Maybe this board will understand better?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Maybe this board will understand better?
Sun, 08-03-2003 - 11:06pm
Hi, I haven't posted on this board in ages but certainly have posted here before, and on the autism board. and the parentsplace autism board. I apologize in advance that this will be somewhat long. My son's diagnosis is HFA, but after 3 years of therapy, at almost 7 years of age, he's quite verbal . . . and though he's not an Aspie diagnosis-wise, he now appears more like one. I now sometimes feel out of place talking about his issues on the Autism board(s) because I know a lot of people would be SO grateful if their kids could talk. And mine talks . . . he talks incessantly now because he's been reinforced for it . . . he talks MORE than a typical kid, although he's very repetitive.

Today I took him & his sister to the mall to get some school clothes for her. He already got his school clothes. On the way to the mall, he started asking for a toy at the mall. I said no. He kept asking, asked a hundred different ways, whined all of his usual whines "That's not fair! Why is it always fair for you and not fair for me!" (These are practically verbal stims they are so rote.) And, an interesting remark "If I don't get a toy today, I'll never get another toy again!" I tried to show him how that wasn't true, but he was getting more and more upset and worked up, crying, panting, just all in a lather about it. His 4 year old sister thank goodness was being very subdued and I think actually felt sorry for him because he was so upset. I told him we could pick out a toy to put in his treasure chest (he gets to pick a toy from a treasure chest for a certain number of clean and dry -- yep, it's still an issue, especially if he doesn't get his fiber supplement) days, or for eating his food for a certain number of days (yup, we have to bribe him to eat, he hates to eat). However that wasn't good enough for him. He couldn't deal with not picking out a toy at the mall for himself to have right then.

By the time we got in the mall and he was still upset, whining and crying, I was pretty fed up. I felt like smacking him (which I would never do). I fantasized about smacking him and wondered how he would react. I had long since told him if he didn't stop, he wouldn't even get to pick out a toy for his treasure chest (prize supply) -- and, sure enough, after warnings, he didn't stop, and I told him OK, no treasure chest toy even. He was just inconsolable.

Somehow he let me realize that the need to get a toy had gotten stuck in his head (like a song gets stuck in your head) and he couldn't get it out. I felt sorry for him. I thought about what it must be like to be him, and remembered he wasn't doing it on purpose, it was the autism. Then I told him we could spin the idea out of his head and I picked him up and spun him around a lot and that actually helped! He felt better after! I imagined what I would say if someone came up to me in Old Navy and told me I couldn't spin a child in there -- I was going to calmly say "He has autism, this is how I calm him down." I mean, what could they really say to that?

Anyway, I wasn't sure I could tell this tale on an Autism board, so I told it here, hoping you all could relate. Do you have kids who perseverate and go on and on about things because an idea gets "stuck" in their head and they can't get it out? I am now sufficiently worked up about this concept that I am going to look up ideas for getting "stuck songs" out of heads! I'll let ya know what I find! I actually read something about that once and flashed on it when I realized today what was happening to my son. I think you're supposed to do something to shake yourself up to get a song out of your head -- so I'm hoping it would work for a spectrum child with a stuck idea as well.

I'm always on the lookout for things I can teach my son so he can calm and center himself when he gets upset because of the effects of his autism. He gets SO inconsolable and so worked up. Any and all ideas for getting kids "un-stuck" would be greatly appreciated.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 3:40am
Oh Tigs, of course you can post here about your son! You can post here anytime you want. Over the past year the things you've had to say(both here and on Autism) have been immenseley helpful to me and my family. :)

Wow, stuck in the head stuff....we've talked about that a few times here over the last few months. It's so important to keep an eye on what we're doing on a regular or semi-regular basis to make sure our kids don't form routines they really shouldn't have. I've made the same mistake MANY times, and I'm sure I'll do it again at some point. A few months I became accutely aware of my 8yo dd's (AS) routine involving a certain TV show. We had to go out one evening to go to an awards cerimony for our homeschooling co-op and she got so flustered over missing her show that she started to hyperventalate(sp?). ya know, it's kinda funny, DH got her past it by tossing her in the air a few times (she's very little for her age) kinda like how you spun your ds around in the store. I think the key is to come up with something somewhat overwhelming and immediate to distract them from doing the Aspie Twitch. After that night I spent a few days making sure to schedual things that she reaaaally liked to do (like bake cookies) at teh same time the show was on. The third night she said "OH! I forgot to watch my show!" and starteed to get upset. I just asked her if she had fun anyway (we had played with shaving cream that night) and she said that she actually had. Of course, she argued about how maybe we should play with shaving cream ealier in teh evening so she can watch her show. **sigh* But we did eventually get her out of the TV show routine. I normally wouldn't have minded, she has a show she watches every morning, but in the summer we find ourselves being out of he house until as late as 10 at night. I didn't htink it would be fair for her sisters if we always had to be home in time to watch the Amanda Show and miss out on things like watching the sunset from the top of Mt Diablo or going to a co-op BBQ.

Yes, yes, you can deffiately post here. Infact, give me a few days.... I have some questions on the GF/CF I wanted to ask you, I just can't for the life of me remember what they were at the momment. Of course, as soon as I get offline I'll remmember, so I'll write them down. :)

And if you find any great tips on breaking accedental routines please, PLEASE share. Maybe someone else here has some more advice, I don't think I was much help, LOL.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 9:05am
HI Tigs! I remember you visiting when the board first started too. I thought

your name was very unique and that helped me remember it. Glad to see you


I immediately had a visualization about the 'spin it out of your head'

theory... I pictured a world of people spinning in rewind, as if it

was one of those old fashioned tape players. If you spin it far enough it

comes completely off the reel. To get those songs out of our heads....

Remember as kids how we used to spin in circles to get dizzy and fall

down? Now we have a better excuse. I may have to try that at work

when I get a Barney song in my head

I used to pick my kids up next to me and do a few spinns when they

were crying about something (usually something they wanted and coulnd't

have) and they would think it was so fun and then keep wanting to do it

again. I did this until I could find or think of something else to do

to keep their mind off of whatever it was.

When Tim was a baby, it seemed like he had to always be in motion

(was anyone elses child like this?) If I wasn't moving him, he had to

be in his swing or the car. Seemed like when things were quiet he

couldn't sleep. We kept a radio, then later a tv in his room or else

he would of been sleeping in the living room.

He's 12 and we still have the bedwetting problem. He's gone a week

dry so far because he realllllllllly wants to go to this

overnight thing with the church. He gets left out of so many things it

breaks my heart. Here I am signing Sean up for Football today, Lacie

up for Gymnastic/Cheerleading, and Tim......nothing.. but, later

the special olympic stuff will start back and that will

be his moments. And It will be while the other kids activities have

subsided so it will seem to be "His Moment".

Whenever Tim is throwing a fit about a toy, if I try to make

a deal with him so he can still have it later.. and he throws another

fit, and I say..Ok, you can't have it at all then. He will wait until

it's not convienient any more and say "Ok, Ok.. get it now and I'll

earn it out of the treasure chest"... we could already be miles from that

store by time he says it.. and he would expect me to turn around and

go back and get it... So I may try to remind him of that next time

this came up... "Remember last time when you wouldn't agree with me, so I

said you couldn't have it at all? We got real far from the store

and you changed your you want that to happen again?

Tim takes so long to answer something. even when I rephrase the

question. I usually have to look at his eyes to get my answers.

OOPS, I probably got long

Anyway.................Welcome back Tigs! Hope to see you around.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 9:41am

This isn't really a solution for getting something unstuck from your head. This is what we have done w/ our 8 y/o son b/c he always wants a toy when we go to the store. He would beg & beg & beg & beg & beg & have a big ol' tantrum or run off and hide under a rack of clothing & pout if I said "NO"

So after several times of leaving the store before I even got to shop, this of course made him happy that he didn't have to be shopping but also made him realize that he wasn't going to get a toy.

After some time we told Justin that if he wanted a toy he would have to do some chores around the house so he could earn $$$$ to buy his own toys. We had tried this at 6 & 7 y/o but he would have no part of it. But for some reason this time (he wanted one of the new Lego Bionicles really bad) he wanted to earn the $$$$. So, DH showed him several times how to take out the garbage and put a new bag in the can. Now he asks (every 3 seconds) "Can I take the garbage out? Can I take the garbage out?" LOL

We also have him do other simple chores, this way he is successful and doesn't give up on doing chores. He cleans up his room every Sat. (even tho it's never a big mess, b/c he is afraid to go upstairs & play alone) he also gets a bucket and goes around and picks up weeds that we pull from the garden(if there are no bees or wasps in sight LOL). We find other things here and there and he usually will do them on the spot. The key to this is to have change on hand and pay them as soon as they are done with each chore, Instant Gratification!!!! That's the only way it works with Justin. (pssst….. don't over pay at first just to make them happy or you'll go broke, we only give Justin a quarter for taking out the garbage since it goes out several times a week, at first DH wanted to give him 75 cents until I reminded him how often the garbage goes out, LOL It's amazing at how happy a quarter will make them and how fast they add up)

Sorry this got long winded.

PS - my son talks more than most kids too!! To the point of us being exhausted! (yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak ) LOL

Good luck


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 8:01pm
LOL, Tim does that too with the trash and he will ask over and over to take

it out. (mainly so I'll buy him a honey bun to eat before bed). Since

he can't keep up with quarters I just let it add up and help him find

something to spend it on. He's been getting coloring books alot lately.

He talks constantly at times too, the questions over and over. Try

going to the movies with Rebecca
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 10:16pm
LOL - Some days if the garbage is fine he asks "Can I clean something to get some money?"

Sure no problem, clean all you want. It's funny how I couldn't get him to lift a finger when he was 7, now all the sudden he begs to do chores. It's kinda cute.

Justin either puts the quarter in his pocket and admires it all day or puts it right in his bank.

Yes, I know how going to the movies goes. Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak

Or when we rent a family movie Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, (me pausing movie) "Justin stop talking & watch the movie" (me unpausing the movie) Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak Yak (me pausing movie) "Justin stop talking & watch the movie" (me unpausing the movie) Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak Yak (me pausing movie) "Justin stop talking & watch the movie" (me unpausing the movie) Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak Yak (me pausing movie) "Justin stop talking & watch the movie" (me unpausing the movie) Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak, Yak Yak LOL


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 3:00am
Don't overpay . . . wish I would have thought of that LOL. When my son begged for a certain baseball team hat (and I knew he'd soon have a collection of every major league team's hat because that's how he is when he gets started), I told him he had to earn the $12 to buy it. I foolishly gave him $5 for watering -- $2.50 for the front yard and $2.50 for the back yard (the grass and all the plants and trees). I'm LUCKY that after he earned the hat he forgot about it! I've simply got to price any other chores I come up with lower.

He's kind of obsessed with money, actually, loves to play Monopoly and Life, and is always asking what he could buy with $300,000, $9,000,000, or whatever figure comes into his head. He's been saving loose change in a money jar since he was a toddler and now has $136 or something; he wants to buy a boom box. Geesh! And the little guy's 6.

I could relate exactly to what you were talking about, about asking to take out the trash -- that's EXACTLY how my son is, exactly. Once he starts doing something, it becomes an obsession, a compulsion, a necessity, a stim . . . .


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 3:02am
Yikes! Where is the yikes icon! Constant talking! We are starting to get that, too. After years spent teaching him to talk, he now talks TOO MUCH. And he doesn't know when to stop. He is causing trouble in school talking (he's in first grade). Oy. This disease!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 4:25am
Oh, I hear ya on the 'don't overpay' thing! I made that mistake with Jade when she was 5 and it took me 2 years(!!) to correct. I had orriginally given her $2 to help her elderly great-grandmother pick up oaktree pods (we call them stickies). I had never spent a lot of time around oaks before and I had no idea that the large ones (like we have) drop around 300 per-day. She got in the habbit of picking up 'stickies' 3 times a day and then expected to be paid $2 for each time. And that was just to start! ditto the OY! She figured that if it took her this long (20 minutes) to pick up all the stickeis and it took her that long(30-40 min) to sweep the porch(big porch) then she should be paid $5 for the sweeping(which she did every morning). YIKES! That's $11 a day. I don't even get paid $11 a day for MY chores!

But, no worries, she now gets paid .35 cents as a 'wage' for certain tasks now. Each task is assigned a point value and she gets paid 1 wage for each point. The average task she does now earns between 3 and 6 points, though sometimes she gets an extra point as a bonus for efficient work or gets docked a point if she tries to get out of doing it after agreeing to do it. The tasks are aside from her normal chores (make bed, pick-up toys, help with table, dishes, etc).

And, ooohhhhhh, isn't graduating up the spectrum just *great* sometimes? You wait sooooo long for them to make progress, you work with them, pray for the, do everything you can possibly think of, and then you wake up one day and realise your world has shifted to the opposite extreme. Jade didn't say her first actual sentence until she was 4 and the other day (5 years later) I had to intervine when she was trying to interupt a police officer while he was proforming his duties......and all she wanted to tell him was that she liked his shiny badge. OY!! Thankfully the officer had a clue and instead of getting mad at me over it he thanked me and commented thathe thought I was doing a good job with her. (Yes, my feathers fluffed over that. LOL)



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 7:48pm
Oy is right! Sometimes with the constant talking my ears actually hurt. Doesn't matter if you walk out of the room he keeps on jabbering. Most of the time it is about something I absolutely don't understand, like some Lego thing or cartoon. And all the questions why? how? where? what? on and on and on. I can't believe his tongue doesn't get tired. I have begged and pleaded with every psych we've seen to find a cure for (as I call it) "Diarrhea of the mouth", Justin thinks it's a hoot when I say that.

When we go to visit relatives or something he talks their ears off, they just giggle & shake their heads and wonder how we still have our sanity" (some days I don't)

Most days I just tune it out! I can't wait for school to start!!! 1 more week YOOOOO HOOOOOO my poor ears need a break (I pity his new teacher) LOL


Avatar for rissc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 9:31am
Hi Tigs!:) I don't think I have any helpful solutions but I understand where you are coming from. Some days those neverending loops are enough to make *me* want to spin out:)

Tim has a problem whenever we go anywhere to do some shopping. Something that we bought for him once is brought up again and again as he wants to repeat it so badly. It is hard to take some days when he goes over and over the same thing. When it comes to wanting things, toys or candy. If he wants it badly enough, he has to cough up the money. Just recently, he was desperate for Piglets Big Movie. He paid $5 towards it and got it. He was happy to part with the money as he loved that movie so much.

Tim calls these repetitive cycles a wiring problem. He rewires his brain and he's calm again. It is literally, him standing still and he concentrates(I dont' know what on..he's calm and thoughtful looking) and then he says he has rewired his brain and he's fine again. I used to distract him by swinging him, too. It was all I could do to help him find some balance again. Right now, we have lots of tears and a bit of anger when he is desperate for whatever it is he thinks he needs to have.

This is one of the many hard things to watch. I can't bear it when I know Tim is in pain and I can't do anything to help him through it. He has to find the way as I can only suggest.

Oh, I should add the talkativeness is quite amazing when it happens:) Tim is usually quite quiet but when he decides he has something to out!:) I love it when he natters as he has such interesting things to say. I am constantly blown away when he talks to me about his feelings. It is something that I've been determined to help him with as I can see he is awash with emotion but has difficulty expressing it. God, these kids are amazing! I think I will always be in awe of their intelligence and their incredible way of thinking.