Lacking motivation to change own behaviors?

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mom2bzy
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14 Jun 2011, 11:25 pm

Lacking motivation to change own behaviors? Is this a red flag for further testing?

-Son has ADHD, SPD & Exec. Function Def...He also has some stereotype behaviors (clicking, clapping, hooting, etc.) which teachers HATE HATE HATE. (He used to chew/suck on his shirts until they were literally soaking wet by the end of a school day) He does some of these behaviors randomly, but sometimes he'll do them at or near ppl and seems to bother them on purpose.
-It seems he is also not making a connection of how his behavior affects others, so I am thinking about getting further testing for something? I don't know-for me the diagnosis/label is not here or there, he is still the same kid, but for many ppl who work with him this seems vital in how they are able to understand him or not.
-His OT recently mentioned he seems to have all the tools and support in place for f.ex. self-regulation, but lacks the motivation to change. Without stereotyping, is this a red flag along with other things? He is very sociable, though can't seem to keep any friends for long, outgoing, talkative, etc. He lacks a lot of common sense-as in pretty much on the same level as my 3 year old. :( He does look you in the eye when you talk to him-once you get his attention...and if you keep it...
-It is confusing, because when I read lacks empathy, I think of how he can at times be very showing it to his little bro, (almost over-board) and other times he'll bother him until his bro is virtually crying but doesn't think he needs to stop because he doesn't see his little bro is truly bothered. He repeatedly has in his school papers that he "Doesn't make the connection of how his behavior affects others" His response when asked how someone felt when he did something to them was "Probably bad".
-Yet, he has more than 1-2 interests. He likes Pokemon, Beyblade, and video games.

All in all, I feel like we have been dealing with the same problems for years, without a whole lot of change despite various behavior interventions/plans. Does this at all sound familiar, or?



Sweetleaf
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15 Jun 2011, 2:01 am

mom2bzy wrote:
Lacking motivation to change own behaviors? Is this a red flag for further testing?

-Son has ADHD, SPD & Exec. Function Def...He also has some stereotype behaviors (clicking, clapping, hooting, etc.) which teachers HATE HATE HATE. (He used to chew/suck on his shirts until they were literally soaking wet by the end of a school day) He does some of these behaviors randomly, but sometimes he'll do them at or near ppl and seems to bother them on purpose.
-It seems he is also not making a connection of how his behavior affects others, so I am thinking about getting further testing for something? I don't know-for me the diagnosis/label is not here or there, he is still the same kid, but for many ppl who work with him this seems vital in how they are able to understand him or not.
-His OT recently mentioned he seems to have all the tools and support in place for f.ex. self-regulation, but lacks the motivation to change. Without stereotyping, is this a red flag along with other things? He is very sociable, though can't seem to keep any friends for long, outgoing, talkative, etc. He lacks a lot of common sense-as in pretty much on the same level as my 3 year old. :( He does look you in the eye when you talk to him-once you get his attention...and if you keep it...
-It is confusing, because when I read lacks empathy, I think of how he can at times be very showing it to his little bro, (almost over-board) and other times he'll bother him until his bro is virtually crying but doesn't think he needs to stop because he doesn't see his little bro is truly bothered. He repeatedly has in his school papers that he "Doesn't make the connection of how his behavior affects others" His response when asked how someone felt when he did something to them was "Probably bad".
-Yet, he has more than 1-2 interests. He likes Pokemon, Beyblade, and video games.

All in all, I feel like we have been dealing with the same problems for years, without a whole lot of change despite various behavior interventions/plans. Does this at all sound familiar, or?


Well for one if your focus is completely on how much he needs to change that might not be the best approach, I mean obviously its good to try and change to an extent so you can have more enjoyment of life....but I imagine a lot of normal people do not constantly focus on changing everything about themselves...so why would someone that already has issues find it any easier then a typcial person? but yeah maybe that does not apply. I would say it good to continue encouraging him to try and think of how others might feel about things, and as far as the obnoxious behaviour you mentioned at the beginning of this maybe try encouraging something a little less obnoxious would help....It can be amazingly hard to sit perfectly still and actually focus on anything for some people. I am no expert though, that is just my opinion.



MagicMeerkat
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15 Jun 2011, 1:09 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
mom2bzy wrote:
All in all, I feel like we have been dealing with the same problems for years, without a whole lot of change despite various behavior interventions/plans. Does this at all sound familiar, or?


Well for one if your focus is completely on how much he needs to change that might not be the best approach, I mean obviously its good to try and change to an extent so you can have more enjoyment of life....but I imagine a lot of normal people do not constantly focus on changing everything about themselves...so why would someone that already has issues find it any easier then a typcial person? but yeah maybe that does not apply. I would say it good to continue encouraging him to try and think of how others might feel about things, and as far as the obnoxious behaviour you mentioned at the beginning of this maybe try encouraging something a little less obnoxious would help....It can be amazingly hard to sit perfectly still and actually focus on anything for some people. I am no expert though, that is just my opinion.


THIS!



mom2bzy
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15 Jun 2011, 11:39 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply. We have a lot easier times during Summer Vacation, when the school and teachers aren't constantly on him for something or other. Then they expect me to do something or reinforce things at home when he (constantly) gets in trouble. The thing is, as he is getting closer to jr. high, I worry, what is going to happen to him? He has almost weekly notes or complaints home from teachers or the office.

So do I want him to change? It'd be nice to see him not constantly get in trouble at school-which leads to a lot of meltdowns at home, etc. I don't know, too confusing...



joestenr
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16 Jun 2011, 7:43 am

Well it sounds like the school environment is a big part of the problem. In typical fasion when they encounter a square peg they try and hammer it in.


My feeling is that when u have to devote all of your energies to avoiding getting in trouble for reasons he prob does not comprehend, there is no room left to learn anything else


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joestenr
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16 Jun 2011, 8:47 am

With regards to motivation what we are really talking about is the stength of the reinforcment contingencies.
As an anslogy. I smoke ciggaretts. I know that are bad for me, they are now very expensive, and yet i still smoke. Why. Is it because i lack the motivation. No it is because withdrawl or rather avoiding withdrawl is far more powerful of a reinforcer.

This can be applied to ur sons behavoir in that thwre is a reaon that he does the things that get him into trouble. Once u are able to discern thier function new behavoirs that funxtion the same way can be taught,

(i stress taught, he already has learned on his own, in a world that doesnt make much sense, )


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draelynn
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16 Jun 2011, 9:11 am

Much of what you describe should be addressed in an IEP. You mentioned that he gets services but not the IEP. I'd be shocked to hear about so many notes coming home for a child with an IEP. If he does have one - there needs to be a meeting to address this as soon as possible. It seems pretty clear that no improvement over years of intervention - something is not working.

Is your son medicated for his ADHD? It doesn't sound as if he is. I'm sorry but I am a beleiver in medicating ADHD - it is linked to a neurotransmitter deficit. You cannot 'self regulate' a neurotransmitter dysfunction. Many kids respond extremely well to medication. In my own daughter the difference was night and day - at 8yo she was even able to tell us about the difference she noticed with the medication. Once he is able to focus on a task, he may have better success in learning to redirect his behaviors.

The goal for therapy should be to redirect problem behaviors into behaviors that aren't as stressful or disruptive in the classroom. My daughter has a stress ball to play with at her desk when she's feeling stressed out - it's a redirect for more distruptive stimming urges. Not making the connections to how his behavior affects others is part and parcel of an autism dx - this is a skill that needs to be taught. Expecting it to happen spontaneously is not going to happen. Many kids on the spectrum need to be taught about their own feelings - connecting the feeling with its word and recognizing the signs of in outwardly on other peoples faces. It doesn't mean he doesn't feel. It doesn't mean he isn't empathetic. It means he does not know how to recognise it. We have scripted emotions with my daughter since she was small - we do it in small ways everywhere, everyday. TV and cartoons were amazing for this becasue fo the exaggerated facial expressions. Once he can identify his own emotions, it may be easier to teach him how to recognise those same feelings in others. It isn't that he doesn't care - it sounds as if his recognition skills need alot of work.

You mentioned htat he seems to do more of these bahaviors when other peopel are around. Take a closer look at this. Could he be doing these things as a stress reaction to being around other people? Anxiety can cause alot of of unwanted behaviors. Much of what you describe sounds incredibly familiar.

Have you asked the school, in writing, to do a full psychoeducational evaluation? I do not know your son but it sounds as if his dx could be off. ADHD and executive function deficits are common comorbid conditions in autism. It may be worthwhile to find a specialist and challenge the SPD dx. That is a common misdiagnosis when Asperger's may be the issue. Much of what you describe sounds quite Aspie to me. But, of course, I am not a doctor. I would definitely recommend finding a specialist in your area and go from there.



b9
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16 Jun 2011, 9:12 am

my "behaviours" are fine by me.
i can relax



mom2bzy
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16 Jun 2011, 12:13 pm

Thank you joestenr and draelynn for your response, this really hit home on some of your answers and suggestions. He does a LOT more when stressed or anxious and his school knows all this and he has an IEP, etc. yet they don't really seem to care. I've taken it to the state level in complaining, but seems if they don't have an official dx, they can't wrap their brains around it. (I've asked repeatedly for testing-full psy., etc. they've refused, so I'm going to take him to Children's. Sooooo.....

This next school year I'll do what you suggest and request more testing and if things come through then hopefully get a specialist to teach us to teach him what you are suggesting draelynn. Thanks everyone about your posting in regards to trying to move things away from a "discipline" point of view to a "teaching" emotional recognition skills etc. I don't believe I've seen his other dx treated or dealt with the root of the issues from the same angle/way, which is prob. why at school and at home we are having so little results. Like we've been dealing with step "R" and he is not getting step "B"!

It's such a bummer that he and other kids like him get in trouble all the time-I can't imagine what it must be like to be in these kids shoes. :( These kids have such good hearts and intentions, and are seen as such "Problem children".

Anyways, new here and just beginning my quest for answers-so I appreciate all the input from both parents and those with aspergers alike.