a while I was afraid to open any christmas gift for fear it would be something embarassing inside. i can't remember that ever happening to me, so my guess is I either saw it on tv or dreamed it happened. This maybe happened between 11 and 16 years old, going away as soon as it came on.

I know when i was about 13 I had my cat on my lap for christmas and he opened all of my presents (he loved tearing into the paper, as soon as the package was set in from of him, he destroyed the wrapping). For some reason it made it safer if that cat opened them. Though since the presents were still on my lap I guess it wouldn't really have made it any less embarassing had the gift been something terrible.