New here (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2004
New here (m)
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Tue, 04-06-2004 - 4:54pm
I am new here...I have a child Dx with Asperger's (He is 11) & I am at wit's end. He is the son of my BF (almost my step son) & his father is even almost at the end of his rope. He is a terrific child & I love him dearly but I don't know how to "get through" to him that his behavior isn't acceptable, even at his "special" school. He just doesn't want to do what is asked of him school work wise. Any ideas would be very appreciative.

Marie

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Thu, 04-08-2004 - 10:15am
It sounds as if your school is being very accommodating and your son is still having trouble. Does he have a "safe" place to go when he gets stressed and starts behaving inappropriately? My 11yo can go to the resource teacher's room or up to the counselor's office and chill out. He also works with an occupational therapist who reviews and practices with Chris techniques that he can use to work through his stress and the need to have a physical release to his emotions. (using a stress ball, taking a walk, hiding under a table draped with a blanket--his cave, going to the resource room and pounding on a pillow, etc.)

Chris also responds well to having an adult "empathize" with his feelings, but still directing/guiding him to the appropriate behavior. For instance, his teacher might say something like, "Chris, I understand that it's very frustrating for you to take notes from the overhead projector. I know that it's very difficult for you to take notes. (expression of understanding and empathy) However, I need to teach the class using the overhead right now, and your behavior is disrupting their learning time. (expression of what the problem is) Would you like to visit Ms. X's room during the lesson, or would you prefer to listen quietly to the lesson at your desk? (giving him options) I will give you a copy of the notes from the overhead at the end of class so that you can study them (alternative to having to copy the notes from the overhead)"

We have found the Chris responds very well to having someone just "understand" his position. Sometimes, the scenario isn't as much in his favor, and he knows that there are times when he does not have a choice except to do what the class is doing. But by acknowledging his frustration and expressing that this is a time when there is no choice, he feels validated and is usually willing to comply, however sullenly. The teacher will say, "I can see that you are very unhappy that we are having a spelling test today. I know that spelling is difficult for you and you would prefer that we just skip this part of the day. (validation and affirmation of his feelings) But you do not have a choice--you need to take this test now. (expression of expectation)." Chris will usually sigh and say, "Well, I don't want to take this test, but I don't have a choice, so I will. But I don't have to like it."

BTW, we also employ this method at home. ("Chris, it's time for your shower. I know you would rather watch TV right now. That's a much nicer activity than bathtime. But you do not have a choice--you need to take a bath now, and watch TV afterwards.")

For this technique to work, the adults in control (and it's very important to be in control in a calm way and not an overbearing, dictatorial way--Chris HATES that) have to be willing to take the time to find out WHY the child is frustrated/anxious/upset about whatever is happening, then calmly empathize with the child and affirm his feeling as valid. Then offer either choices or no choice. For Chris, it makes a world of difference to know that his perspective is heard and acknowledged and validated, even if he can't ultimately get his way.

Wow! This turned out to be a novel, eh? I hope that this helps a little. Oh, and we didn't get to this point overnight. It took lots of trial and error, as well as maturity on Christopher's part. (He was diagnosed when he was 6-so we're old pros at this AS stuff.)

Feel free to keep posting and asking questions. This is a terrific board.

Elizabeth

mom to Chris, 11, AS

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Wed, 04-07-2004 - 6:35pm

Hi, (((Marie))), and welcome to the board!

~ Chelsea
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2004
Wed, 04-07-2004 - 4:04pm
Well let's see where to begin. . . .

He has been completely off medication for almost 10 months now & his energy is in full force (which doesn't bother me at all) what really gets to me is the destruction he does to his classroom at school when he is asked to do something he doesn't think he has to do. They make a great effort to taylor his day to him. IE: many breaks, reinforcements of his choice, writing FOR him on tests & assignments (so he just has to do verbal answers), but when he gets in what I call his "mood" he just tears apart everything. His violent modes have stopped almost completely. He still has his outbursts (which isn't going to change) & he knows what concequences await if he "misbehaves" at school. There isn't much problems at home. He follows rules or he accepts his consequences. I just don't know how to get it into him that school is just as important as home is to follow rules.

When things do go as he chooses them to he starts off by crying & when that doesn't get the result he wants he starts to yell & then throw things (doesn't matter what the object is that he is throwing or who he is throwing at). His father doesn't believe in mental therapy (as neither of us have had any sucess in dealings with that kind of doctor). They mainly want to put him on medication (which he uses to his advantage when he is on it (ie: I had a bad day because I didn't take my medicine)).

Hope this helps some.

Marie

PS Thank you for the welcomes :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Wed, 04-07-2004 - 2:18pm
I have an 11-year-old DS with Asperger's. Maybe I can help, if you tell me a little more detail about what's going on with him.

elizabeth

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 04-07-2004 - 1:36pm
I, too wanted to welcome you!

However, as Paula said we'd need to know a bit more specifics to give advice. In general, though, I'd suggest asking the school if they have a behavior mod psychologist on staff, as this type of approach may be quite successful. The one in our school district also has a private practice and offers her services for a fee for situations that arise at home.

I would highly recommend a discipline system in book form called *1-2-3 Magic*, as it is how I discipline my kiddo's at home with great success!

We've got a role call going under QOTW Autism Awareness month* if you feel so inclined to make an intro, and/or would like to know a little more about the gang! Also, take a gander through our old posts!

Again, welcome,

Sio

Who is passing you some cyber Easter bunnies made from great German chcolate!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
Wed, 04-07-2004 - 11:19am
Marie:

Welcome to our little cyber home! I'm sorry that I can't offer any suggestions, as my oldest is 6.5. However, I know that we have members who have older children who may have some advice for you.

Hang in there, join in our discussions...you'll find this place a safe haven were venting is welcome and cyber hugs are free of charge!

Amy

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 04-06-2004 - 10:23pm

Hello and welcome.


I'm afraid your question is beyond me. My son is only 5½. However,

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com