Gotta love their BLUNTNES!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    :redface:difficult child has a teacher and a para in one of his classrooms that drink coffee all day long. He has complained many times that they "stink". I finally got out of him what he means by that and he says they have stinky breath. We have come to realize that he finds "coffee breath" quite offensive. He has gotten into trouble because when they get close to him and talk, he simply says "You Stink!" When they don't back away he causes a scene and makes sure everyone in the room knows "They stink". Yesterday in class, he told the teacher to "get away from me with your stinky coffee breath!" He got sent into the hallway with the threat of having to go to the Principal's office if he didn't stop. On the way out, he lathered his hands up with sanitizer and said "There, now I have something better to smell!" on his way out the door. When he came back in the teacher and para avoided him and he worked quietly on the assignment.

    Then they sent an email to me, his SpEd case manager, and the principal. I simply forwarded it on to his school counselor that agrees that his sensory issues are real and that the staff are handling him all wrong when it comes to smells. She even suggested to me that maybe the teachers should suck on mints during that class. :bravo:I even CC'd the case manager and principal so they know the counselor and I have discussed this and that WE agree they are handling it wrong. Time for some TEACHER EDUCATION about sensory issues.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    At church today I had a long conversation with a man my age who has just been confirmed as having Asperger's. His therapist has told him that in his experience, adults his age with Asperger's generally have adapted and are coping, with one exception - sensory issues (plus some processing issues). The sensory stuff stays with them through life and they need to find ways to cope. With my friend, he has problems listening to people eat and drink, especially slurping coffee or tea.

    Sensory problems are very big and very real, for those who suffer. If the person also lacks social skills, then you will get the scenario you describe. What the staff need to do (other than sucking on mints!) is to model the right way to behave for him. "I'm sorry that my coffee breath is a problem for you, but there is a more polite way to say it. How about next time you say to me, "Please can you give me a little more space? You have been drinking coffee and I can smell it on you, I can't handle the smell of coffee."

    He needs to learn to handle his problem more diplomatically. But think about it - the staff are not responding with diplomacy, so how can he ever learn it? Of course he needs to learn to put up with coffee breath. But he also has sensory issues in there. He needs to find ways of ensuring his own needs are met, and he will learn to get more of what he wants, if he is nice about it. But it will take some positive experiences (doing the right thing and getting a win) in order to learn.

    So make it clear to the school - yes, he needs to learn to be polite. But they have to help teach him constructively, and not with punishment. And in the meantime, they also need to recognise the validity of his sensory problems, and not breathe coffee all over him!

    If you have trouble making the staff understand this, ask each staff member what he really hates, what really gets his hackles up. Is the teacher afraid of spiders? Is the teacher really upset by the sound of scraping fingernails on a blackboard? Then ask the teacher how he would feel, if a staff member always got his attention every time, by scraping fingernails down a blackboard. He might tolerate it the first time, but if it kept happening over and over, your tolerance wears very thin and eventually you would erupt.

    As with our difficult children, sometimes teachers need to have a situation made personally relevant, before they understand.

  3. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Before I met Marg I dated a girl who smoked. She was sufficiently fond of me that she gave up smoking while we were together.

    Now she knew that I would rather lick a dirt ashtray than kiss a mouth that had recently had a cigarette when she started smoking while we were on a date so I knew the relationship was over. Talk about dropping a hint from 20000 feet!!!

    These days (even if Marg did smoke) I wouldn't kiss a smoker. I have a REALLY strong aversion to the smell of stale smoke, for me it would be a deal breaker. Sensory issues NEVER leave you. A good psychiatrist can help with this and life experience will teach you how to learn tact. (Marg says I'm STILL learning.)

    Marg's Man
  4. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Coffee breath does stink! And I would not want to work with someone who had 'stinky coffee breath' either! I wonder if someone besides a difficult child mentioned this, if those teachers would listen. Sheesh!