Sharing Problems

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sharing Problems
2
Tue, 09-23-2003 - 3:41pm
Hi,

I have a soon to be 5 year old Aspie. He's a sweetie, massive anxiety, rigid behavior etc. However, I'm having a problem that I'm not sure if it's related to AS or not. He has these ride on toys that he calls "rigs" They are battery operated cars like PowerWheels. He loves them and has had an extensive collection since he was about 15 months old. It got so bad that he used to line them up all the way down our driveway and people driving by would slow down to look at all of them. He gets lots of comfort from them I guess. He likes to ride around the block on them. We used to have to do this everyday, particularly if he needed to calm down. Our problem lies in when other children from the neighborhood want to come play in our yard. He freaks out with a capital F. He'll scream and cry and tell them to leave his yard if they go near his rigs. It's gotten to where he won't let any kids in our house for fear that they will touch his stuff. I'm at a loss as to how to handle this. He gets so upset that he's frantic. When this happens I will try to explain to the other mom his difficulties and I can see on her face that she thinks Billy is a spoiled brat and I'm a crappy parent. I've also had to endure lectures that he's like this because he's an only child. I'm an only too and never had this problem. He doesn't have trouble sharing stuff that's not his, but he just can't seem to let other kids touch his stuff. It almost creates a phobic reaction. Even at the mere mention of it. I'm afraid that pretty soon we'll be sititng in our yard by ourselves because no one will want to play with him and that just breaks my heart. So I guess my question is is this typical of AS or is it something else? Thanks so much!

Jen

 

Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
In reply to: jengerl
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 2:32am
From what I've read and have seen, Aspies tend to be very egocentric, and have diffculties learning the proper social techniques that most of us learn. Seth is 11 and speaks very abruptly to people and sounds like a wisea** when he does. As he approaches H.S age we have talked about the fact that he is going to get punched in the nosed a lot if he doesn't learn to speak more appropriately. Naturally his behavior is viewed as being eccentric or worse by other kids his age so he doesn't have any real friends. He seems to be a little more generous with his stuff then what you have experienced with your son, and sometimes he is too generous. He will lend out anything of his to just about anyone who asks, and kids will take full advantage of his good nature. It might be your sons age that is causing him to be so possesive. It sounds as if the rigs are your sons focus and that might be why he is freaking. A very obsessive interest in a particular thing, usually mechanical or technical, is also a common Aspie trait. Seth's is Star wars and Harry Potter. Ask him any question about either of them, I dare you, lol. I don't know how much intervention by a therapist will help, never experiencing it myself as yet.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
In reply to: jengerl
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 5:16am

Jen,


Yes, this is behavior is rather typical of AS, however the severity of it, as you have described, is more indicative of AD (Autism Disorder) than AS. Something we often forget is that AS is the close-cousin of AD. Actually I've always felt that this discription is a bit off base. I see it more as a 'not-so-identical-twin' than I see it as a cousin. But when all is said and done, it does happen, more often than we would like to admit, that people with AS turn out to have AD level traits even though the rest are Aspie level.


My 9yo, Jade, is in the slim little gray area between HFA and AS. She is very high functioning but has a few traits that are very AD-ish. She also used to be that possessive of her things, and some ways still is. It has taken us years to get her past her rigidity in this area, but she is slowly but surely coming around. In her case though she has 5 sisters, so, she really doesn't have a choice, she has to share at some point, like it or not. But we didn't just toss her to the mercies of her siblings to get her past it, we implemented some very direct behavioral therapies.


The first thing we did was to make sure she understood exactly what was hers and what wasn't. Once she was used to the idea that not everything belonged to her we started introducing new concepts of ownership. In the 'not mine' category we taught her what community toys were. These are toys that are owned by a group (in your case that would be the whole family) that are there for the specific purpose of sharing with others. We brought out an old trunk that we kept just inside the garage door and filled it with toys that other kids could play with. She decided to call this the Guest Box. When in choosing what would go into the Gust Box we made sure that she understood that she shouldn't put her obsessive favorites into it b/c that would mean that she is giving forward permission for anyone to play with them. That being said, her Barbies ended up in the Guest Box while her radios ended up in her room. Her