Need help to help a friend!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2003
Need help to help a friend!
6
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 12:46pm
Hi all! I really just need some help so that I may help my very best girlfriend. She is a single mom and stay-at-home mom of two (4 yr old daughter, 6 1/2 year old son). Her son was diagnosed with PDD two years ago. She started him in speech and occupational therapy then. He continues therapy but he is having a really hard time at school and my friend is having a really hard time dealing with it all. Her divorce was just final in April of this year, and her ex is basically a dead beat dad. My friend is being called almost daily to the school because her son is having break downs. She is hoping that this is the storm before the calm... Her son is in 1st grade and did pretty good last year in kindergarten. Just wondering what I can do to help her. Her son is at a stage right now where he just breaks down and screams and hits and pulls hunks or her hair out :( It is disturbing when we are out in public and he has a break down. I just don't know what to do to help?! Also, my (soon to be 4 year old son) picks up easily on behaviors. He starts to act alot like my friends son when he spends time with them. I don't want to stop him from being around my friends son but how do I nip the behavior he displays in the bum when he sees another child basically get away with it? I try to be as supportive as I can but it's sometimes very hard for me to keep my thoughts to myself even though I have no idea how I would deal with such a situation. Any ideas or helpful advice? Thank you all!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Mon, 11-03-2003 - 10:30am

You might want to explain to your son that your friend's son was made different.

~ Chelsea
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2003
Sat, 11-01-2003 - 9:34pm
Chelsea,

Thanks so much for your reply! My friend's son was in full-day kindergarten last year. He did really well but had to attend a new school this year for first grade due to re-districting. My friend has him in therapy 3 days a week that he attends right after school. I'm not exactly sure what the therapy is, they call it the "gym". He does have the dx of pdd-nos. He attended a program before kindergarten for 1+ years to make sure he would be able to function well enough in a public school. His main problem as of this past week is depression. The school conselor called my friend almost daily to have her come to the school due to her son's disruptive behavior. They believe that he is depressed and my friend is also noticing this lately because he doesn't want to leave the house. The school district has been wonderful but insurance is a problem at this point. Like I said in my previous post, my friend is recently divorced and it seems that her ex-husband is becoming a dead beat dad!

On another note, in my previous post I asked for advice on how to manage my own child when he comes home from my friends house acting out like her son does. My son is 3 1/2 (soon to be 4) and he picks up on the behavior that my friends son displays and does it here in my house. He doesn't understand that he can't throw things and scream and pull hair and get away with it. I sure don't want to forbid him to play at my friends house but I'm not sure how to react or discipline my child to make him understand that my friends son is different than him and can act differently than him. Any suggestions on this?

Thanks again for your helpfullness!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 12:46pm

Hi, pcmommy!

~ Chelsea
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 12:24pm
Actually, I'm not sure! You could post this question on the first general discussion board. Then you'd probably get a better response. I *think* they are similar yet different. Unfortunately there are a lot of the folks on this board who could answer that are now caught up in the So Cal fires! You know, I think this discussion has come up, so you could do a PDD search of the board. Also, have you checked out the website?

My son is actually the platypus of the bunch. He has a lot of autistic tendencies, yet he isn't on the spectrum. It's a long story. If you want to know, do a search on Liam. Anywho, I hope you stick with this! Just from reading your post, I can tell you the misconceptions you are voicing are quite common. It is often hard to see that a child on the spectrum just doesn't "get it" when he is being disruptive. So it isn't possible for a parent to get very far with the normal scolding. A ASD child may now his mother is upset with him, but have no idea as to why. They are very literal thinkers. For example, there is a boy with Asperger's I know who's mother told him to eat a banana before swimming. He saved the banana until right before swim practice. The coach told him not to eat the banana, and the boy got very upset! He thought if he didn't eat the banana, his mother wouldn't let him swim. Keep in mind this boy is 12 years old. This may not be a good example, but it is the only one coming to my mind!

Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 4:36pm
Thank you for the information. Is asperger's syndrome the same as PDD?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 12:32pm
I've been thinking a lot about this. Do you want to understand Asperger's better? If so, an easy to read, written for non-professionals book might be *Asperger's Syndrome* by Tony Attwood. It may make it easier for you to support her if you actually have some sort of understanding of what she is facing in regard to her child.

HTH

Sio