tdocs for kids on the spectrum?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    My difficult child, 11, on the spectrum, has plenty of issues that need working out (abusive situations at past school placements). But he absolutely will not speak to a stranger about this. He only will talk to me about it in short bits and if I ask too many questions he becomes very annoyed. We were at a psychiatrist appointment. last week and his level of anxiety was so great he appeared severly autistic (rolling around on her couch, hiding in his shirt, pacing around the room, making noises, screaming) and as soon as we were out of the office on the way to the elevators I just looked at him and said 'that was pretty embarrassing' and he sheepishly said 'sorry' and then we had a nice conversation about where we would go to lunch- back to normal.
    So, do other kids on the spectrum go to tdocs? I just can't imagine mine 1)being able to sit for more than two minutes to talk about his issues
    2)being able to not act like a maniac in the presence of a stranger
    3) even his in home 'therapist' can't get him to open up about stuff, other than a few comments here and there
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Talk therapy may not be the way to go. You may want to look for a therapist who does play or sand therapy as a way to get the ball rolling.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ditto Heather. Wee difficult child sees a play therapist and they have a good relationship that started with a lot of Legos and their weekly "exercise session".
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Play therapy is the way to go.

    Both of my boys "play" with their tdocs. Eeyore has advanced to the point that he talks to her while he colors. Tigger still mostly just plays but he does occasionally talk to her. It takes time.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion spectrum kids don't respond well to traditional therapy. They need (again my opinion) interventions with people who can show them how to behave. They don't always give a hoot about why they should behave. They need to know how to behave more than the psychology behind it. I always went through our autism society to find therapists because regular talk therapists do not "get" spectrum kids. They are not mentally ill. They are not deliberately defiant. Their brains are wired differently. They perceive differently then us. Regular traditional discipline doesn't work with them. Talking to them plainly in a very concrete way works best, and because they have a communication disorder they tend NOT to talk back too much or share too much because they don't know how to put things into words, even if they have good vocabularies. in my opinion you won't get much from a traditional therapist for a spectrum child. They need their own brand of specialists. I think play therapy is a good idea if your child will engage in it. My son, at sixteen, would not. He'd think it was babyish. At 11, he may still be open to it.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    MWM - I think your 16 year old might enjoy play therapy. While Kanga is not a spectrum kid, she often refuses to engage in traditional therapy so they do play therapy with her. She plays basketball and shoots pool with her therapist.
  7. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    My son did play therapy with his therapist for 10 years on and off. The last time he went back into therapy we tried having it part play and part talk and he wouldn't do it. I'm not sure if it goes along with being on the spectrum or if it's just difficult child, but he absolutely will not talk about feelings. If I get a "I feel good" or "I'm mad" I feel like he's had a major break through, but know better than push if he doesn't immediately respond to a follow up question. The school is pushing wanting him back in therapy, but until we find the right person it's not going to happen. We thought about going back to previous therapist, but after getting together with her, psychiatrist, and difficult children case worker decided that as we had tried talk therapy with her before and he clammed up as soon as he walked in the door that we need to find a new one. It's been three months looking and still haven't even come up with one possible I don't know if we will find him/her.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    These kids don't have a lot of 'feelings' words. My daughter has tested gifted in vocabulary nationwide, but until recently she couldn't express her feelings. It was mad, sad, happy, but with no good way to explain it or why.

    If he won't go for play therapy, try to find someone who does sand therapy. It's used for adults, as well. And, who doesn't like playing in the sand?
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    They don't always give a hoot about why they should behave. They need to know how to behave more than the psychology behind it.

    That's for sure!
    Our therapist uses real-life example for our difficult child. For eg, difficult child loves baseball, so therapist looked up a famous player online just b4 our appointment, and found one who had been arrested. He used him as an example of something that difficult child was doing. difficult child was VERY interested. If therapist had merely told difficult child it was a bad thing to do, it wouldn't have worked.
    As my difficult child grows and matures, he is starting to "get it" in regard to morals and other people's feelings. It's very slow going but it can be done.

    Interesting that your son reverted to autistic behaviors last wk. When we first started seeing our therapist many yrs ago, difficult child huddled and cuddled next to husband on the couch and curled up like a baby. He never said a word to the therapist, not even hello. It never occurred to me that he was behaving autisically. I just thought he was embarrassed and immature and that it would take several sessions for him to open up. He finally did and it's been worth it.

    Play therapy sounds like a great idea, though, for your son. Can you give him some Clonidine or Xanax b4 an appointment to take the edge off the anxiety?

    Gosh, 70 lbs of wt gain on Abilify is frightening. So sorry.