What behaviors should change...if any...

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DW_a_mom
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22 Jun 2013, 7:27 pm

ohboy wrote:
This is what I was wondering. What are they NOT capable of working through? I want him to be who he is, but also encourage him to be the very best he can be for him.


That is and will always be a difficult call, because each child is different. We tend to assume 2 or 3 years behind peers on most skills, and some are permanent weaknesses. I feel like the best way to figure it out is to keep working with your child and really paying attention to him. Nudge but don't push for a little more, and observe your child's reactions. My son will go into defensive, cover-up types of actions when too much is asked of him, but I've watched him long enough to not be fooled. He'll rarely SAY we've asked too much; he'll usually act like he doesn't care or make some excuse to himself why he doesn't need the skill. And don't be afraid to let go and take a risk sometimes; I've let go a few times at the encouragement of others and it has been fine. Sometimes I do find my own fear of going backwards keeps me from seeing that my son really has matured. In those situations I try to spread a thin safety net no one sees and then, well, ignore my blood pressure soaring through the roof.

I also engage in near constant conversations with my son about these things. What he thinks he can do; what I think he can do; what he is willing to try; what I want him to try. When lots of things have been going well he's willing to take bigger risks; when other things have been rough he just doesn't have it in him.

And so on.

You'll never "know" in the moment, but you can sense, and then you have to act with confidence on your instincts, even if you actually do feel shaky about it.


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ohboy
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23 Jun 2013, 5:58 pm

Thank you again everyone! I'm in a hurry here, but have read through everything and will reply when I have more time.

One thing that stood out today was that we went to lunch after church with another family and the mom wanted to hear all about my son's camping trip. He could hardly look at her, mumbled, gave short answers. It came off as SO rude. She finally looked at me and said she didn't think he liked adults talking to him. He is under the weather, so he cam off even more rude than usual.

How would you handle this? I want her to know he's a great boy, but his personality was so off putting. Ugh.



InThisTogether
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23 Jun 2013, 8:59 pm

If this woman's opinion matters to you in the long run and you have some degree of trust in her, you could just tell her that he has some difficulties with socialization. Tell her it's hard for him and he struggles and usually he tries, but he wasn't feeling well that day. Tell her it wasn't her and that he wasn't being rude.

Although I found it was much easier to explain things when my daughter was younger. As she has gotten older, people seem less and less....ummmm...well, the truth is, she comes off as typical for the most part, so if I try to explain to them that she is autistic, they look at me like I am lying or crazy. So these days with her--and with my son, who's 11--I usually just make some kind of comment that they are having a bad day followed by "kids!"

The truth is, this misperception that others have about my kids is probably one of the hardest things about parenting an atypically wired kid. At least for me. In reality, its probably one of the hardest things about being an atypically wired kid. People can be very quick to pass judgment.


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ASDMommyASDKid
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23 Jun 2013, 9:28 pm

My son not "out" for a variety of reasons. When I feel I need to offer an explanation about things like that I say he is "shy." That usually suffices, and if it doesn't, I really don't bother anymore because I figure anyone who won't respect shyness often will not respect any differences and/or think they are B.S. I tend not to worry about such people.

When we have behavior relating to sensory issues, I say that he has issues with noises/or whatever. I pretty much describe whatever issue individually as opposed to outing the label. YMMV



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23 Jun 2013, 9:38 pm

Sorry for the aside...what does YMMV mean?


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ASDMommyASDKid
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23 Jun 2013, 9:47 pm

My fault for using it. :) Your Mileage May Vary

I include that when I remember, b/c everyone's experiences are different. So something that works for us is no guarantee to work for anyone else.



momsparky
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24 Jun 2013, 10:08 am

ohboy wrote:
Thank you again everyone! I'm in a hurry here, but have read through everything and will reply when I have more time.

One thing that stood out today was that we went to lunch after church with another family and the mom wanted to hear all about my son's camping trip. He could hardly look at her, mumbled, gave short answers. It came off as SO rude. She finally looked at me and said she didn't think he liked adults talking to him. He is under the weather, so he cam off even more rude than usual.

How would you handle this? I want her to know he's a great boy, but his personality was so off putting. Ugh.


In these situations, if it's someone who doesn't know my son's diagnosis - I often try to rescue DS; find somewhere else for him to be, etc. This is one of those situations where it helps to think about your child as being much younger than they are biologically: what would you do if this person expected a clear answer from a much smaller child? (I think the way most people handle that with younger kids is saying something about "shy," right?)

Your son is not rude, he's different. If people interpret his behavior as rude, that is THEIR problem, kind of like the people who judge people without a cane parking in a handicapped spot.



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30 Jun 2013, 9:37 am

I think it isn't enough to figure out how much the child can do. You said he came across as even more rude than usual, so presumably others are seeing him as rude. Which in my world generally means they remember and will speak about and act based on that perception. If you are lucky, the adults won't melt down, but that happens.

I find that it isn't enough to help the child. It is also necessary to give adults a way to understand the situation that will allow them to act with kindness and continue to offer your son opportunities to practice engaging with others so he can get some practice. Think about what would help if you were the other person. Many adults can be extremely supportive if they know there is a problem, not a diagnosis, they can help with. You mentioned problems with organization, if someone is at all inclined to be sympathetic and it is true, you could explain that he gets frustrated with himself because it's hard for him to find the right words but he loves to _____. Or something along those lines. Whatever seems appropriate to you.

It is worth so much if you can avoid adults tantruming over their perceptions of a child as attempting to provoke. I hope you can find a way not only to help your son grow, but to minimize the problems when adults misperceive the unintentional as intended.



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30 Jun 2013, 10:39 am

Quote:
For instance, giving affection. He's always backed into me for hugs and I've taught him to face me. He's totally uncomfortable, but he does it. He just doesn't give affection and I know it bothers him that his siblings do that so easily. I think he wants to, but can't figure out how to initiate it. Should I encourage him (or is it even possible) in this area? Meaning, one day he'll date or have a wife and I'm wondering how all of that will work. She will need a hug and kind words and without that, a marriage would be difficult. Am I making sense at all?


Forced affection is meaningless.

Teach him to show affection in a way that is comfortable for both him and the person receiving the affection. As for marriage, a good marriage for an aspie requires that their partner understand AS and know how to read the person's cues. In the future, both he and his wife (or husband if he turns out that way) will need to compromise and learn how to give and receive affection in a way that suits both of them. Hugs are not required - what is required is for both partners to be able to recognize the affection they are receiving.



02 Jul 2013, 1:01 am

good post....