difficult child has a question regarding Autism

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by aeroeng, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    difficult child has been good lately and is trying not to be a difficult child. He still struggles with things that frustrate him, but is trying harder. This makes me happy. Later this summer difficult child will be spending a week with husband's sister and her family. difficult child cousin is about the same age he is and is autistic.

    difficult child has always been patent with the fact that his cousin is a little different and is one of his cousin's few friends. But, difficult child stated that his cousin sometimes just starts hitting him and can't understand that it is now time to stop. He complained that when he talks to his aunt, she simply takes the cousin home. difficult child does not want his cousin to go home, he just wants him to stop hitting. He is also concerned that while he is at the cousin's house, they can't just leave.

    I told him to ask his aunt for advice before the hitting starts, as she understood his cousin the best. But what do you guys think? Those with kids on the spectrum what would you tell your child's friend to do to prevent or stop the hitting?

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well I can't speak for other kids. But with Travis, any sort of rough housing play fighting sort of play had to be under adult supervision. Travis never knew when he was going over board with such play nor could he tell when it was time to quit. Being a boy I didn't want to tell him he could never rough house with other boys, I just made sure I was there to keep an eye out so things didn't get out of hand.

    Sounds like the cousin could use this same sort of supervision. I never really punished Travis when he got carried away.....especially if I could tell it wasn't intentional. Cuz he really just couldn't tell.

    Even as an adult I have to watch over him with younger kids. He still is unable to tell when enough is enough.

    It's great that difficult child can understand that his cousin is a bit different. But even knowing that no one wants to be hit on beyond normal type playing.

    I'd talk it over with the Mom before he goes. So she has the heads up on what is actually going on, and that it's not her son just being mean type behavior. That way he won't be punished, but still will be monitored to be sure he knows when to quit.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That's great that your difficult child is thinking ahead and planning. Very cool.

    I would definitely suggest supervision.

    Also, if he's alone, and his cousin is hitting him, he could say, "End of game. Stop." And walk away. Something simple. No "I don't want you to hit me," because the cousin won't necessarily care about someone else's feelings, won't "get it," so a simple, non-emotional command statement might work.

    Others here will have more ideas. (And better ideas!)
  4. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I agree with supervision and definitely your child being able to tell his cousin to 'stop', but beyond that for your child to actually get up and walk away and/or have a distraction plan for his cousin, ie. give the verbal prompt 'please stop', get up and separate, and immediately suggest a different activity like getting a snack, riding bikes, playing video games.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Daisylover gave excellent advice. It is always good to try walking away (he could go for a bathroom break to be somewhere the cousin can't get to him for a few moments) but it only works if the cousin doesn't follow him.

    I would give the aunt a heads up so she knows what is going on. She is more apt to react rationally if you speak with her rather than having difficult child do it.

    Your difficult child is a really neat kid, in my opinion.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would share what difficult child said with husband's sister, with emphasis on , "I don't want him to go home, I just want to know how to make him stop hitting." Ask his aunt for advice on what he should do.

    My strong recommendation - difficult child shouldn't try to step into a parental role at all, I found my autistics wouldn't take that at all, especially from another kid close in age. So developing a strategy ahead of time is the best way, especially if that strategy involves a combination of walking away and reporting the problem to his aunt. Not reporting in any aggrieved sort of way, just "FYI - he's hitting again, I have walked away for now."

    There might be another option of perhaps changing to a different game, after a short break. But te walk away could be of value - the autistic child learns tat if he hits, he loses someone to plau with. And it's generally a fallacy that autistic kids prefer to be alone - they often enjoy the companionship of others even though they often act inappropriately. THis desire to fit in and be accepted can be a really effective carrot.

  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is wonderful that your difficult child not only noticed the problem but was able to verbally express it to you and ask for help. He clearly sees his cousin as a fun playmate who is a bit different. Lots of kids would either give the other kid a real beating or refuse to play with him at all.

    Our kids have a leg up, in my opinion, when they begin thinking of other people and their problems. Yours really homed in on the problem then asked for advice to tackle the problem. It just shows so much maturity and caring that it touches my heart.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Nothing to add except I am impressed by your difficult child. That is awesome that he is willing to accept his cousin and still want to be friends with him. Having the rules set out ahead of time sounds like a plan. When someone says "stop, end of game" the other has to agree. Sort of like "T", or "base" which is what mansters friends did to indicate to others it as time to stop. It worked like a charm.
  9. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Thanks so much for the ideas! I knew I'd get good advice here! I made a list and will sit down with difficult child and go over it. Then we will contact his aunt and come up with a plan for working with his cousin before the trip. Thanks for the info!

    Susiestar said, "Your difficult child is a really neat kid, in my opinion".

    And, I must keep telling myself that. My harp playing, geologist, difficult child. Gets good grades, awards from school, always helps the neighbors and is the nicest kid to other adults (just as long as they are not his parents). Yet he can meltdown into the nastiest of explosions when he has troubles dealing with his frustrations. But, my stories don't compare with some of the ones posted, so I really am fortunate. Thanks for helping me to see that!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are different, but it sort of depends on where the cousin is on the spectrum. My spectrum kid would NEVER hurt anyone by hitting. He would understand you don't hurt people. He is more quiet than annoying to others and would stop his annoying behavior if somebody told him to. In fact, even if justified, it would probably hurt his feelings and, even at 16, he may cry. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) doesn't mean the child has to go overboard hitting or acting out and if I were the aunt I'd be watching him carefully. He may or may not understand the message your child is trying to give him, depending upon how "with it" he is. How socially aware. In my son's case, if you remove yourself as his company, he wouldn't much care as he can pretty much amuse himself and, after a while with one of his friends, kind of wants to be alone anyway.
    The aunt sounds like she pretty much is used to the behavior and feels it is easier to walk away than trying to stop him. She's probably warn out and maybe the kid rages if she tries to stop him.
    There is no one-size-fits-all answer with an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child because they don't always respond like "typical" kids. It MAY (just saying maybe) be best if aunt takes her son home once he gets out of control. It may be that it's his time to get away from people and calm down.
    This was a very difficult question. I tried to think it over carefully. I decided that it's really a hit-or-miss. Try things and see if anything works. If your hub has Aspergers, he should be a good resource for your son and can talk to him about it. Good luck.
  11. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three


    Where on the spectrum? kind of hard to say. Something's he does very well others not so. I don't believe he wants to hurt anyone, I believe he just does not understand. I also believe he is frustrated and sadden when forced to leave, and is not socially aware. For difficult child taking the son home is not a working option, because difficult child will be spending a little over a week visiting there. But I like the ideas of a signal to stop (stop, game end), then going to the bathroom, and coming out with a different activity in mind. Then if hitting continues have the aunt enforce a longer separation. Maybe go for a walk without cousin.

    As far as Hubby goes, he does not believe he has Aspersers, he is not sure it even exists, and is not interested in learning about it or getting tested. I, however, believe he is Aspersers. Even before I knew much about Aspersers when we were dating I would be confused. He obviously loved me very much, and I knew he would never purposely hurt me. So I knew when he did hurt me they were not intentional, but how could he possibly not understand his actions would cause pain?

    He is friendly and social. He has lots of friends and enjoys having a good time, but is weak on social clues. When dating I took him to one of my favorite movies, Herald and Maud. The movie is kind of strange and is about a relationship between Herald (a teenager) and Maud (about to turn 80). Maud teaches Herald how to live life, and experience things. That death is only part of the cycle. husband only saw the strange elements which focused on death and was totally confused as to why this was my favorite movie, because he knew I did not like slasher movies. He simply could not see any of the social elements which is what I liked about it. So even if he is a loving, caring father and husband he is little help. (I'll keep him anyway)
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster is more passive and wouldn't ever hit to act out BUT he would talk and talk ad nauseum and pester and annoy in other ways. Getting him to stop when he gets like this is a challenge but it can be done. Good luck! I sure hope this trip goes well.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, it sounds like the cousin is really low functioning in the area of social skills. My son knows when he's talking too much an annoying people. He'll say, "I'm being annoying, aren't I?"
    It will be hard for your son to be there for a week so I hope you can figure out something that works for cousin. Good luck!!!