Innapropriate staring and borderline stalking

Page 1 of 3 [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

DadX4
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jan 2009
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 20
Location: Tennessee

10 Jan 2009, 10:19 pm

Hi - I'm new here. My son was "officially" diagnosed as Asperger's last week. When he was much younger - three years old, he was designated PDD-NOS. I have no diagnosis for myself, but I am at least borderline - so he definitely inherited it from me.

Anyway, for the past year and a half, he has taken a fascination with a girl in his class. He will stare at her and follow her around. This has gone on for the better part of a year and a half off and on. Just in the past 3 months, it has gotten serious enough that he has been sent to the principals office, and given detention, etc. He is seeing the school counselor, but he just says he can't help himself. The school is really worried he will go over the line, and have to be expelled. (He is in a parochial school). The girl is very upset about this, and so are her parents (although they have been pretty nice about it too actually - but they want it to stop).

He is an excellent student (straight A's) and always has been, so no problem there. And he has never even been close to being a behavior problem except for this.

My question, has anyone here ever gone through a phase like this, and what was the outcome? Did you or anyone you know outgrow it? We are in the process of finding a child psychologist or social worker to see if they can get through to him to let him know what he is doing is innappropriate, and affecting his future. We just can't get him to "get it" - that rejection is part of growing up, etc., and there are many girls in the world - one of whom will like him one day.

Does anyone have any suggestions, experiences, etc. with this sort of thing? Remember, he is just 11, and this has been going on for a year and a half - but only recently has intensified. I'm afraid he is going to go over the line and touch her or something even more.

Thanks.



Tim_Tex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 42,022
Location: Houston, Texas

10 Jan 2009, 10:24 pm

Welcome to WP!



DadX4
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jan 2009
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 20
Location: Tennessee

10 Jan 2009, 10:29 pm

Thanks!

In case it got lost in the long post, I want to stress that he is just 11 years old, and in the 6th grade. That is one thing that makes what he is doing unusual.



DwightF
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2008
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 224

10 Jan 2009, 11:09 pm

DadX4 wrote:
Thanks!

In case it got lost in the long post, I want to stress that he is just 11 years old, and in the 6th grade. That is one thing that makes what he is doing unusual.

Perhaps. But then a month into 2nd Grade I got a note from the school that my oldest son had been busted making out with a girl at recess (though he was definitely not the instigator). *shrug*

I'm curious, has he said what he finds so compelling about her? Can he articulate that? Is this for certain a sexual attraction? Anyway, good luck with that. I went through something a bit similar a year ago but with the older [non-ASC, but LD] son. Only it wasn't that she rejected him but that he became very obsessive, jealous, and controlling. To the point of not seeking anyone else as a friend (he makes friends fairly easily). She (delayed in some way too) didn't help matters as she was, at the time, in a stage of manipulation. She'd yank his chain really hard. :/ It was getting really, really bad for a while.

Eventually he got over it, and she's no longer a GF (but is still I the same class and is a friend). Ironically it wasn't a counsellor or us that got through to him. It was his cousin that's 2 years older and that he somewhat idolizes that did it. After she phoned my parents place, where my son was vacationing over the summer, several times his cousin told him he'd "dump that crazy b***h". :? I can't say I was happy about the means but it did seem to do the trick for the ends. I'm not sure this counts as advice but does your son have someone he considers "wise" that could help get through?

Even one that you wouldn't normally consider a good role model. Or even a non-person that your son idolizes or weights as more authoritative than you?


_________________
Please be kind and patient with the tourist. He comes in peace and with good intentions.


DadX4
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jan 2009
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 20
Location: Tennessee

10 Jan 2009, 11:52 pm

DwightF wrote:
DadX4 wrote:
Thanks!

In case it got lost in the long post, I want to stress that he is just 11 years old, and in the 6th grade. That is one thing that makes what he is doing unusual.

Perhaps. But then a month into 2nd Grade I got a note from the school that my oldest son had been busted making out with a girl at recess (though he was definitely not the instigator). *shrug*

I'm curious, has he said what he finds so compelling about her? Can he articulate that? Is this for certain a sexual attraction? Anyway, good luck with that. I went through something a bit similar a year ago but with the older [non-ASC, but LD] son. Only it wasn't that she rejected him but that he became very obsessive, jealous, and controlling. To the point of not seeking anyone else as a friend (he makes friends fairly easily). She (delayed in some way too) didn't help matters as she was, at the time, in a stage of manipulation. She'd yank his chain really hard. :/ It was getting really, really bad for a while.

Eventually he got over it, and she's no longer a GF (but is still I the same class and is a friend). Ironically it wasn't a counsellor or us that got through to him. It was his cousin that's 2 years older and that he somewhat idolizes that did it. After she phoned my parents place, where my son was vacationing over the summer, several times his cousin told him he'd "dump that crazy b***h". :? I can't say I was happy about the means but it did seem to do the trick for the ends. I'm not sure this counts as advice but does your son have someone he considers "wise" that could help get through?

Even one that you wouldn't normally consider a good role model. Or even a non-person that your son idolizes or weights as more authoritative than you?


My son has a 13 year old brother - but they are more rivals than anything. The oldest is 13, but is NT, but also pretty shy. The funny thing is that the 11 year old is much bolder than his older brother.
But, maybe I could get one of his uncles to talk to him. There is one that he admires a lot.
My son really clams up when we try to talk to him about it. He gets tears in his eyes and says "but I really really like her". I think he has in his mind that she is the one. The one that he will marry and live happily ever after with. It is heartbreaking actually.

Thanks for the responses.



emroidious
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 41

11 Jan 2009, 1:09 am

I had a similar situation when I was about that age. It was never so severe as to warrant a trip to the principals office, but it wasn't a very healthy thing. Things did work out eventually and she ended up becoming a close friend of mine in high school. We actually still talk daily and meet up whenever we get a chance. I'm not quite sure what the "cure" was for myself, but maybe you can try to convince him that his timing is off and that he needs to give it a rest before he ruins it for good? After all the tortoise wins the race, not the hare. This might be a temporary solution, but might give him some time to focus on something more productive.



Tracker
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 933
Location: Behind your mineral line

11 Jan 2009, 2:40 am

I remember a similar fling I had when I was in 3rd grade. I met a girl in my class who I became convinced I would marry. She was fairly nice to me, but I wouldnt say we were friends. I'm not sure what made me think of getting married when I was 9 years old, but I was convinced that was they way it had to happen.

What your son is feeling is natural, at least natural for an aspie. All children have volatile on-off emotions when they start out. Its why a baby will go from being perfectly happy to crying loudly when you take away a toy rattle. Most adults wouldnt break down in tears when you take away their toys. Likewise when a young child becomes angry, they will go right to the kicking and screaming stage. Its not because children are inherently violent. They just go directly from normal to rage mode because they haven't learned to control their emotions yet. That is why the 3rd year of life is called the 'Terrible twos'. Children learn to control and regulate their emotions as part of growing up. The problem most autistic children have is that they are often delayed in acquiring this emotional control. So while your son may be 11 years old, he could very well have the emotional control of a 6 year old.

And when you match up the world and hormones of an 11 year old with the emotional control of a 6 year old, this is what results. Basically, he is feeling very attracted to this girl and hasn't learned to control that emotion yet. It also sounds like he becomes very very frustrated when you try to talk to him, and as a result you cant communicate the situation well. It seems like his emotions are still very strong, and he hasn't figured out how to regulate everything properly.

The solution is simple in principle, but the most difficult thing he will ever have to do. He must learn to control his emotions. Its not an easy process, in fact I know many adults who have yet to learn this. There is a phrase, 'You must control your emotions, or else your emotions will control you.' For a normal person this just means that you have to resist your urges or you will run up a large credit card bill. For an autistic person this means that you will have to learn to control your emotions, or else you wont be able to function in this world. It is something that your son will need to do eventually, and the sooner you start the better.

The best way to do this is to teach him simple self-calming techniques. Doing things like taking deep breaths, counting slowly, etc. The basic idea is to block out your emotions and stay calm. I have heard that meditation helps. While I have no personal experience with this, the process of remaining calm and focusing on your inner thoughts does seem like it would help you control your emotions. The idea isnt to eliminate your emotions, but to simply bring them under your control. This is difficult for most people, let alone somebody with autism, but it can be done.

I'm sorry that I have no quick fix for you, but this isnt a simple problem. You may be able to fix the situation by transferring your son to a different class, but the underlying problem of uncontrollable emotions will still continue. It is better to address the issue directly rather then addressing the symptoms.

The best thing I could suggest for you now is to explain to your son exactly what is going on. Tell him that what he is feeling is a natural part of growing up and becoming a man. Also explain to him why people go on dates and get married. Explain that dating is usually done at a later age, and while there is nothing wrong with him for experiencing this attraction, he should wait longer before pursuing a relationship. Tell him about the relationship between a boyfriend and a girlfriend, and explain to him that not all people will get along together. Tell him that just because the other person isnt interested in a relationship doesnt mean that there is anything wrong with him.

Basically, explain the process of courtship, and let him know that while there is nothing wrong with him feeling like he does, he must learn to control this emotion just like all his other emotions if he is to become a man.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,013
Location: Northern California

12 Jan 2009, 2:07 pm

I think Tracker has hit the nail on the head: the overwhelming hormones of pre-teen combined with the emotional maturity of maybe a 6 year old.

I am just SO glad that my 11 year old boy hasn't been taken over by his hormons yet. He has no interest in girls. But he also knows that I've jokingly said he's never going to be allowed to date.

Ah, why? Because he has no sense of boundaries, and no ability to control his impulses when it comes to certain emotional needs. No matter how many times I explained it to him, he still comes to hug me more like he is trying to wrestle or murder me than share affection. It's come to the point where there are simply rules and consequences, no matter how well meaning certain behaviors are.

One of my son's friends, who is NT, has had a crush on a girl at school for over a year. She's not interested in dating yet, and sees the boy as a friend, but he's done things like insisted he needed to share my son's locker simply because (it turned out) it is near hers. He is totally, totally, helplessly under his hormones on this one. I think it's cute, and it's been harmless, but I'm sitting here imagining that boy's crush combined with my son's inability to respect boundaries and I am TOTALLY seeing why you've got a problem, and my empathy is extreme.

And, honestly, I think this is going to take more than some counseling and a few nice talks. Pre-teen boys can become the equivalent of walking hormones, and walking hormones tend to lack self-control. It basically has to be forced on them, from what I've seen.

Work on it from multiple angles at once (as a behavior issue and as an emotional/maturity one), do your best to keep the number of situations he has to control himself to a minimum, and hope for the best.


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


ster
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,485
Location: new england

13 Jan 2009, 2:10 pm

can you liken it to something he's uncomfortable with ?.....for instance, " I know that you can't stand it when you wear wool socks. All you want to do is get them off as soon as possible. All you can think about is the way they itch & make you uncomfortable. ( girl) is uncomfortable with you staring at her. "....maybe a social story ?



BellaDonna
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,858

13 Jan 2009, 2:31 pm

If it is not intentional - it is not stalking!

It irrates me people thinkin I am staring at them. I think they are vain and should get over themselves 'cause I don't even notice I am looking at them. I am thinking about something else and if they don't like they should move out of my focus.

I remember once in primary school on the bus, older children calling me 'stare bear.' I couldn't care less bout them. I am not staring at the ceiling or looking down at my feet to avoid unintentional eye contact or focus on people. To stare up at the sky or look down at my shoes would be inapproriate and that is usually when I bump into things.

If I have got that fixed vampire look - I can't help it and it usually when I am feeling confused and trying to collect my thoughts. To worry what other people might be thinking if I seem like I am staring, would just trance me out more and I'd become more disorientated.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,013
Location: Northern California

13 Jan 2009, 4:41 pm

BellaDonna wrote:
If it is not intentional - it is not stalking!

It irrates me people thinkin I am staring at them. I think they are vain and should get over themselves 'cause I don't even notice I am looking at them. I am thinking about something else and if they don't like they should move out of my focus.

I remember once in primary school on the bus, older children calling me 'stare bear.' I couldn't care less bout them. I am not staring at the ceiling or looking down at my feet to avoid unintentional eye contact or focus on people. To stare up at the sky or look down at my shoes would be inapproriate and that is usually when I bump into things.

If I have got that fixed vampire look - I can't help it and it usually when I am feeling confused and trying to collect my thoughts. To worry what other people might be thinking if I seem like I am staring, would just trance me out more and I'd become more disorientated.


Bella, he IS intentionally staring at the one girl.

Staring DOES make people uncomfortable, and everyone should try to avoid it. When it isn't intentional and you really are off in space, that is one thing; but when it IS intentional, that is another. In all situations the competing needs have to be balanced; you can't just blow off one side of the equation.


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


BellaDonna
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,858

13 Jan 2009, 7:25 pm

Yes true. I do not disagree. We all have inapproriate behaviours wether you be NT, autistic or other problem. Every one has to learn what is acceptable and what is not.

I know as parent myself. I have thought many of times - is she being naughty or is it something that she cannot help.

I can distinguish better than anyone of what my daughters problem really is. People often misunderstand her. Which isnt fair because she is being critisised and put down for being naughty when that hasnt been of her attitude or intention at all.

However, on the flip side of the coin. I have to be careful not to make excuses for bad behaviours and of being something she cannot help because being ASD or not - They can be just as naughty as anyone else. I have known of parents that make so many excuses for thier child's bad behaviour. It is pathetic and they do them no favours.

Tough love is a real love of a parent and only from parents who truly care and are wise enough to see it as it is. They make the effort to correct thier children which isnt easy. It's easier to turn a blind eye but they don't and that's a good thing. I admire parents that can see adjectively and go out of their way to teach thier child what is right and of values.

My advice is to 'nip it in the bud 'so to speak. Sometimes using positive re-enforcment can be as effective if not more than using more negative and critical type discipline in changing dysfunctional behaviours.

Many of times neither works for me and I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall. I always keep trying though cause I notice my daughter with HFA - she may seem as though she is taking no notice, as usual. It can take her awhile to learn because it is always what she thinks as she struggles to see others people points of view and perspective.

I get really bad headaches because she makes me feel so frustrated at times. She won't stop going on about what she thinks is unfair. Seriously, I get a headache and just wish she would shut up. Still, i love her all the same :) :?



Last edited by BellaDonna on 13 Jan 2009, 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kilroy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,549
Location: Beyond the Void

13 Jan 2009, 7:31 pm

only thing that made me never obsess with people was they had friends-and if they found out I liked their friends/girl friends they would beat the living s**t out f me (I got threatened a lot) lol
seems the sure thing for aspies to understand lol

not the best solution though



BellaDonna
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,858

13 Jan 2009, 7:51 pm

I don't understand other apsies getting obsessed with other people. I never did and my daughter doesn't only on objects. Like her pokemon cards, the books she reads and crystals etc

I mean is it being obsessed or is it just not knowing how to relate to the other person or express yourself as well as other people can especially if you really like that person - How to develop a relationship can be difficult and then to be accused of stalking.

I am not talking about the boy staring at the girl. I mean in general. Misunderstandings happen alot. It isn't fair to the person with AS or who has communication difficulties and is just trying to make a friend. I could see this problem would happen much more to guys than girls because men already get the 'creep factor' put over them.



Kilroy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,549
Location: Beyond the Void

13 Jan 2009, 7:55 pm

ohh yeah-I completely avoid people nowadays because of that.
People think I am a complete nutter, so I just keep quiet and keep to myself, people don't like me, and I can understand that
obsessions-ahh another thing people refused to listen to-family and friend alike

I do hope if I have kids-and there is a loving God-he or she doesn't give them AS



BellaDonna
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,858

13 Jan 2009, 8:09 pm

I am not posting anymore except for this one because it is going beyond the topic but it is so unfair and sad for what many people with AS have to go through. I get angry at the world and think if people was just more tolerant and understanding of differences. People with AS wouldn't have to suffer so much.

However, my daughter has been in a care home with other children with disabilities such as severe autism, retardation, in wheel chairs and some cannot communicate at all. In comparison my daughter was next to normal and I realised how lucky she and I really was.