Inappropriate facial expression

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    How do you deal with it???
    When V is being scolded or anoying someone, he has the bad habit of smiling. If I confront him, he just cannot stop smiling and even laugh all the while saying he does not know what' I'm talking about. He will even smile when saying sorry.
    It's like his face doesn't match the situation and he just can't stop unless I really lose it.
    I know it is a huge trigger for me, I used to feel like he was laughing at my face. Which acually he is, but I don't think he does it on purpose.
    How do you teach that one can't do that? That smile and laughs are for happy feelings, not for being scolded or apologizing? Specially since his understanding of feelings is so limited?
    This kind of reaction is not systematic, but maybe 75% of the time.
     
  2. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    And sometimes you just have to ignore it. I have had to learn what battles to fight and which one are too minor to bother with. Sounds as though it is really something he cannot control with all his issues. When I was in nursing school one of the things we were taught was "if you cannot change the behavior of someone you need to change your reaction to it". Hard to do and I know it. Your V is young yet and will learn things as he grows, I know my David who is also autistic does ALOT of things I don't like. Some...well, the ones I know he is doing on purpose get responded to with a consequence but ones I know he cannot control I have learned to ignore. Recently he has developed a tic...he is constantly clearing his throat and I mean constant. Pedi found nothing wrong and he will see the neurologist later this month. It drives me bonkers to hear it but I knwo he is incapable of stopping it so I just try to block it from my mind.
     
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My grandson does this and I do believe he has autistic tendancies though not diagnosis'd on the spectrum. He has inappropriate responses to social situations at times also. He has never laughed at us when we are trying to reprimand him though. We mostly just ignored the facial expressions when he was younger now we ask him if he is aware that he is smiling or say something like "this is serious so I hope you are listening". He is a relly sweet kid so he corrects it right away.

    Our easy child/difficult child used to laugh at inappropriate times and we would just say "this is not funny and your laughing is inappropriate in this situation." He was a pretty easy kid in that he didn't have melt downs or rages so we could do this. It helped him to learn appropriate responses to peoples emotions which I think is vital for them to be accepted socally.

    I do think that you have to take your child's temperment into concideration. You can teach emotion responses outside of the situation if they do not take correction well. easy child/difficult child got this in Occupational Therapist (OT) also.
     
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Rejectedmom, that is exactly my intent: teach him it is not acceptable to do that. I'm afraid he will do it outside of the house (peer or even teacher) and get in trouble for it.
    As far as reacting to it: I am working on it. I try to react to what he did, not how he deals with it afterwards (ie. a smile).
     
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    easy child/difficult child's Occupational Therapist (OT) had flash cards with facial expressions on them and my son would have to tell her what the child onthe card was feeling and make up a story as to why he was feeling that way. I found it a very direct and helpful therapy. She also told me to go through magazines and ask easy child/difficult child what the people in the pictures were feeling. I also did this with his picture books when I read to him. There are lots of ways to teach it. We just need to do it enough that it sinks in.

    Later on (there is 8 years between easy child/difficult child and difficult child) my difficult child had to use a mirror when he ate to teach him to be neater. He couldn't feel the food on his face. I often wondered if the use of a mirror would work to teach an autistic kid what each facial expression both looks and feels like. It would be a multi sensory approach so it might be very useful if used along with everything else..
     
  6. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    Your problem with V smiles reminded me of an incident with David. He smiles when he is happy, yells when he is mad and gives dirty looks and even mouths off pretty bad at times. His therapist (he loves her) is one of these positive approach to life people and reminds him that when he gets back to school (her office is less then a mile from school and appts are always during school time) to smile and have a positive attitude. Now when you tell him to smile rather then it coming from him naturally it is more of this HUGE GRIN. He walked out of her office with that huge grin, kept it on the ride to school and then when we got into the office for me to sign hin back in he said "Mommy, can I stop smiling now, it is hurting my face?. LOL
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is so priceless!

    It really is a part of their disability, I truly believe that. Remember the thread about how Q was asking how to make a smile?

    He has always laughed when people fall down even if they are hurt and he asks if they are ok in a nice way, he LOOKS like he doesn't care. People have said this enough that instead of his adjusting his expression which seems too hard sometimes, he started matching his comments to his face... saying not so nice things.

    There is a great website and I will have to look for it again.... I have it bookmarked on an old crashed computer and used it at work a lot. It has faces where you can adjust the characteristics of the eye brows, mouth, etc...to give the avitar different expressions. you can play games like guessing the feeling that goes with it etc. If I can find it I will add it to this thread.

    At times when you are not upset about this it could be fun to play face games in a mirror, kind of like charades... and you can narrate your facial expressions at times too... Q will actually ask me... Is that a mad face or a thinking face? Are you being serious or is that a kidding face. He really does not see it (autism yes, but also connected specifically to the area of his brain injury) Can you imagine figuring out the world by misperceiving facial expressions and not being able to regulate your own (and then having people be upset with you for that year after year???)

    But make no mistake, I understand it can be human to react and be upset... I have been there many times for this very issue.
     
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Hey! I know that website. The psychiatrist gave me the link after testing V. I actually put it in my favorites but I have not spent a great deal of time exploring it yet. Thanks for reminding to use the resources I already have access to! :)
     
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Another thing to toss in from my personal experience: sometimes it's literally a matter of laugh or cry. One or the other is going to happen, and I *hate* crying, so I will smile or laugh at inappropriate time to avoid crying.
     
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    HaoZi, it reminds me of my Grand Aunt:
    When she goes to a funeral, she is now real worried about being completely inappropriate as she has laughed uncontrollably in the past while everyone else is crying... She just cannot help it and it actually is her expression of sadness in this specific instance. But there is NO WAY to explain that when everyone is grieving!
     
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