New to This Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2003
New to This Board
3
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 5:17pm
Hi,

My name is Nancy and my oldest son, Dalton, is 7 years old and has AS.

There have been some major changes for Dalton this year and he seems to have come thru OK. In January we relocated from Indiana to Florida. He is attending a much larger school here then in the past. To help him with his adjustment they placed him in an autism classroom for most of the day. He is in a mainstream class for 45 minutes every afternoon for social studies and science (both subjects that he enjoys). He also goes to lunch and specials with this 1st grade class. Next yr we have decided to try him in a mainstream 2nd grade with him going out to the Autism class for math. He is also going to be in an intensive reading group for help with his comprehension (his school devideds up all the kids into reading groups by abilities). His vocabluary comprehension is excellent. He scores into 3rd grade. I am hopefull it will work out.

Dalton has started to act out at home with his younger brothers, Dylan 5 and Garrett 3. He has become more physical with them, well mostly the 5 yr old. I wonder how much of this is brother stuff and how much is AS. He is also begun verbal taunting. He calls everyone names, including myself, DH and his grandpa. I have tried explaining to him that this is neither nice nor acceptable, but I dont seem to be getting thru.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

nancy & dalton

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: ddgmom
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 4:22pm
Hi Nacy, welcome to the board. My dd, Ayla (PDD), used to do the same things in regaurds to the name calling and taunting when she was 8. She's 12 now and no longer does most of that stuff. Some of it IS the sibling rivalry, but it tends get out of hand in Aspies.

Ayla used to trip her sister, Sammi, when she was doing something like carring a cake. She rarely did it when Sam's arms were free or she was carrying something like blankets. It was pretty much always when she was carrying something delicate. And the bigger the mess or the harder Sam had worked on it the better. Ayla would pinch Sammi (who is younger) and Corina (who is older) with one of those full muscle pinches that usely causes bad bruising. She would take toys from Jade (who was a baby at the time..and more severely autistic) for the specific point of sending her into meltdown. then she would laugh when jade was crying so hard she couldn't breath (Jade has incredably weak lungs from being born over 2 mo premature). Sahe even laughed when the ambulance was summoned because we couldn't get Jade to start breathing again. Alya was, to put it mildly, very mean for about a year and a half.

During this time Ayla would also call people names, back-talk adults and babysitters, refuse to do as she was told, etc etc etc. We attributed her uncontionable behavior to the pre-mature onset of puberty, which WAS happening with her (kinda hard to miss the fact that she needed a bra). but now I'm not so sure about that. For two reasons. First, I've heard this story repeated in other kids on the spectrum (most of whom were not starting puberty). Second, Jade is now 8.5 and starting premature putberty as well, but she doesn't do ANYTHING like what Ayla did. Oh sure, Jade has taken to taugnting her younger sister, Eva, a bit but nothing uncontrollable or violent. She is still little miss manners (as much as an Aspie can be) and she still shows apropriate respect to her elders. So I'm left to wonder WHY did Ayla (and other ASD kids) have this phaze? And that's what it was, a phaze. She stopped just as suddenly as she started and now she's a lovely young lady to be around again. (shrug)

But while she was having her phaze we had to set down some strict rules. But before we did that DH and I had to resign ourselves to knowing that we would have to say "Because I said so." more often than we would have liked. It became apperant that explaining ourselves to her was giving her to much control and that was feeding her problem. Also, my DH is an Aspie too and he said that when he was growing up it just confused him more when his parents explained or 'overtalked' a situation. He said it was much easier for him to deal with life when his mom said "These are the rules. If you break the rules you will have to answer to Dad." Now, you're probably thinking what I was thinking when DH and I first discussed all this 5 years ago. "It's not that simple". Well, I have learned that for Aspies it realy is that simple. It's NT's that have the need to overanylise things and try to understand the grey areas. Life got a lot easier when we told Ayla "You will not talk to me or any other adult in that manner." and when she sarcastically asked why we simply said "Becasue I said so." Of course she rolled her eyes and such. We even outlawed the word 'Whatever' in our house. To DH that word is as bad as taking the Lord's name in vain.

Here are some of the things we tell th kids when they act up that seem to help curb their behavior without having to resort to spankings: "When you act like that you are acting like a bratt. You're not a brat but you're making everyone think you are." and "If you continue to do that you will have to do it somewhere else. You are treating me(or Sam, or Corina, et) badly and no one wants to be around someone who treats them badly." Etc etc etc. The point being to use only breif explanations but ones that hit straight to the point, no sugar coating cause Aspies don't understand sugar coating. don't throw in the grey if REALLY don't have to. We revamped all the rules in the house to be black and white. If there were exeptions to any rule we listed them ahead of time. For instance the rule "Don't bother Mom when she's working unless it's an emergancey." became "No disturbing Mom when she's working unless blood, fire, death, possible death, or serious injury to living things are involved." This eliminated the constant "Mom, I can't find my shoe!" or "Mom, can I go outside?" They knew what the answer would be. "If you can't find your shoe then clean your room" or "No, you can't go outside because I'm working and can't go out to watch you.....and NO you can't go out by yourself". We also added things for the kids to think about when making discisions, like: "Ask yourself if this is something Mom would approve of. If the answer is yes then explore the possibility. If the answer is no then just forget about it." But the number one rule that has stopped numerous problems BEFORE they began is "If it's not yours then don't touch it." This covers everything from a sibling's toys, to Mom's oven, to a sibling's body. It's pretty hard to hit, kick, trip, pinch, or bite without touching. LOL.

Essentually, we delt with Ayla's phaze by endevoring to NOT over anyllise things. And eventually she seemed to outgrow the desire or compution to act out. Whether that was due to a hormonal change or she simply aclamated to the rules I don't know. But either way it worked.

Anyway, I don't know if I've helped or totally missunderstood the situation here because the Eva won't leave me alone and keeps distracting me. She has yet to fully learn the rules.

Peace,

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: ddgmom
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 9:11pm
OMGoodness Candes, your house is like mine!!!!! Do you know how many times I have to say "because I said so". We learned long ago the more we talk and try to rationalize the more irrational they get. I need to just end it with the I am boss thing and try to talk it out very concretely later.

Also, I say some things to the kids I would have thought very mean before. For instance, I never would have thought to say to my kids, "you are acting like a brat", "that was a mean thing to do" etc. But I have to be very clear. I have to tell them exactly which behavior is wrong and how it is wrong or they don't get it. I also do it very neutrally (or at least try to) and remind them that they are good kids and not brats, but when they act like brats everyone thinks they are. etc.

Then there are still teh days when the sitter is here and my kids are mooning them and farting on them (hehe). Guess what, neither of the sitters phone numbers work anymore. Wonder if she is trying to be rid of us. She also was a no show for our last scheduled respite.

Renee

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: ddgmom
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 9:21pm
Welcome Nancy,

I have been trying to respond to your post for a couple days and my computer (or kids) keep giving me problems.

Sounds like besides teh behavior, Dalton is doing well.

Visuals help for me as well as being very concrete. One thing I have used with good success is a written list of rules posted (phrased positively and covers alot). I pick a couple of really bothersome behaviors and focus on what is worst at the time. If I address to many at a time they get overwraught. I also have posted consequences for the behavior as well as rewards for good behavior. My kids enjoy a snack before bed. They like dessert, but we have opted to put desert after all evening chores are done and just before teeth and bed. Those that have earned it with good behavior get a treat and the others brush their teeth and off to bed. They can read quietly or play in their room. It is working well for us. The big thing is having it in writing cause my kids don't learn verbally.

Examples of rules we have used are "talk nicely to others", "keep hands, feet and objects to ourselves", "listen the first time", "be helpful" etc. Dave food steals so he has "Ask for food".

Renee

Photobucket