Is it possible to have an affectionate AS kid?

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Mutt
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23 Jun 2010, 11:52 am

I used to constantly tell my parents that I loved them, and was constantly seeking hugs and kisses from them. I still seek them a lot, and constantly my parents are telling me to stop hugging them, because I've hugged them for too long. However, I don't really know how to define love. I just tell them that because it was something I constantly heard from them, and I seek hugs because I like the feeling I get, it's something nice, more of a sensory seek I guess. My mother sometimes calls me the big animal, because she says I let myself fall down on her when I hug her.



tenzinsmom
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23 Jun 2010, 3:28 pm

Oh, yes, absolutely.

Additionally, AS people can be very empathetic as well. It's not true that they aren't as a whole, they just may not know how to respond appropriately like my son. But he definitely notices how people are feeling, often before anyone else.


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angelbear
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23 Jun 2010, 4:28 pm

I also thought that there was no way that my son could have AS because he was so affectionate from birth on. He gives me lots of hugs everyday, and will give kisses occasionally. He is almost 5, and is now starting to say "I love you Mom" spontaneously. He is affectionate with my husband as well, but I think he is very attached to me. My husband thinks he is too attached to me because he is always climbing on me and hugging me very hard. I too think that this is sensory seeking. I really think he likes the deep pressure. He is somewhat affectionate with other adults, but not with children at all. He has a hard time with children.

So yes, a child with AS can be affectionate.



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23 Jun 2010, 4:35 pm

angelbear wrote:
I also thought that there was no way that my son could have AS because he was so affectionate from birth on. He gives me lots of hugs everyday, and will give kisses occasionally. He is almost 5, and is now starting to say "I love you Mom" spontaneously. He is affectionate with my husband as well, but I think he is very attached to me. My husband thinks he is too attached to me because he is always climbing on me and hugging me very hard. I too think that this is sensory seeking. I really think he likes the deep pressure. He is somewhat affectionate with other adults, but not with children at all. He has a hard time with children.

So yes, a child with AS can be affectionate.


I didn't get spontaneous physical affection as a child and I wanted to change that for my son. He's a little less touchy now that he's older (12) but still he is affectionate only with me and the cat. When he was about 3 or 4, he was pretty much glued to my lap, to the extent that people would comment on it negatively.



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23 Jun 2010, 4:46 pm

You should meet my kids! The two eldest have AS and the other is more of an enigma, maybe PDD-NOS depending on who you ask, definitely not even close to NT.

They are each so completely different to the others. When Middle son was diagnosed with AS I was really surprised, though in retrospect it was very obvious (obsessive narrow interests, odd gait, has to have the table set a certain way, has to have a certain kind of sock, won't wear short sleeves or pants). He's so different to his older brother that it never occured to me he could have AS too. His older brother has a lot more problems than he does. All three of my children are very affectionate to me. My eldest is affectionate to a lot of people. Middle son is definitely the introvert of the crew, but is very sweet, cuddly and tuned into my feelings. Little guy is as extroverted as they come, but affectionate to only a handful.

Welcome to my world. :) Your kids sound great.



angelbear
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23 Jun 2010, 9:31 pm

Aimless, I know what you mean. Since my son is an only, and I waited a very long time to have him, I have showered him with affection since the day he was born. Now that he is almost 5, I am starting to feel that I need to let go a little, but it is just that I have had to give him so much extra attention all along. He did not walk until almost 2, and even then had balance issues and just could not keep up physically with other kids. I have had to be right at his side to make sure he didn't fall or get pushed, etc...I was never able to say "just go play" and then sit and read a magazine like other moms. I have always had to help him engage with the world. I think it has paid off because he is improving greatly, but now I am getting concerned that he is too dependent on me. He is getting stronger and more capable, so I am trying to let go little by little, but it is still hard. Sometimes my husband thinks I "coddle" him too much. I know the day will come when he will probably not want to be so affectionate with me, so I am just trying to enjoy it now!



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23 Jun 2010, 11:02 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
My AS son is super, super affectionate. To the point that we call him the cuddle monster. And monster instead of anything sweet because he is incredibly aggressive with his affection. It's like everything else with him; he runs at either 0 or 200, and rarely anything in between.

We've had some discussion if it is sensory seeking, and that may be part of it, but I do think he genuinely enjoys affection. He is very picky about who he wants affection from, and getting it from someone else won't cut it.

The affection was one of the reasons we were so surprised when someone first mentioned AS.


That sounds just like my son. I sing a song to him to the tune of the Mon chi chi dolls from the 80's "Luc key key Luc key key oh so soft and cuddly"...Im a dork, I know :lol: ! Also like your son his affection can sometimes be smothering and or painful....he also gives lovely slobbery kisses...but sometimes he can be very sweet and gentle.
One of the biggest problems we have had with him with other children is he wont keep his hands off of them....its like hes compelled to touch them or grab them around the neck. In pre K and Kindergarten he got in a lot of fights because of this. We have had him in charter school for the past two years but he has been in social group so Im hoping third grade will be ok.



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23 Jun 2010, 11:38 pm

Aimless wrote:
My AS son is affectionate with me but only with me. When relatives wanted to hug him he used to turn around and back into the hug. Now if he's feeling down he'll ask me for one.


This goes for my 14yo AS son too. He won't let any one else near him except me.


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24 Jun 2010, 1:24 pm

I wasn't affectionate as a child, but now (I'm 21) I'm very affectionate towards my girlfriend. :)



Caitlin
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24 Jun 2010, 2:17 pm

My son is also very affectionate. He lives for bedtime cuddles. He's also extremely empathetic, to the point of crying during commercials that involve even 'comic' anguish.


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Kiley
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24 Jun 2010, 3:34 pm

tenzinsmom wrote:
Oh, yes, absolutely.

Additionally, AS people can be very empathetic as well. It's not true that they aren't as a whole, they just may not know how to respond appropriately like my son. But he definitely notices how people are feeling, often before anyone else.


That sounds like Middle Son. He is very empathetic but is often overwhelmed by all the sensory input.



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30 Jun 2010, 7:50 pm

I have three ASD sons, all very different in personality; the third is the affectionate one, always hugging and kissing me and saying he loves me; first one if you hug him it feels like you are hugging a brick wall, the second is in between the other two in regards to affection. :)



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30 Jun 2010, 11:39 pm

My 7 year old dd is very affectionate at times (other times she can be a bit aggressive). She is constantly wanting to be on my lap, giving me hugs...she spontaneously says "I love you" to both daddy and I. It does make it hard for others to see her AS b/c so many people don't think people with autism have or can express feelings. We have to tell her to stop chasing her baby brother or sister around and trying to take care of them or give them hugs. She doesn't know when to stop. Sometimes I think she just gets so focused on things that she can't see past them to the consequences or what someone else might be feeling. She can tell you after the fact, but in the moment, she's just so into wanting to be affectionate that she can't see she's really bothering others. She does this with the cat too (consequently, the cat runs away anytime she sees my daughter). She is very intuitive, though...when it comes to the "feelings" of animals...she can't always act on it, but she knows them very well. I'm just hoping that someday she is able to control her actions a bit better so we that others can really see how affectionate she really is.



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30 Jun 2010, 11:41 pm

My 7 year old dd is very affectionate at times (other times she can be a bit aggressive). She is constantly wanting to be on my lap, giving me hugs...she spontaneously says "I love you" to both daddy and I. It does make it hard for others to see her AS b/c so many people don't think people with autism have or can express feelings. We have to tell her to stop chasing her baby brother or sister around and trying to take care of them or give them hugs. She doesn't know when to stop. Sometimes I think she just gets so focused on things that she can't see past them to the consequences or what someone else might be feeling. She can tell you after the fact, but in the moment, she's just so into wanting to be affectionate that she can't see she's really bothering others. She does this with the cat too (consequently, the cat runs away anytime she sees my daughter). She is very intuitive, though...when it comes to the "feelings" of animals...she can't always act on it, but she knows them very well. I'm just hoping that someday she is able to control her actions a bit better so we that others can really see how affectionate she really is.



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01 Jul 2010, 11:21 am

Absolutely!

AS kids can be at one extreme or the other, or anywhere between. Level of affection has nothing to do with whether someone has Autism, except in indirect ways. They may be so "within their own minds" they don't care anything about affection. I have one son who never say's "I love you," and rarely wants hugs. Most of the time he prefers not to be touched at all. I have another son who hugs and says "I love you" so much it's annoying. They are both on the spectrum.

At the one extreme, the first son doesn't understand why anyone needs to receive affection from him. He doesn't need or want it, why should you? At the other extreme, the other son doesn't understand why we wouldn't want as much affection as he does. It's not really how affectionate they are that points to Autism. It's the fact that they can't seem to understand that others don't share their extreme feelings, so they show it more. Kids on the spectrum with moderate affection go more unnoticed where affection level is concerned, because they just happen not to want too much or too little for most people's tastes. So we don't think about it with them. I have a third son on the spectrum who is like this.

What's at work there (or not at work is a better way to put it), is "Theory of Mind." They have a very hard time imagining that others think differently from them. The third son I mentioned shows that lack of Theory of Mind in other ways.


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01 Jul 2010, 11:29 am

Yes! My daughter is very affectionate and huggy. I have to always remind her that it isn't safe to hug me when I'm stirring a pot on the stove.