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Louise
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25 Dec 2006, 7:33 pm

sandalwood wrote:
meanwhile, more symptoms present themselves. dh was straightening his shirt earlier and child said "ow!" - i asked what he meant, and he said dh's hands were cold.


Just wanted to check that you understand - if he's hypersensitive, he'll experience the world in a different way than you do; possibly a dramatically different way. If someone touches me with cold hands, it can physically hurt. If I hear a person eating noisily, it causes the same level of unpleasantness of sensation as you might get from, say, being repeatedly poked with a knitting needle. So while I agree that he definitely shouldn't be saying 'so and so hit me', a direct stare or a too-light touch may, to him, feel equally as painful and insulting as being physically slapped. (With that in mind, waving a hand to get his attention and then pointing to the sheet music might be a better approach than physically moving his head. Also remember that he might be focussing on trying to work out where his fingers should go on the keys, in which case moving his line of sight at that time would be a highly unwwelcome distraction.)

But yeah, have a talk with him about word use and what word should be used to describe what action. Explain exactly what hitting is, what the connotations of the word are, and tell him that while sometimes people will annoy him, they generally won't do it on purpose and that he needs to know the difference between 'she hit me' and 'she annoyed me'.

Good luck, anyway. I hope to read more from you - it's always interesting to hear about parents' experiences.



Louise
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25 Dec 2006, 7:37 pm

Fuzzy wrote:
sandalwood, I dont like having my shoulders touched. Bugs me. creeps me out. doesnt feel appropriate. It offends. I now tie it back to my blowups as a kid. Nowdays I take it with gritted teeth, but it still bugs me.

Even to see someone else get their shoulders touched makes me think "how rude!"


(Fuzzy, your post appeared while I was typing mine, but I just wanted to add that I have the same response regarding my shoulders. It also extends to my upper arms.



sandalwood
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25 Dec 2006, 8:06 pm

(apologies if this gets posted twice)

sorry, we're in the U.S. is there an equivalent here of Citizen's Advice? thanks for the advice btw.

hand-waving is a good idea. it seems like nothing sinks in no matter how many times i discuss things with him. each meal is a series of at least 20 reminders to pick up a fork and eat; he'd sit at the table all day without realizing it or caring.

i spoke to and sent a letter to the investigations dept. of the police (in an attempt to reclassify the report from inconclusive to unfounded, since my chances of avoiding prosecution seem better with the case unfounded.. though maybe it doesn't matter) and explained a bit about hypersensivity to touch. not sure whether it will fall on deaf ears, though.

the diagnosing doc basically said my child will probably not ever have appropriate reactions on his own. rather, we need to teach him to 'memorize' appropriate reactions. this physical hypersensitivity i guess was always there, but never saw it for what it was until i was accused of child abuse. at this point i want to repair our family (we have other children), work with my son, and do what i can to avoid this going any further than it already has. i'm a natural worrier and don't like this idea of just waiting to see if any more cops show up at the door.



Tequila
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25 Dec 2006, 8:29 pm

I thought you were in England and Wales - CPS stands for the "Crown Prosecution Service", which basically decides which cases are going to be prosecuted and which ones aren't.



hedley
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25 Dec 2006, 8:54 pm

Uh, disregard me, then - I thought you were from the UK all the way.



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25 Dec 2006, 9:07 pm

oh, sorry - my bad. CPS here stands for child protective services. its a government agency unrelated to police that investigates child abuse, abandonment, neglect, etc. case was deemed unfounded by them. its the 'inconclusive' (ie, no proof either way) by the police that has me on edge.



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25 Dec 2006, 9:45 pm

and because CPS is somewhat separate from police, they may act differently. They can remove children based on suspicion and evidence-not on conviction and/or proof.

I have sat down my son and explained just what "the cops coming over" means. I tell him the truth and the possibilities. I tell him that if cops come because they think I'm hurting him (or he's hurting us), we will be separated for a long time. I explain the difference between need and want, push and stop and other stuff.
My husband was taken into custody at age 8 because a neighbor lied and said he set a car on fire (the actual perp was 12). The neighbor had a grudge and there was no one to stand up to the cops. They put him in the back of a cop car and told him that he would go to jail and never see his family again unless he confessed.
This went on for a long time, an 8 year old in pjs. They didn't let him go until they actual firestarter was found. BTW, my husband had nothing to do with the incident, they were older boys that lived in the area.

These are the things I want to avoid.


BTW, have you written steps down? Like the steps to playing piano (eating), reminders, schedules? Maybe holding up a piece of paper would help your son, rather than verbally nagging him.



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25 Dec 2006, 11:15 pm

sandalwood wrote:
the diagnosing doc basically said my child will probably not ever have appropriate reactions on his own. rather, we need to teach him to 'memorize' appropriate reactions.


He probably shouldnt be in school then.



Louise
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25 Dec 2006, 11:24 pm

Please note that while I have some experience of Asperger's syndrome (myself, my father, my brother and my cousin have it to varying degrees), I'm not a qualified psychologist or an all-knowing fount of wisdom or knowledge, so take anything I say as being only possibly applicable or helpful.

(I thought I should probably add my own disclaimer.)

Regarding the eating thing - two things you could try are either leaving him to it for as long as he wants to sit there (my brother took absolutely ages to eat when he was younger - it wasn't that he wouldn't do it, he just took his time about it), another is to have a set (but reasonably long) time limit, and if he's not finished by then, the table is cleared anyway and he'll have to do better next time. Be careful with that method though, as if it's a case of him just being a slow eater the only answer might be to give him more time. But if you get him used to you continually reminding him, you risk it becoming a cycle that will end up frustrating and annoying you both.

There's somethng else that I've been wondering whether to mention or not, as I'd rather not word it wrongly and end up sounding pretentious. But anyway. Essentially, your son's brain is wired differently to yours. And, while it's great that you want to help him to be the best person he can be, as all good parents do - there will be some things that either just won't make sense to you, or just won't make sense to him. How you get around those will probably be ... interesting, and as he gets older there might be some that you'll end up having to agree to disagree on. But I've come across parents who are convinced, even if it's on a subconscious level, that they can 'fix' their child, and nobody has told them (or if someone has, they've not believed it) otherwise. When I was younger I spent a long time, in parallel, wondering when my mum (who's been terrific) would finally click into place and start thinking like me. We've both discovered that while I can try and teach her to think more logically, and she can teach me to understand NTs, the most we can do is help the other in improving what they are, rather than turning them into something else. So while you can work with your son (and by all means, do!) to help him become the best person possible, the best approach to take with it will be making sure you're finding out the best person _he_ can be, aspieness included, rather than hoping to find creative ways to make him the same as, or a close resemblence of, an NT child his age.

And I have no idea whether that made any sense at all, let alone whether it will be helpful, or if I've destroyed my credibility as a sane and communicating person ... but there you go. Just a shot in the dark to try and phrase something that was niggling at me. Cheers for reading.



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26 Dec 2006, 1:11 am

sandalwood wrote:
oh, sorry - my bad. CPS here stands for child protective services. its a government agency unrelated to police that investigates child abuse, abandonment, neglect, etc. case was deemed unfounded by them. its the 'inconclusive' (ie, no proof either way) by the police that has me on edge.


In my defense, I thought this was your problem all the time. Child Protection Services. AND, I was basically saying you should make sure that the case is a mark against THEM(the teachers) as opposed to you, and that THEY know to treat your son right, and that your son will hopefully express himself better in the future. Otherwise, this can happen again, and CPS(the US organization) DOES have a record of acting WITHOUT proof. They probably won't do it with one incident like this, but certainly could, and it grows more likely with every accusation.

I actually understand how he thinks, and how he feels. I wish I could explain it, but lets just say that he takes it as an afront, and he may feel it for the rest of the day.

Frankly, they shouldn't be doing that anyway. If it is a REAL accident, and they apologize, he will likely feel a lot better.

CPS doesn't understand the idea of sensory attenuation or hypersensitivity. You can TRY to explain. You probably should. Don't expect any sympathy from them though.

Steve



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26 Dec 2006, 10:16 am

good advice, thanks all. i agree about 85% that he shouldnt be in school and have been looking into a homeschooling program since this happened. the drawbacks, as i see them, are that i work fulltime (albeit mostly from home) and have other children to take care of.. and i have to think being around other kids and -learning- about appropriate socialization will help. maybe i'm wrong about that?

and that's right, U.S. CPS can more or less do whatever they want. apparently, so can the police. i've talked with him several times in the last month about hit vs touch, just doesnt seem to sink in. he can be in tears all day over a head cold - anything the least bit off turns into the world falling in. i assume therapy may help him see these things in a different context, but am not sure how to convince him to stop telling people at school that his parents and brothers assault him, or stop telling strangers who come to the door that his nose is stuffy. i'm patient, but he really doesn't "get it." this is something you've seen before?

the eating thing has always been a struggle, and its not just eating. doing homework, getting dressed... without constant reminders he'd stay in bed till noon, then run wild the rest of the day. i know they say kids eat when they're hungry, but his appetite doesnt seem to kick in appropriately either. as it is we've resorted to yogurt for 2/3 meals simply because it doesnt have to be chewed. my parents think we dont discipline him enough and this is all a game to him. my gut says no..

as to making it official against the teacher, possibilities include filing a police report (tho i'm loathe to destroy anyone else's life this way), making a call to CPS or a complaint with the district. 2 people are involved.. his main teacher sent him to the counselor's office and he's the one who actually filed the report. per my son, said counselor asked leading questions which my child agreed with, he tends to see all things in black and white - but i imagine that would be very hard to prove.



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26 Dec 2006, 11:55 am

sandalwood,

Get PROOF that they asked leading questions! In a case like this, that can even be evidence of a felony! I'm not saying try to get them into trouble, just clear the report, and possibly get evidence of the history of future accusations. You are NOT supposed to ask leading questions! NEVER, not even of an adult in a court of law. There are three other DEFINITE times you shouldn't, that are relevant here!

1. When a kid is below a certain age
2. When the kid doesn't communicate well
3. When the kid has a development disorder

It could be argued that all three apply here.

If you ask the wrong questions, or the wrong way, they can be THROWN OUT! MORE than that, it COULD be used to taint future accusations. If you can get evidence, MAYBE they will have ended up doing you a favor!

Police can be NASTY! One HARASSED my mother into saying incriminating things AGAINST HERSELF when she wasn't fully lucid, and NEAR DEATH, after SHE was broadsided by a van! She was being placed on a stretcher, and taken to an ambulance. We worked HARD to clean up his lousy report. At first, they didn't even want to show it to us. Had that report gone unchanged, she would have had to pay for the person that hit her. I saw the damage, and HER REAL story is consistant with the facts. The other sides story doesn't explain the pattern of damage, etc... If I was a police officer at the scene, I would have interviewed THEM, and possibly JAILED them for filing a false police report and perjury.

Anyway, if you can even get evidence that they asked your son leading questions, that should at least clear things up. As for what your son says? I don't understand the relevance of the stuffy nose statement. I can understand the rest if it happens all the time. Try to respect his space, let him know you do, and try to explain everything to him. Heck, I once looked up in the phone book, and almost called CPS myself, for my case.(Hey, that WAS over 33 years ago, so hopefully I can mention that here. My mother was guilty of extreme emotional abuse verbally. I doubt ANY of the AS people here would have liked it. HECK, YOU probably wouldn't.) My mother stopped me only by saying that I would be taken away, shuttled around, and probably end up someplace worse.(Even THEN, I thought long and hard about it.) BTW That only happened once.

Though true, I say that here only to let you know how far he could go, etc... You really do want to nip it in the bud. BTW he is probably not a bad kid. He may end up being the nicest one you will ever meet. SERIOUSLY! He just REALLY doesn't like his space invaded!

BTW My avatar looks kind of odd, so I'll explain it. It is Number 5 from short circuit. He wasn't expected to exist, people originally thought he was dumber than he was, he REALLY wanted to learn, had interests, was playful and tried to get along. He was altruistic, etc... Unfortunately, everyone tried to take advantage or hurt him. That is ME! That even may be your son! BTW Number five was always willing to help out his friends, EVEN to his detriment!

Steve



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26 Dec 2006, 2:01 pm

With the little I know about US ev law (disclaimer applies here double and thrice!) and other stuff, I would say asking leading questions outside a deposition may not be a nice thing but doesn't look like a felony to me. All it does, I guess, is to invalidate the statement, but (1) it is a privileged occasion, and (2) even if a teacher/counselor extracted an incorrect testimony from a child/vp by leading questions, is quite probable that they will not be liable under ANY heading, unless they've acted with malice express or implied.

Also, proof of leading questions is a damn hard thing to obtain, esp. if it was a 1:1 interview. Leading questions have a relevance ONLY in a court of law or as far as depositions are concerned. It may fall under hearsay, but that's too much of a mess to decipher for me, plus I don't know whether you could be charged by a federal or a state offence (I don't get the US system at all).

Hopefully you'll be all right.

P.S Why do you want to make a claim against the teacher? He/she has, as far as I can see, done nothing 'wrong' (doing inconvenient things is not the same as committing wrongs) with examining a potential complaint, and has the same defence you expect to have for a claim of having 'hit' your child.



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26 Dec 2006, 4:50 pm

It BECOMES a felony when you use it to file a false police report, etc... You're right, it IS hard to prove. If you can.... As for hearsay, you're probably right, but it would probably still be admissable here, because it DOES tell how other evidence was arrived at.

The law is a funny thing, ESPECIALLY when dealing with something like the CPS!

Let me tell you how it works.

A doctor(or even school nurse) could find an unusual scratch, etc..... Maybe it is simply an unusual symptom. He decides it is his duty to report it. He reports it, and it may get to CPS. If they can't explain it and it is bad, the child says his/her family did it, or it's suspicious, they could be AT THE HOUSE WITH THE POLICE to pick up the child. The child could be in foster care that day. I HAVE heard of just that sort of thing happening a LOT. That is the scary part. SOMETIMES, they may pick up ALL the kids! There ARE valid reasons for being able to do that sort of thing, but they have a history of overreacting with incomplete information.

BTW they are like bounty hunters. To a degree, they are above and beyond the law.

Steve



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26 Dec 2006, 6:45 pm

right, cps has a very odd range of powers. in this case, i dont know who was actually called, police or cps - i think an 'anonymous' report to CPS who called the police. police went by the school where the principal (who knows my son a bit) tried to tell them it was probably nothing but of course they cant listen... so cop came to the door, i explained as much about aspergers as i could, then got a letter later saying report was 'inconclusive' - despite the documented disability of the child, all reports of this nature count as "he said she said". cps came about a week later, i explained again the situation, and was verbally told the case was closed as unfounded (perhaps i should doublecheck that).

the scary thing about cps actually taking your kid is that you only have 2 chances after that to get them back before they can terminate parental rights.