I'm stuck & need suggestions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I actually have 2 different issues with easy child/difficult child. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

    1) easy child/difficult child has always (since he was very young) been a physically "needy" child as in he needs lots of hugs and physical contact. Lately, he has gotten worse about it with difficult child. Because of his "need" and difficult child's huge personal space issues, we have always had a rule at our house about asking the person's permission before touching them (yes, even me just to be consistent). He was doing much better but the last 3-4 months have been awful. They will be goofing around then, when difficult child has had enough, he tries to walk away. easy child/difficult child will grab on to him and want to continue playing. difficult child will tell him to "LET GO". easy child/difficult child doesn't. When I tell him to let go, he gets defensive and says "we're just playing". When I point out to him that difficult child doesn't want to play anymore, he gets upset and has a mini-meltdown (by the bar difficult child set). I get that this might be related to the suspected Asperger's or an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issue (nothing officially diagnosis'd yet but both are strongly suspected) but it is causing huge problems.

    2) I have tried using Plan B with easy child/difficult child but I get nowhere. When I ask what's up, he says he doesn't know. I give him time to think but he still doesn't have any idea. When I make suggestions, he says no to all of them but, while most kids eventually come up with SOMETHING, easy child/difficult child has nothing. How can we make any progress when he really seems to have NO idea why he does anything he does?

    I think I am getting closer to difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 every day.
  2. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    I'm wondering if they are twins? Both boys? Could it be that one is becoming more independant, self aware and more mature - maybe seperating a bit or pulling away and having/making friends of his own, and the needier one is not and is becoming anxious about losing the closeness they may have had in the past? First thing that came to mind at that age... Puberty next.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have had this with easy child 2/difficult child 2. She would grab me at the most awkward moments sometimes, demanding a hug. And if I said, "I can't, back off, I'm chopping onions and I might lose a finger," she would get upset with me and go sulk.

    I do think (so does she) that easy child 2/difficult child 2 is Aspie. the physical contact thing - inappropriate. So it still fits with poor social skills.

    In your case, the perseveration on the physical contact thing is interesting (and again, same as what we went through). We could not stop her doing this. We kept working on it though. We found when she was in medication-teens, she did finally begin asking, "Is it okay to give you a hug now?"

    I have seen her with her friends (now all adults) and it's interesting - one girlfriend in particular, Italian background, will cuddle with easy child 2/difficult child 2. They both seem equally tactile. I have seen the girls curled up together on the couch, cuddling and talking, while their husbands are chatting nearby. The guys seem to accept this about their women, that they need this physical contact sometimes. SIL2 is also a cuddly guy, thank goodness, and if it causes problems for them that easy child 2/difficult child 2 is a cuddly person, I haven't seen any signs.

    Maybe what you need to say to easy child/difficult child is, "Don't touch right now." Not "the game is over" because it is connecting the clinginess with the game. There needs perhaps to be a broader, "hands off!" message, followed by, as soon as possible, a hug when you (or whoever else) CAN comply. With easy child 2/difficult child 2, I would finish chopping the onions and then call out, "Can I have a hug now? The knife work is done with!"

    Mind you, the neighbours might have found the sound of this disconcerting...

    Life is never dull when you have a house full of Aspies!

  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    What about a timer for play time and not play time? Would that be acceptable to them both? Can you pinpoint a more specific reason easy child/difficult child has gotten more clingy lately? I know setting aside some "Mommy and Kiddo time" helps us, maybe you could do some kind of family cuddle time, like huddled on the couch for a movie together or something.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    My kids had a hard time with these kinds of limits until I found opportunities for each of them to see they each had their own individual limits and tehy want them to be respected - the golden rule with a twist, do unto others only to their limit or they will do unto you past yours.

    Does easy child/difficult child have any such limit? Noise, clutter, annoyance, anything which can be used as an example of when HE says enough, EVERYONE (in the family at least) MUST back off.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    MuM - yes twins, yes boys, yes difficult child gone playing alot, easy child/difficult child homebody, yes! puberty, jealous of services difficult child's receiving from county and school

    Marg - definite lack of respect for personal boundaries, very tactile, problem comes when difficult child has had enough, not an issue with me just difficult child who has many sensory issues and can only tolerate so much touch

    HaoZi - the length of time difficult child can handle easy child/difficult child's touching varies so it is hard, if they get along longer---yeah for all 3 of us, "need" for touch + sudden expectation of change in mindset = disaster
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    No such luck. The big issue is the (almost certain) Asperger's inability to understand how their actions affect others so he wouldn't make the connection yet.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There could be multiple things going on...
    Any time there is a change in family dynamics, there is a tendency for others to try to force the dynamics back to "normal".
    So, difficult child is changing... in this case, it sounds like for the positive.
    But, as a result, it affects how easy child/difficult child sees himself and his place in the family - and he doesn't like the change and/or doesn't have the skills right now to cope with the change... and so, he's pushing difficult children buttons on purpose to try to drag difficult child back down... not consciously, but quite effectively.
    If this is the case, a therapist can help sort through it.

    As well... these are twins. If one has a tendency toward depression, then the chances are high that the other will have that same tendency. Perhaps easy child/difficult child is suffering from undiagnosed depression or its milder but chronic version, dysthymia. This would also increase his neediness. Perhaps the therapist or psychiatrist could review this possibility. Depression can also be linked to perfectionism, anxiety and other mood disorders - the impact on thougth processes and perception of success/failure are affected by these mood disorders and can set the stage for depression as well.

    Just some ideas.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    He is seeing a therapist but refuses to participate but instead "hangs" on me and acts VERY immature without saying a word.

    difficult child's depression was the result of a horrendous 3 months at school (looooooong story). He is much better now that school is over. We are weaning him off the antidepressant and he is changing schools. We have suspected easy child/difficult child of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for several years now and have only recently realized the whole picture and see some serious Aspie traits that I was oblivious to but were definitely always there. therapist is a Ph.D psychologist and we are starting some assessments on easy child/difficult child to figure out exactly what we are dealing with.

    My suspicions are Aspie + difficult child independence + jealousy + wanting "normal" back. I'm just not sure how to handle it.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He may be very bright, and knows that even just opening his mouth is going to mean that HE is going to have to change. And he is very resistant to change right now. been there done that - but I don't have any real solutions. I'm surprised that the therapist doesn't have anything more creative to try... like art therapy? Something - anything - to get him expressing himself in some way.

    It's even harder because you are a single parent. Do you have a strong support network? Sometimes it helps if you can "divide and conquer" - have one person doing x with difficult child while someone else does y with easy child/difficult child. They may be maturing at different rates, and need to spend more time apart. But you can't split yourself in two, to do this!

    Sending {{hugs}}.
  11. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    Good morning TeDo,

    aspie + Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) aside - perhaps it is time for him to have a bit of a "life of his own"? Developing interests that are not his sibs' interests, maybe something that builds self confidence, people skills, socialization skills. Sports? Self defense - is a great confidence builder and also is in [most cases] a very traditional, respectful, mentor/sensei setting/relationship. If he is not into physical activities [although I find them very valuable in wearing them out mental and physical so they can sleep better and rest], perhaps something in the creative arts, extra curric. activities, creative writing, etc etc. Something that is all him and not his brother so he can build his own identity.

    How invasive is his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? Is it part of the reason why he is a homebody? Does he tend to get stuck?
  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks Insane. My support network is this board. My family doesn't see ANY problems with easy child/difficult child (difficult child is the only problem and his problems are my fault) so they don't see the need to help in any way. On the other hand, as critical and judgemental and negative as they are, I would rather they not be around any more than they have to. difficult child has services outside of the home and has many friends so keeping them apart more isn't a problem. easy child/difficult child has only 1 friend and that friend has other friends so easy child/difficult child is home much more than difficult child. But when they ARE together, we have problems. I think you were right in that easy child/difficult child is having a difficult time with difficult child "having his own life". That makes total sense to me.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    MuM, his interests are acting (but he didn't get a part in the community play this year) and playing the baritone sax (which belongs to the school and is locked up for the summer). He watches TV, plays video games and likes to be on the computer. You wouldn't believe the effort it takes on my part to get him doind anything. I am not convinced he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Now that the Aspie signs have become much more obvious to me, it is most likely that. He is a homebody because he won't do anything without his friend. If his friend is doing something else with someone else, easy child/difficult child sits home. Writing is a problem because he is not a "creative" thinker. He is very concrete. I even wish he "could" have more than one friend at a time, give him some choices.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm just trying to be creative... what other kinds of activities can you expose him to, that might bring him in contact with others (chance to make friends), and/or perhaps become another self-defining interest.

    For example, have you ever tried getting him involved in photography? In particular, the digital cameras... because it becomes both an outside interest (you have to get out of the house to take pictures in the first place), and then becomes a different activity to do with the computer - sorting, titling, etc., then figuring out how to edit for various effects, etc.

    You mentioned bari sax... and yes, you won't go buy one (i know what THOSE cost!), but... you could look into a summer rental - even if its just for a month, he can get back into the swing of it again before school starts.

    Do you have Big Brothers there? They can pair him with a volunteer who can take an interest in him... here, they give priority to kids from single-parent homes.

    Just some ideas... We know what its like to not have the supports... and/or negative supports.