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LawsOfIllusion
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11 Jul 2011, 2:04 am

I was wondering if this was the usual for kids with an ASD. My daughter is 5 and she does not return affection often. I can hug her and kiss her and tell her I love her but she never wants to hug or kiss me back. I honestly think I can count the number of times she has told me that she loves me on one hand.

I am, not a horrible mother. I try really hard. I think sometimes I try too hard because I spend what seems like every moment of the day worrying about her. I worry about her so much that I feel horrible anxiety. I just want to do my best.

My other question is about using the washeroom. My daughter who has been fully potty trained since just a little over two has been refusing to urinate unless she is almost having an accident. This has been happening for a little while. She doesn't have any pain or anything, so I don't think it is a UTI.

If anyone has some advice or can make sense of this please do.

Thanks so much!



ValentineWiggin
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11 Jul 2011, 3:24 am

If I'm not mistaken, the not being big on physical affection is classically-AS.
While that part has never described me in particular, I was blown away with the whole waiting til a near-accident bit that you mentioned.
I'm 23 (female) and still have trouble with it- I actually have a nephrologist appointment tomorrow because I've been having..urm..."troubles", and I can't help but think my years of holding it in are to contribute.

I just get too busy- I very very vaguely/subconsciously realize that I have to go, but I'm too distracted doing other things to pay it much attention til it's a near-emergency.


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Wreck-Gar
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11 Jul 2011, 3:26 am

From what I understand the lack of affection pertty much comes with the territory when it comes to ASD's...not everybody but it's common.

As for the bathroom thing, I don't know...maybe anxiety?



Marsian
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11 Jul 2011, 6:07 am

I still hate being kissed especially, it's gross, being hugged is not quite so bad. The best thing to do is not to do and then eventually your daughter will probably come ask for a hug eventually, every now and then I don't mind a hug from my Mum. Unfortunately it's just one of those things. I don't think it means your little girl dislikes you or feels youre a bad mother or anything likey that, it's more just that she doesnt like to be hugged and on the flip side probably cannot comprehend what you enjoy about it! I had a similar issue with my sis who sees being bought small presents as a sign that I love her, so she would often buy me small presents and I didn't understand it meant she loved me and was thinking of me and I was supposed to do it back until she spelled it out to me!! ! Maybe try asking your little one if she dislikes being hugged, and explain that you like it because it makes you feel that she loves you. She probably doesnt understand the whole concept of the whole lovey thing, I still dont! Do you have pets and does she hug them, because I have always felt more lovey dovey to my cat and that might be a way to explain why you like to be hugged?

As for waiting to go to the loo until you are about to explode there are loads of reasons for that. If I'm at home I do it because I'm engrossed in what I'm doing and can't switch to break off and go. When I was your daughters age I had a few accidents because of it. I try to avoid going to the loo when I'm not at home because public loos, and even other people's loos have a different smell which puts me off using them! I rarely used the loos at school the whole time I was at school!! ! Sometimes I think it's just laziness too like not being able to be bothered to get out of bed to go and then waking up desperate in the morning. Did you try asking why she does it, see if she can explain?



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11 Jul 2011, 7:01 am

My son and daughter both dont like been hugged unless they ask, or I ask them its always been like that. They hated when others greet them in an over friendly way shaking hands ok but they suffer it out of been polite but hate it. My daughter doesnt has an AS dx but has lots of the traits.

When my daughter was young she was afraid of the toilet maybe of falling in, she potty trained easily, but had this problem would not use any other toilet unless I was with her, she is 15yrs now and is still like it. She will always ask me to go to the toilet with her if we are in a new place, if she doesnt like the look she will not go and hold it until she finds a better place. I never get upset with her just let her at it, when she was in pre school she had many accidents as she would not use the toilet until I got there. She would hold out from 9am until 4pm and when I would collect her at times she would wet herself out of relief. I always carried a change of clothes.It might be like the other post said she didnt like the smells etc or anxiety.

Maybe you can start asking her after meals/drinks keep reminding her and try and make the toilet a fun place. I know it can be hard, maybe use a chart and get her to put the stars and happy face for when she uses the toilet early etc. If she is doing something she enjoys let her know she has 5min and then bathroom, and she can return after. Once she gets used of this it will happen automatically but you might still have to give reminders if she get preoccuppied or she could just be regressing.


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goodolddays
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11 Jul 2011, 8:17 am

Wreck-Gar wrote:
From what I understand the lack of affection pretty much comes with the territory when it comes to ASD's...not everybody but it's common.


Mine seems to have picked almost everything by the AS books except this one: he is overly affectionate to the point where you think it has become such routine that he lost the actual affection in "affectionate".
If it was up to him, he would hug, and kiss and smooch and say "I love you" constantly.

After a certain age, he started saying "I love you" to every adult he met and gave him some attention. I had to teach him that this expression needs to be distributed selectively and in small doses. Ideally, very, very small doses, backed up by lots of substance.

When it comes to "I Love You", I wish he could understand that more "showing by reducing selfishness" and less "saying" is where he needs to head to.

Does your daughter do othr things that demonstrate she careds about you?
To me...saying "I Love You" shouldn't even count.
As for hugs and kisses, these are nice and it's hard not to get any from your child.
Maybe you can ask her at first to give you a little quick hug?
If you ask her. does she refuse?



momsparky
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11 Jul 2011, 9:46 am

In my understanding of sensory issues, there are two types: sensory-seeking and sensory-avoidant. In the former, the person needs more sensory information for their brain to process sensory information, and may, for instance, seek hugs or grab things or be hyperactive. In the latter (what the OP may be describing) sensory information is overwhelming and you may get flight-or-fight responses to hugs, food, clothes, etc. A person on the spectrum may be either or both: my son loves hugs, but can't tolerate socks with seams.

Then there's the additional issue of not being able to process the social implications of touch, which can lead children to hug inappropriately or appear cold - and an all-or-nothing approach is not at all uncommon with AS.

The beginning of the movie Temple Grandin centers around how she learned pressure helped her feel better, even though she couldn't tolerate the touch of another human being - I think she said it "hurts." It's well worth watching.

As for the bladder control: can you talk to your daughter about it? Two is a tough age. There may be an underlying fear that's causing her to hold it: embarrassment of acknowledging her needs, fear of the noise of the toilet (common with kids with sensory issues) fear of the dark bathroom, etc. Maybe start by suggesting that the bathroom is a "friendly" place and see if she disagrees with you?



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11 Jul 2011, 3:30 pm

I was the SAME WAY! To a large degree, I still am! I am almost 50.



Marsian
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11 Jul 2011, 3:55 pm

:). It's so tricky being an adult now because I always wonder if my Mum would have asked me the right questions if I would have been able to be honest with her. I was 30 already before I had the courage to tell my mum that I didn't know how to make eye contact and didn't experience sexuality so it can be easy to get things trapped inside you if you don't feel comfortable to be open. I just think the most important thing is to try to get your little girl to be open as to why things bother her, it might not be possible but if it is it is learning to be open is helpful moving forward. Even now my Mum gets upset when I'm not open with her but I don't think she understands how hard it is. My own world is very deep and releasing my feelings from it is still difficult x



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11 Jul 2011, 7:20 pm

LawsOfIllusion wrote:
I was wondering if this was the usual for kids with an ASD. My daughter is 5 and she does not return affection often. I can hug her and kiss her and tell her I love her but she never wants to hug or kiss me back. I honestly think I can count the number of times she has told me that she loves me on one hand.


I was like this. I loved my parents, I just hated to be touched and I didn't like to kiss or be kissed.

LawsOfIllusion wrote:
I am, not a horrible mother. I try really hard. I think sometimes I try too hard because I spend what seems like every moment of the day worrying about her. I worry about her so much that I feel horrible anxiety. I just want to do my best.

My other question is about using the washeroom. My daughter who has been fully potty trained since just a little over two has been refusing to urinate unless she is almost having an accident. This has been happening for a little while. She doesn't have any pain or anything, so I don't think it is a UTI.


This could be a transition issue. For example, she may be off playing or busy doing whatever she's doing, and then she realizes she has to urinate. This means, stopping what she is doing and transitioning to a different task which, to you might not seem a particular inconvenience, but to her, it might be a massive inconvenience. So she holds it, and as children generally only realize they have to go when they really have to go, and don't have any idea how long they can actually hold it or much of a concept that it won't go away, she might very well wet her pants.

She'll eventually out grow this I'm sure so I don't know that it's worth making a fuss over. If she actually were wetting her pants I'd probably enforce designated bathroom breaks for her but this can also be difficult as children often don't have to go one minute and have to go the next.

LawsOfIllusion wrote:
If anyone has some advice or can make sense of this please do.

Thanks so much!



squirrelflight-77
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12 Jul 2011, 7:23 am

This can hard and is very individual. I imagine if you look you will see her affection and love for you being displayed in less traditional ways. I think that is typical for the aspie mindset. :-) I know my girl went through a stage where she would give me anything she found in my favorite color, right down to saving me all the green skittles... lol. She likes to give things. Even now at age 10 she is waaaay more likely to pick me some flowers or draw me a picture than she is to come over and just hug/kiss and tell me she loves me.

Also, she finds it annoying when I tell her I love her bc I am stating the 'obvious'. She doesnt say she loves me bc it's 'obvious'. Of course she loves me. :roll: She will let me hug her if not overdone but does not like kisses ( I think its the sound of them lol) She will hold hands a lot though so maybe try that. I hold Jordans hand when we are walking or watching tv or when she is talking to me. It's a physical contact that is less intrusive and doesnt bother or distract her.

This is from my husbands childhood but we use it with Jordan too but we have a 'secret' I love you which is squeezing the hand 3 times. And it is just part of our nightly routine to say I love you sort of like good night.

I think that aspies just display affection differently just like they often display other emotions differently. So you cannot equate hugs and kisses with being loved by her. They are nice and I understand you want them but that to her they may have nothing to do with how she feels. She is probably displaying her love for you in other ways that you may be missing. Giving you things, setting aside things for you, sharing special items with you, doing something for you or just sharing and trusting with you. Look for things that she does with you that she doesnt do with others even if it's just eye contact or letting you touch her at all. This is an expression of love and trust that you have that others do not.

I promise you it is there somewhere .. you just have to look and see how she is expressing it and ideally express it back to her in a similar way bc that it what will make her feel special and loved too.


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pollyfinite
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12 Jul 2011, 8:42 am

Yes! The potty dance. My daughter is too engrossed in her play to realize she has to go to the bathroom until it's about to come out. I usually notice her start to squirm and I'll ask if she has to go. She'll say no a few times before she actually stops to think if she does need to go. She's been doing this since she's been potty trained and she's 8 now. In order to prevent bladder problems, I now make sure she takes potty breaks. But there are times when we're out that I have to watch if she's squirming.

She will also sit on the potty for a long time. She will just sort of daydream.

And she never seeks me for attention, unless it's in a game (like she's playing baby). However she'll hug complete strangers. She's in an autism group at school and an Aspergers group through social services and this helps a lot with having her use her words to explain things, and to stop and think about what she needs.


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12 Jul 2011, 8:54 am

When my daughter was little she used to avoid going to the bathroom until the last moment too. Eventually I discovered that it was because she was scared of the crocodile that lived down the sink plughole 8O . She's always had a croc phobia. I promised her that there was no crocodile down there and got her to have a look. She seemed satisfied. Later she came out of the bathroom in tears because I'd promised it had gone and now it was back. :? Finally I figured out that as the water goes down the plug hole, an air bubble forms just under the middle hole. It looked like an eye to her: the eye of a crocodile and it was watching her. :lol:



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12 Jul 2011, 1:50 pm

My daughter is exactly the same in both respects. She's 5 1/2 and awaiting ASD assessment.

She's never wanted cuddles or to sit on my knee, squirms away from kisses and will hardly take my hand. Occasionally she'll say something like 'You're the best Mummy in the whole universe' or 'I love you so much' and that means an awful lot.

As for toileting. She was dry, day and night, by 2 1/2. But, she still waits until she nearly wets herself before going to the toilet. Usually this happens when she's engrossed in playing. I can tell she needs by the way she sticks out her bum and tell her she must go, but she still says she doesn't need. She's quite good at holding on and has very few accidents. I wish I had the answer to this one.



aann
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12 Jul 2011, 4:58 pm

My son never was affectionate when he was little. At some point I notice that and I started playing with him more with stuffed animals. They were kind of a link to affection. I "made" the stuffed animals tickle him and smooch him and stuff like that. Now he is very affectionate but usually in a silly, aspie, kind of way. We talk a lot about personal space. If we didn't, he'd probably be silly with others too. My rather NT family was never affectionate when we were growing up so I wasn't worried about it but I think the stuffed animal thing is helpful to my son.