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Tracker
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19 Feb 2010, 10:48 pm

Hello all.

If you have a minute I would like to know what your biggest question, or confusion is regarding your autistic/AS child. Try to keep it relatively open and related to autism. For example, 'why does my son like milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate' is too specific and unrelated to autism. Something like 'why does my son rock back and forth' would be more indicative of what I am looking for.

If you have more then one feel free to post them all.



Hethera
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19 Feb 2010, 11:40 pm

Thanks for starting this thread! My 3-year-old is in the process of being evaluated; the doc and autism center lady who've seen him so far say he seems to be on the spectrum and looks like he'll get either a diagnosis of AS or PDD-NOS.

Here's my question: Why does he sometimes answer me when I ask him a question (like asking which cup he wants or where his favorite toy is at bedtime, where theoretically giving me an answer is in his best interest), and sometime ignore me or push me away, and sometimes just echo back what I just said? What is his thought process while this is happening? I notice that it seems to depend on whether he is tired. Is he hearing the question on the occasions when he ignores or echoes me, and is just too tired to answer back in an effective way? Or does his fatigue affect the actual processing itself? I never know if he's heard and understood me.



AutismMerch
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20 Feb 2010, 1:59 am

Hethera wrote:
Here's my question: Why does he sometimes answer me when I ask him a question (like asking which cup he wants or where his favorite toy is at bedtime, where theoretically giving me an answer is in his best interest), and sometime ignore me or push me away, and sometimes just echo back what I just said? What is his thought process while this is happening? I notice that it seems to depend on whether he is tired. Is he hearing the question on the occasions when he ignores or echoes me, and is just too tired to answer back in an effective way? Or does his fatigue affect the actual processing itself? I never know if he's heard and understood me.


Hi Hethera, this sounds like a common parental experience for kids on the spectrum! Like you say, I guess when he is tired he is too overwhelmed to deal with questions. In these situations it may be easier to communicate through the eyes, rather than the ears, given that most with ASD are archetype visual thinkers/learners. It takes more effort to grasp what is being communicated in an auditory manner, so visual cues and aids might help.



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20 Feb 2010, 7:03 am

Hethera wrote:
Thanks for starting this thread! My 3-year-old is in the process of being evaluated; the doc and autism center lady who've seen him so far say he seems to be on the spectrum and looks like he'll get either a diagnosis of AS or PDD-NOS.

Here's my question: Why does he sometimes answer me when I ask him a question (like asking which cup he wants or where his favorite toy is at bedtime, where theoretically giving me an answer is in his best interest), and sometime ignore me or push me away, and sometimes just echo back what I just said? What is his thought process while this is happening? I notice that it seems to depend on whether he is tired. Is he hearing the question on the occasions when he ignores or echoes me, and is just too tired to answer back in an effective way? Or does his fatigue affect the actual processing itself? I never know if he's heard and understood me.


Being tired messes with your brain. If he has an ASD, then communication is most likely hard work for him. You know how when you're tired you get all fumbly, you can't think straight, and difficult tasks are now impossible? This is exactly the same thing, except that the things that are difficult for your son are taken for granted by most people, so it's easy to forget that they can be very difficult.


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


PenguinMom
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20 Feb 2010, 8:09 am

Why does my daughter ALWAYS do the opposite. If I say to hurry up she will go slowly (literally in slow motion like a mime). If I say to slow down she will run. If her teacher tells her to wear pink on Valentines day she will NOT wear pink on Valentines day (even though she insists on wearing pink every other day of her life. She does the opposite for little and big things, in situations regarding to health and safety, an even when not doing the opposite would clearly be more in her favor.

One exception, when I try to be sneaky and say the opposite of what I mean she always catches the trick and does exactly what I said.



julie2379
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20 Feb 2010, 8:29 am

PenguinMom wrote:
Why does my daughter ALWAYS do the opposite. If I say to hurry up she will go slowly (literally in slow motion like a mime). If I say to slow down she will run. If her teacher tells her to wear pink on Valentines day she will NOT wear pink on Valentines day (even though she insists on wearing pink every other day of her life. She does the opposite for little and big things, in situations regarding to health and safety, an even when not doing the opposite would clearly be more in her favor.

One exception, when I try to be sneaky and say the opposite of what I mean she always catches the trick and does exactly what I said.


my son does this too.



angelbear
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20 Feb 2010, 3:29 pm

My son does this too! For instance, he loves to shake his head back and forth when he is listening to music. But, if we are doing some sort of interactive thing with other kids when they ask you to shake your head, he won't do it. He also loves to flap his hands. But if the teacher says pretend you are an airplane or a bird, and flaps hands, he will not imitate the teacher.

Another question I have is this. Whenever another kid's mother scolds them, my son gets upset like it is him who is getting into trouble. I try to tell him that he is not in trouble, but he cries anyway.

I am sure I will think of more later, but I have to run now!

Thanks for doing this!



Tracker
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21 Feb 2010, 12:50 pm

Well, to answer angelbear:

You gotta be in the mood to flap and spin happily. When your by yourself just spinning around your having fun. When your stuck with a bunch of other people, you aren't having fun, and thus your not in the mood to spin around and flap happily.

As for why your son gets upset when other people are scolded, its because he has sympathy for them.

Does anybody else have any questions. I am trying to make sure that I am not missing out on anything important.



t0
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21 Feb 2010, 1:27 pm

Tracker wrote:
As for why your son gets upset when other people are scolded, its because he has sympathy for them.


I would suggest that this may be a form of empathy and not just sympathy. The scolded kid may or may not actually feel remorse for the behavior that caused the scolding - but the autistic believes he knows what the kid should feel - and empathizes with that feeling/emotion.



valkyrieraven88
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21 Feb 2010, 5:04 pm

angelbear wrote:
Another question I have is this. Whenever another kid's mother scolds them, my son gets upset like it is him who is getting into trouble. I try to tell him that he is not in trouble, but he cries anyway.


I was like this too, although I would usually do it when I watch movies. If something embarrassing happens to a character, I want to hide. When I was little I would actually run out of the room until the scene was over. That's why I think it's so funny that they say autistic people have no empathy. It's not true. I couldn't feel this way or act this way if I didn't empathize. I am better than most people at being able to pull back and not shudder when I'm hearing about murders and things like that, but if I think about what it must have been like for the victim I feel sick.



herbalmistress
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21 Feb 2010, 5:51 pm

Tracker, i have a couple questions for you. When you were growing up what did it take to motivate you to engage in things that you did not want to? Did you have aggression issues or meltdowns, and if so what worked to help you get past those problems?

It seems that reward and punishment systems have never worked well with my son for impulse control issues, or getting him to do something he doesn't want to. Being respectful, validating his feelings, and encouraging him to self regulate doesn't get us anywhere either (we tried this approach for at least 2 years and his behavior didn't change at all). If he doesn't want to read a book or wash some dishes i can not get him to without using strong (in his eyes) punishments, and he will melt down FOREVER before finally giving in, acting as though he hates my guts and i am the most unfair person in the world the whole time. Sometimes it's totally futile as he will just start destroying property, and then i feel the outcome of trying to get him to do it is worse than if i had just let him have his way.

It took me a day and a half to get him to wash some silverware a couple of days ago to make up for kicking a hole in a door, telling him he would not be allowed to play video games until he washed the silverware only AFTER he refused to do it. He himself had said about a month ago that he would like to "work off" the damage his temper has done to our house, and i was reminding him of this at the time. I was still somehow being totally unfair, and cruel to expect him to do some chores to make up for the money and work it will cost my husband and i to fix or replace the door. One thing that's very confusing about this is that he does chores of his own accord often, so how much of a punishment was it really just for me to expect it? I also explained to him there is no point in feeling bad about yourself or down on yourself for a mistake you have already made, but that doesn't mean you can't try to find a way to make up for it or improve the situation. He seems to agree with this logic until i actually expect him to take the accountability.

He melts down as though the smallest expectation is too overwhelming at times, when other times i can clearly see he is capable of much more. I offered to let him take breaks as often as he wanted, and to retire to his room until he felt calm and ready to work on it. I felt i was being very patient. My only expectations were that he not play video games until he had done it, and he not melt down in my face for hours trying to get me to change my mind. It was too much for him and i can't understand why.

On the second morning i finally got him to do it after more melting down, and a dining chair being thrown down and broken also, only by suggesting he listen to his MP3 player while he washed. I really was trying to be helpful and make it as easy on him as it could be without just letting him out of it. How this did the trick i have no clue, as he washes dishes without his MP3 player on his own at least once a week.

I really wish i could understand what's going on in his head when he is like this. There's not much point in trying to get him to wash dishes for breaking a door if more furniture gets broken in the process. At the same time i can't show him that i will be inconsistent and give in if he tries to punish me by breaking other things. He actually did view breaking the chair as a way to get even with me. After he threw it down and i mentioned that it too was now broken he said "That's what you get".

Any insights on what's going on with him when he is like this, or how i could handle his meltdowns differently to avoid the destruction of property? He even broke a string of black lights in his room by accident throwing a stuffed animal at the wall, which is one of the things i've told him he CAN do to vent his anger in an acceptable, non threatening way. Keep in mind he is 11 years old, and can be a very sweet, caring, compassionate, and helpful child a lot of the time as well.

Peace. :heart:


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21 Feb 2010, 6:02 pm

angelbear wrote:
Another question I have is this. Whenever another kid's mother scolds them, my son gets upset like it is him who is getting into trouble. I try to tell him that he is not in trouble, but he cries anyway.
Tracker wrote:
As for why your son gets upset when other people are scolded, its because he has sympathy for them..



There is another possible reason. It's not uncommon for kids on the spectrum to be sensitive to scolding because of the raised voice (sensitivity to loud noise) and what they might perceive to be aggression. And this is what upsets them. They respond with fear which turns into tears. So in one sense it doesn't matter who the scolding is directed to.



julie2379
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21 Feb 2010, 8:16 pm

herbalmistress wrote:
Tracker, i have a couple questions for you. When you were growing up what did it take to motivate you to engage in things that you did not want to? Did you have aggression issues or meltdowns, and if so what worked to help you get past those problems?

It seems that reward and punishment systems have never worked well with my son for impulse control issues, or getting him to do something he doesn't want to. Being respectful, validating his feelings, and encouraging him to self regulate doesn't get us anywhere either (we tried this approach for at least 2 years and his behavior didn't change at all). If he doesn't want to read a book or wash some dishes i can not get him to without using strong (in his eyes) punishments, and he will melt down FOREVER before finally giving in, acting as though he hates my guts and i am the most unfair person in the world the whole time. Sometimes it's totally futile as he will just start destroying property, and then i feel the outcome of trying to get him to do it is worse than if i had just let him have his way.



Any insights on what's going on with him when he is like this, or how i could handle his meltdowns differently to avoid the destruction of property? He even broke a string of black lights in his room by accident throwing a stuffed animal at the wall, which is one of the things i've told him he CAN do to vent his anger in an acceptable, non threatening way. Keep in mind he is 11 years old, and can be a very sweet, caring, compassionate, and helpful child a lot of the time as well.



my son is six, but they sound very similar. i'll be interested in getting feedback on this as well.



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22 Feb 2010, 2:55 am

AutismMerch wrote:
angelbear wrote:
Another question I have is this. Whenever another kid's mother scolds them, my son gets upset like it is him who is getting into trouble. I try to tell him that he is not in trouble, but he cries anyway.
Tracker wrote:
As for why your son gets upset when other people are scolded, its because he has sympathy for them..



There is another possible reason. It's not uncommon for kids on the spectrum to be sensitive to scolding because of the raised voice (sensitivity to loud noise) and what they might perceive to be aggression. And this is what upsets them. They respond with fear which turns into tears. So in one sense it doesn't matter who the scolding is directed to.


^This. I used to burst into tears when someone else got into trouble for that exact reason. It scared me.


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


valkyrieraven88
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22 Feb 2010, 12:27 pm

herbalmistress wrote:
Tracker, i have a couple questions for you. When you were growing up what did it take to motivate you to engage in things that you did not want to? Did you have aggression issues or meltdowns, and if so what worked to help you get past those problems?

It seems that reward and punishment systems have never worked well with my son for impulse control issues, or getting him to do something he doesn't want to. Being respectful, validating his feelings, and encouraging him to self regulate doesn't get us anywhere either (we tried this approach for at least 2 years and his behavior didn't change at all). If he doesn't want to read a book or wash some dishes i can not get him to without using strong (in his eyes) punishments, and he will melt down FOREVER before finally giving in, acting as though he hates my guts and i am the most unfair person in the world the whole time. Sometimes it's totally futile as he will just start destroying property, and then i feel the outcome of trying to get him to do it is worse than if i had just let him have his way.

It took me a day and a half to get him to wash some silverware a couple of days ago to make up for kicking a hole in a door, telling him he would not be allowed to play video games until he washed the silverware only AFTER he refused to do it. He himself had said about a month ago that he would like to "work off" the damage his temper has done to our house, and i was reminding him of this at the time. I was still somehow being totally unfair, and cruel to expect him to do some chores to make up for the money and work it will cost my husband and i to fix or replace the door. One thing that's very confusing about this is that he does chores of his own accord often, so how much of a punishment was it really just for me to expect it? I also explained to him there is no point in feeling bad about yourself or down on yourself for a mistake you have already made, but that doesn't mean you can't try to find a way to make up for it or improve the situation. He seems to agree with this logic until i actually expect him to take the accountability.

He melts down as though the smallest expectation is too overwhelming at times, when other times i can clearly see he is capable of much more. I offered to let him take breaks as often as he wanted, and to retire to his room until he felt calm and ready to work on it. I felt i was being very patient. My only expectations were that he not play video games until he had done it, and he not melt down in my face for hours trying to get me to change my mind. It was too much for him and i can't understand why.

On the second morning i finally got him to do it after more melting down, and a dining chair being thrown down and broken also, only by suggesting he listen to his MP3 player while he washed. I really was trying to be helpful and make it as easy on him as it could be without just letting him out of it. How this did the trick i have no clue, as he washes dishes without his MP3 player on his own at least once a week.

I really wish i could understand what's going on in his head when he is like this. There's not much point in trying to get him to wash dishes for breaking a door if more furniture gets broken in the process. At the same time i can't show him that i will be inconsistent and give in if he tries to punish me by breaking other things. He actually did view breaking the chair as a way to get even with me. After he threw it down and i mentioned that it too was now broken he said "That's what you get".

Any insights on what's going on with him when he is like this, or how i could handle his meltdowns differently to avoid the destruction of property? He even broke a string of black lights in his room by accident throwing a stuffed animal at the wall, which is one of the things i've told him he CAN do to vent his anger in an acceptable, non threatening way. Keep in mind he is 11 years old, and can be a very sweet, caring, compassionate, and helpful child a lot of the time as well.

Peace. :heart:


21 and I am still like this, LOL. What it is for me is that if I am in the middle of something, I do not want to be interrupted. If you walk into the room and see that I'm half-way through an episode of my favorite show, I don't want to hear about your day. I don't want to go pick up the stuff in the kitchen. What does work is something like, "Hey, after this is over/at the next commercial can you ___________?" And that makes me feel better because I just hate pausing in the middle of a scene, and I do realize that things need to be done. My boyfriend does that but I'm having trouble getting it through my mother's head because she doesn't want me to "use it as an excuse." She will interrupt my music when I'm riding in the car with her and that's the worst. When my headphones are in, it's because the noise of the road is bad and I have to block it out. This is also time to withdraw and think about my book that I'm writing, but no, she wants to talk about things that I don't find interesting, things I have already told her that she's forgotten about, or things she has already told me and forgotten about. I try to be patient but when I've only listened to one minute of a song on a ten-minute drive, I snap. Because the pause button is evil.