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sylvr
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15 May 2010, 3:06 pm

Currently I am a live-in nanny for a 6 year-old and a 6 week-old. The 6yo seems to have a higher than normal intelligence, or at the very least comprehension level. (She is also very well behaved and listens to me when I tell her "No[, you can't do that]." (or "Yes". :lol:) How should I explain things to her when I have a sort of sensory-overload-reaction? Or just general input overload from dealing with baby and thinking of a bunch of things at once? I also might have ADHD oddities to explain to her sometimes.
What about "My brain is just wired a little bit differently. Sometimes when I hear a lot of noise at once it [does something?] to me and I might need to be alone in my room for a little bit."

Last Thursday I had a rough day, I just had to spend some time in my room for a bit with my injured feet and too much sensory stuff to unload. And the 6yo comes to my door, knocks and says "Where were you? Me and mom have been calling all over for you! Next time, if you want to be in your room, maybe you should keep your door open because then if you hear a tiny noise, it might be us calling you. So you can hear us and come down and be with us." She wasn't trying to be rude, but seemed somewhat concerned. So what can I tell her?



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15 May 2010, 3:15 pm

Just tell her you need to rest.



sylvr
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15 May 2010, 4:09 pm

:? Once again I missed the very obvious...

What about the times where suddenly an overload is triggered? I can't see it being so workable in those cases. Also, I don't want her to think I'm trying to get away from her because I don't like her. She really is a great kid.



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15 May 2010, 4:17 pm

Tell her in an age-appropriate way, as part of your real on-going relationship with her, that people can be different, this is a way in which you are different, different doesn't mean better and it doesn't mean worse, different just means different. And it may not be a one-shot deal, *The* big main conversation. It might be a series of mini-conversations, and that might be preferable in any case. I think kids can be very accepting, or they can be very emphatic "boys clean the yard, girls clean the house" that kind of thing. But even if emphatic, with patient, matter-of-fact explanation, I think you can win them over.

PS If you're 'on-duty' for more than 8, 10 hours a day, that's a lot for anyone.



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15 May 2010, 5:00 pm

sylvr wrote:
:? Once again I missed the very obvious...

What about the times where suddenly an overload is triggered? I can't see it being so workable in those cases. Also, I don't want her to think I'm trying to get away from her because I don't like her. She really is a great kid.


Tell her that. This is so funny (not in a bad way). I'm not the Aspie but I have two kids who are. We have to have these same conversations even though the roles are reversed. Mine don't pick up on the social cues so I have to say it out loud to them. I think it's neat that we are running into the same situation in reverse.



sylvr
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15 May 2010, 8:53 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
... this is a way in which you are different, different doesn't mean better and it doesn't mean worse, different just means different. ... It might be a series of mini-conversations, and that might be preferable in any case. ... emphatic, with patient, matter-of-fact explanation,

PS If you're 'on-duty' for more than 8, 10 hours a day, that's a lot for anyone.


Yeah, I think it would be very easy for her to understand that. And I guess the mini-conversations would happen as the situations themselves occur. This is good. I feel okay about having to tell her these things.

:duh: I've never thought about how long my duty is.. uhmm.. 7ish - 4:30? It's not too bad. 6yo is at school from 8:15-3:15, and home on Wednesdays. It's the baby that gets me sometimes. If it's just me and baby I tend to let her cry more than the Mom would. (Obviously if the baby is hungry or hurt or poopy I attend to her, but sometimes I just can't because of the noise.) So if the Mom is home for any reason I feel --missing the word, it's escaped me. Awkward?-- that she might think I am neglecting the baby? More pressure, anyway. Which leaves me frazzled at the end of the day. The mom will be home for the THIRD day in a row on Monday.. :help: WOW ramble. The end. Not sure if any of that is relevant. 8O

See the thing is that (I know this family from church) AT church I appear normal. Yes, I sit in the back with the tech equipment and don't socialize much, but I don't talk to myself with my DS or am noticably in my own world (we have two autistics, a 19yo and a 7yo). When someone talks to me I do my best to be able to continue a conversation made of small-talk. So 'suddenly' displaying these needs might appear to be an excuse, or that I am unfit for the job, or that I am not interested in the job anymore. So I do hesitate...



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15 May 2010, 11:16 pm

Make sure she knows she can still get you if somebody is hurt. I don't know how literal NT six-year-olds are, but you sure can't have them thinking that they can't bother you, ever, even if they're in desperate need of band-aids and antiseptic.

But yes. Explaining that you are tired is probably a good way to explain mental exhaustion. My mom also uses the "I have a headache" excuse when she's in serious overload.


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sylvr
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16 May 2010, 8:44 am

I feel good about this now. Thank you, everyone :)


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16 May 2010, 10:33 am

It's amazing how quickly people, including children, can get used to something when they have no prior knowledge or prejudice clouding the issue. I was married to a man from a different country/culture, and his family would visit periodically. Well, I love to cook, so I did that, especially since I didn't have to talk while doing it, but then when everyone would sit down to dinner I went outside, and didn't eat until much later when I was alone. To any American this is nutty behavior, right? But these (wonderful) people didn't know what to expect from an American, so they got used to it quickly. Also, I spent time talking to them individually, which was something I could do much more easily, and made up for the fact that I did not like to engage in activities involving large groups of people.

And also, I am a type 1 diabetic, and don't think a thing about leaving my insulin syringes on the counter in full view, or in testing my blood sugar and shooting up in front of people. You might think that kids would be especially fascinated by that, but they get used to it fast. And pretty soon, giving myself an injection, which is something that can make adults squeamish, is ho-hum to kids, because they don't have any druggie-tainted blood-disease prejudices preventing them from accepting it.



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16 May 2010, 11:57 am

If a young child tells me that I'm weird, or unusual, I just tell the kid, "That's the way that God wants me to be."


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sylvr
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16 May 2010, 12:03 pm

LancetChick wrote:
I was married to a man from a different country/culture, and his family would visit periodically. Well, I love to cook, so I did that, especially since I didn't have to talk while doing it, but then when everyone would sit down to dinner I went outside, and didn't eat until much later when I was alone. To any American this is nutty behavior, right? But these (wonderful) people didn't know what to expect from an American, so they got used to it quickly.
...
And pretty soon, giving myself an injection, which is something that can make adults squeamish, is ho-hum to kids, because they don't have any druggie-tainted blood-disease prejudices preventing them from accepting it.


Where is he from? I find that really interesting, that they would expect Americans to be sooo different. I will take a guess and say that he's not even European? (That said, I could be wrong. The closest I've been to Europe is England and I don't know if it counts.)

That's true, I highly doubt this girl has heard anything about autism/asperger's/adhd before (except for those two other girls in church), so this can't turn out badly.


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LancetChick
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16 May 2010, 3:27 pm

sylvr wrote:
Where is he from? I find that really interesting, that they would expect Americans to be sooo different. I will take a guess and say that he's not even European? (That said, I could be wrong. The closest I've been to Europe is England and I don't know if it counts.)


Correct, he's not European, he's Middle Eastern, from a small city in Iran where the culture is v-e-r-y different.



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16 May 2010, 3:54 pm

"Be right back honey, Nanny needs some quiet time."

Kids will understand that. They get quiet time too when they are told to go and play. Or go take a nap. etc.



sylvr
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17 May 2010, 8:50 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
If a young child tells me that I'm weird, or unusual, I just tell the kid, "That's the way that God wants me to be."


Aha! That's a good one. Though I'm more inclined to say "That's the way God programmed my brain," because I like robots. We have had robot discussions. But she won't let me pretend that one of her dolls is secretly one and wants to take over the world. :(

And I've told her about quiet times before, but she gets bored. Too long being an only child I guess haha. I should find her a kitchen timer that she can more easily read...

[quote='LancetChick']...from a small city in Iran...[/quote] Well that worked out nicely for you, them not knowing what to expect at all then. :lol:


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