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MorbidMiss
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25 Jul 2009, 10:51 pm

After reading through these forums I have decided that I should make a list of questions to ask my son who has Asperger's in order to work out what will make school and home life easier for everyone. Things like figuring out when is best to expect him to shower, sensations that he likes or dislikes...

You would think that being his mother I would just know... however my X took him away from me for several years and I've only just got him back (because the X got caught beating him). Well, not just, it has been about a year and a half now. We (my husband and I) have been focused on getting his emotional issues worked out to the point where he can function again. The first couple of months we had him were so bad that we ended up getting bullied into putting him in to a hospital for a week. (Basically I had a doctor tell me that if I did not hospitalize him then they would take him away from me and put him under social services care, who would then put him in the hospital anyway.)

Anyway...


What are some things that your AS child (or you yourself if you are AS) would ask for given the chance. Feel free to be silly or outlandish, recently he has been asking me for things like liquid nitrogen!



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25 Jul 2009, 11:17 pm

MorbidMiss wrote:
After reading through these forums I have decided that I should make a list of questions to ask my son who has Asperger's in order to work out what will make school and home life easier for everyone. Things like figuring out when is best to expect him to shower, sensations that he likes or dislikes...

You would think that being his mother I would just know... however my X took him away from me for several years and I've only just got him back (because the X got caught beating him). Well, not just, it has been about a year and a half now. We (my husband and I) have been focused on getting his emotional issues worked out to the point where he can function again. The first couple of months we had him were so bad that we ended up getting bullied into putting him in to a hospital for a week. (Basically I had a doctor tell me that if I did not hospitalize him then they would take him away from me and put him under social services care, who would then put him in the hospital anyway.)

Anyway...


What are some things that your AS child (or you yourself if you are AS) would ask for given the chance. Feel free to be silly or outlandish, recently he has been asking me for things like liquid nitrogen!


If I were you, I would stay AWAY from liquids like nitrogen. 8-)

Just explain to him that the boiling point is SO low that it will boil SO fast that it can get very cold!(Cold is actually an absence of heat created by quick transfer from the cold area, and liquid gases are the best way. The lower their boiling point, the colder it can get. The first refrigerators used ammonia. The newer ones used freon. Of course, they NOW have a different "refrigerant". The theory is the same though. Gas moves heat from one part of the refrigerator to another, and then dissipates that heat into the environment.) In fact, liquid nitrogen can reach −321 °F! That could be VERY dangerous.

As for the rest, ask him to let you know. Preferences can vary all over the place, and some are far more important than the term "preference" would indicate.



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25 Jul 2009, 11:25 pm

I would suggest keeping him AWAY from psychologists, psychiatrists, and any other so called mental health "professional" unless forced to do differently. They only make things worse for Aspies and Auties unless they happen to be on the Spectrum themselves or in some cases are trained to work with people on the spectrum.


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25 Jul 2009, 11:34 pm

I like the way you are sensitive to his needs. I would ask him questions to figure out what triggers meltdowns and how you can keep his environment from overstimulating his five senses.


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MorbidMiss
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25 Jul 2009, 11:58 pm

LOL we BOTH understand what liquid nitrogen does, that is why he is asking for it and why I listed it after saying outlandish or silly. There is no way I would let my almost twelve year old son have that, and he knows it!

I was actually looking for more questions to ask more than personal preferences. I am very tactile myself. I like touching almost everything! (I don't like things that are slimy really though)

We both actually like his psychologist, he sees her once a week and I also see her. She is helping me to figure out how to parent him better, and helping him learn to interact with people in a way that is comfortable for him and the other person. She has a lot of experience with AS children, and is contact with the "kids" she helped who have since grown up to be very productive adults. I was very particular about what I was looking for in his therapist.

So far we have made a lot of progress with meltdowns. I can usually spot him starting to wind up and distract him. I do get very frustrated sometimes. I am only human. There are situations where it seems the only way to get his attention is to yell, which I hate to do, and which I know ASD kids hate to hear generally. This seems to happen a lot less lately, we had a spike in... lets call it unfortunate behavior after the holidays because he had a phone visitation with his father, it took several months to get back to "normal" again. His psychologist agreed that he was not ready to do that again any time soon.



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26 Jul 2009, 4:33 am

Hmmm... liquid nitrogen. He might get a kick out of dry ice. It's much safer. I think you can still pick it up at some ice cream stores like Baskin Robbins. It would be fun to put it in water and watch it steam like a witches' cauldron.

Rather than addressing specific questions, I would like to speak to format. When you ask questions, I'd actually avoid too many open-ended ones if you're doing it verbally. I (and some others) freeze up a bit when faced with open ended questions because there are so many options that it is a bit overwhelming. You could try it in written form or you could try asking things in yes/no form.

You could also try asking him to make a "list of little things that bother me". The lights might be too bright or the sounds might be too loud.


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MorbidMiss
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26 Jul 2009, 1:57 pm

Yes he freezes up if something is too open ended, I was thinking of framing this as "This or That". Almost like having an eye exam, which ironically I hate because I always feel as though I am giving the wrong answer even though they are MY eyes!

So over the last couple of weeks he has become completely obsessed with the periodic table, and also my husband has allowed him to read Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home - But Probably Shouldn't. He even recites the periodic table to me in a sing song voice (with no deference towards what I am trying to do at the time) while doing a little dance. I am tempted to video it to show some years later.

We will have to see about dry ice, it would have to be a big reward with the younger two completely out of the house. I would not want to take the chance of "human experimentation".



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27 Jul 2009, 1:19 pm

My partner and I are living with his 22 year old son who has yet to be diagnosed with Asperger's but presents with textbook symptoms. He is struggling to go to University but after taking a much reduced load actually dropped out after Xmas last year. He is home every summer but doesn't get a job or, for that matter, even leave the house for very long at a time. He has a twin brother (living with their mother) who presents with similar issues and they are their only friends. The twin has dropped out of university altogether and works at a local supermarket. He does well there but has the occasional melt-down and seems to be, right now, in a depressed state. The one who lives with us stays up, on the computer, until 6:30am and then sleeps until 4pm.
I am pushing to find someone who can help these boys cope with their situation as, I know, a cure is not an option. I think they would be much happier if they had some idea that they are not alone in this and that there are coping mechanisms that could be useful. They are so tormented and I feel so bad for them. The one who lives with us stayed up until 6:30 this morning but when I got up I found towers of cereal boxes, cracker boxes and cans of every kind on the counters and floor in the kitchen. He had emptied the cupboards, made the towers and (I think when he heard me get up) went to bed.
We live in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada and would really appreciate any help in finding caring professionals to help us all cope. My partner tried to approach the other twin's doctor - psychologist - about Asperger's and she was very defensive and wouldn't even discuss the possibility! Why can't these people see we only want to help these poor young people? We are not out to question their training or whatever they might be afraid of?
Thanks to all for this great forum! Isn't technology wonderful?



Tracker
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27 Jul 2009, 8:58 pm

Hello sdh1952.

You may want to post this in the main forum here:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/forum3.html

And also maybe the parents forum here:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/forum19.html

You will get more responses then leaving it as a 8th reply buried in a post about a different topic.



sdh1952
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28 Jul 2009, 6:33 am

Thanks "Tracker". I'm new to this!



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28 Jul 2009, 9:14 am

cyberscan wrote:
I would suggest keeping him AWAY from psychologists, psychiatrists, and any other so called mental health "professional" unless forced to do differently. They only make things worse for Aspies and Auties unless they happen to be on the Spectrum themselves or in some cases are trained to work with people on the spectrum.


That would've been my take on matters a while back, too, but actually there *are* good mental health providers. If an Aspie for some reason needs mental healthcare, it is important that they get it rather than being expected to just "deal with it". However, it is also important that you find a professional who knows about AS. My knowledg eis that there are quite a few in children's mental health, but veyr few in adult mental health.



MorbidMiss
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28 Jul 2009, 11:36 am

I was very lucky. The Psychiatrist I took him to while the old man was still in the Army, I just did not like at all and neither did the kid.

The Psychologist that he sees now, he sees her as a full time therapist so it isn't just someone who barely knows him. She has experience with kids that have been abused, and with kids that have Asperger's, and with kids that have Asperger's that have been abused! Also where we live there is a state funded program that provides children who have various difficulties (social/behavioral/etc) with help they need to work through their issues and give them tools for interacting with others and for problem solving. So my son has really done so much better since we got him.

While he was with his father he had no therapy, he was left home alone for extended periods during the day (even though he sometimes played with fire!), they stuck him in the resource room at school because he was a "disturbance". My X had given the school permission to spank him, and sometimes they made him hold books until he could barely lift his arm to write after the punishment was over. Just incredibly stupid and backwards things...