Mom, what time is it?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Me: It is almost 3 o'clock.
    V: No, what time is it ?! (annoyed by my answer)
    Me: Yes, V. It is almost 3 o'clock.
    V: I want to know what time it is NOW! Not what time it will be soon!
    Me: It is 2:48... sigh....

    I had never realized how concrete, litteral and sort of narrow minded V really is until recently. Now, I notice it everywhere and all the time.
    I would bet that 70% of V's issues stem from being litteral and 30% from getting "stuck" on stuff. Which I wonder if the two are actually kind of the same problem.

    We have a new therapist/counselor who comes to the home. He seems to think that consequences and time out will solve the tension in the family. :groan:What?? I don't think so.
    I was really looking forward to this therapist as he would see the dynamic at home and constent tension due to V's way of thinking. But so far, not exactly impressed.
    I told him I would try but was not hopeful. I have not used a time out once since he came 10 days ago! Not because things are perfect, but how can I punish V when he does not understand what is asked from him and therefor does not comply or ends up annoying his brother???
    I'll give you an example: we were all cleaning up our woods. husband had the chain saw and the kids and I had to pick up the branches and put it in a pile. There were LOTS of branches all over, meaning lots of choice when it came to pick them up. Yet, V would not pick anything and would wander around or run for the branch that Partner had just picked up in order to take it to the pile himself. I had to show V which branch he could pick up and then show him where on the pile he could set it. I had to repeat the process EVERY single time. Very aggravating if you ask me. BUT V was not being oppositional, he just really did not know what to do without very specific instructions. Add some sensory issues with the chain saw running on and off... Just difficult for V altogether.
    So what? Was I suppose to put V in time out when he grabbed Partner's branches a few time?? How would it help him learn anything?
    V was just thinking "Oh, great. Now I know this specific branch CAN be picked up". He was NOT trying to be mean to Partner.
    What I really want: teach V to be a bit more open minded in his thinking.
    I don't know how to do that. And I don't believe any kind of consequence or reward system will help him learn it. Or am I wrong?
    There has to be a system that actively teach in a neutral way. In way that does not include failure or success. If that is even making any sense.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I wish I could help. Eeyore has that same absolutely literal thinking. I 100% agree with not punishing him for trying his best even if he does not get it. Eeyore's self-esteem is so weak because of his rigid thinking and the near constant failures it causes.

    He's a little young for CBT but in a year or so you could start with a Stinking Thinking type program.
  3. isis

    isis New Member

    I totally agree with you, punishment would be horrible and the reward that works the best is his own feeling of success when he gets it (i.e. can find a branch and help). In our house we for awhile had 'child time' and 'adult time' as all 3 of my kids were stuck on the explicit exact time and I tried to explain that adult time was rounded off because that's how we see it. They all thought that was hilarious that adults always get the time wrong because they round off. But some kids are of course way less flexible thinkers than others. I think what you are doing is what will teach him flexibility in thinking, i.e. patiently parenting in the way that you are, it is just a slow painful process. Maybe after 10 times of family clean up time and showing him painstakingly which branch to pick up, he will on the 11th or 100th time do it himself. I think NOT punishing him or shaming him in any way so that he is continues to be free to try without fear will help.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It's tough. difficult child is very literal and concrete. If you say you are leaving the house around 4:15, he starts twitching if the clock says 4:16 and I'm still not ready to go. I have tried to say to him, "Around 4:15 does not literally mean exactly 4:15. It could be a few minutes earlier, it could be a few minutes later." He struggles with it. There is no gray in his life. Everything is either black or white, which makes it very hard for a mom who does alot of "gray", if that makes any sense.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow! That sounds very Aspie to me.... was there a previous Aspie diagnosis?

    As I recall, one of the difficulties with Aspergers is the inability to extrapolate. I remember reading about specific therapies used to help teach Aspies and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids this skill.

    Sounds like you have the wrong kind of therapist.
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Well, V is on the spectrum with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified for now. The evaluators said it probably would change over time and become Asperger's as he gets older (never had language delays and actually could talk in complete sentences by 12months old). They said that see it a lot with little guys having first Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified when they are still very young.
    I am too thinking the therapist is not a good fit. I wonder if we can "salvage" him if I make the situation real clear to him?
    There has to be some kind of method for kids like V, he is certainly not the only one with these kind of challenges.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If punishment would work, Q would never have a behavior problem today! There have been a**h*les in every setting who have done this, suspensions, missing out on recess, parties, lunch room, etc. NEVER worked, and only made him feel badly. I fought hard against this stuff. One psychiatric had him go to a book and move tokens from one side of a page to another saying some better word each and every time he said something inappropriate. The neg words increased and physical started. Sooooo frustrating.
    There are many books esp. Under aspergers searches on teaching skills.

    I do make sure I give ranges I can keep instead of a time and Q is good after years of this at being more flexible on some issues. He will say, " so it could be X but maybe Y too, right mom?" It will pay off but takes time. That said there are typical naughty times and some points where understanding or not he is removed. I'll say since you are not being safe we need to leave...... or, we can't go to X because you're having trouble using appropriate words.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Some years ago my mom gave me a book written by a dolphin trainer. I cannot remember if it was a parenting book or a book written to help you be a better manager. I know she meant it as a parenting book, but being a business professor she often found ideas in less than traditional places.

    To train dolphins you CANNOT punish them. They won't respond to you at all and if they are in the wild they won't ever come near you again, at least not in a good way. They remember more than a dog does and they DO hold it against you. So dolphin trainers have to find ways to shape their behavior without ever scolding or punishing. If I can remember the name of the book or if my mom can, I will post it.

    I don't think that punishment will get you anywhere. I don't think V is being defiant or ignoring you or the directions. I do think the therapist is interpreting his behavior this way. in my opinion the therapist needs as much training as V does if he hopes to work with kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or any other autism spectrum disorder. Focus on breaking tasks down into components. Work first to help V identify what a branch is. Then to identify if he can pick it up. Then where branches are put. Then how to get to that place. Then taking the branch to that place. THen how to put the branch on the pile (on top? this side or that side? Standing upright or laying down? Laying the same direction or angled or perpendicular to the other branches?

    Break things down to the smallest pieces. Give him a reward for every step. You can make it a raisin, a bead, a penny, an m&m, whatever. If praise is what he responds to, use that. I would work on those things long before I would use time out. Reward what you want to see, ignore the rest for the most part. Make those rewards as tangible as possible so he can SEE them. If praise is what works, get him a little notebook, something pocket size and put it on a lanyard he can wear around his neck. Get those teacher stickers or stamps that say good job, wonderful, etc.... Give him one every time he completes a step. Later you can give him the rewards less often, but at the start of a new task you need them for every single little step.

    Read some books on dog training. Very few advocate any kind of punishment. Look for episodes of Dog Town on youtube or netflix. It is a show about a no kill sanctuary out west and they show the trainers working with dogs and bringing them around. They NEVER use punishment because it simply doesn't work. I fail to see why we should use more harsh methods with our kids than our pets. I think we are human and sometimes a punishment is needed, but also that we would get a whole lot farther by ignoring anything that isn't truly unsafe. I don't know if I could stick to that all the time, but it is a goal and it works with animals. You can search for "Dog Town full episodes" on youtube to find some of the episodes.

    I don't see ANY reason to punish V for something he isn't capable of doing. You wouldn't punish him for getting a sunburn instead of a tan, and at this point he probably has about as much control over that as he does over the tasks the therapist wants you to give him time out over.

    I know our kids are not dogs or dolphins. I do NOT mean to imply in ANY way that they are. It is just another way to look at changing behaviors, and it is a much kinder, gentler way than focusing on punishments. Especially when you have a child who is UNABLE to do what you are asking. This therapist may be good at his job, but he isn't good at the job of helping V, at least not with this approach.
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    You guys really confirmed what I felt in my bones. I do use punishment once in a while (usually a very disaproving tone and a quick tap on the bottom. But that probably is another debate!) but I have to say: both my boys are pretty well mannered, specially if you keep V's challenges in mind. Sweet Pea is learning all that at only 2, so it is another story and distraction and removing her from the situation are my main methods.
    Yesterday, V snatched the last drinakble yogurt from Partner's hand and ran as fast as possible to put it in his backpack (snack for later). Partner protested that he had it first and I intervened telling V that it was not an appropriate behavior.
    V claimed he had it first, I then told him that it was not true since I had witnessed the scene and I knew Partner had it in his hands.
    V went into tantrum mode. And V shouted that he never got to have one of those yogurts for snack before and he really wanted it. Of course, he is jumping, screaming, crying all at once and quite abnoxious in his behavior. I focused on what he was saying and told him that the right thing to do was to tell Partner exactly what he told me and see if Partner would then give him the oh so precious yogurt! V is still shouting that Partner will say no and his anxiety is spiralling.
    I repeated to him what was the right thing to do (crossing my fingers that Partner would say ok V can have it) but warning him that he might have to deal with a flat no from Partner. V proceeded as he became calmer and Partner said yes! Once V was completely calm I asked him to apologize to Partner for his first reaction. We then all moved on.
    Yes, took a lot of work (patience!) but V went off to school on a good note and *hopefully* learned something along the way. Punishment would have accomplished nothing in this instance.
    We se the therapist to night, I'll try to talk to him 1 on 1 at first.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah for partner! Hope he gets a big secret reward, lol! He sounds like such a nice boy. You must be proud of him. Good for V pulling it together and turning it around.

    So how IS Sweet pea? Has her speech improved? Funny, Q.was desperate and at a loss for words.recently (amazing! Usually blurts whatever!) And he reverted to the sign language he used when small. It was surprising.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh, well done! Do you hire Partner out for consultancy sessions? :) I could certainly do with a human teaching tool for J...
  12. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    LOL. Actually yes: during the social group ;) and I know they also "use" Partner at school as a buddy for a severely Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kiddo (at least every now and then).
    Our family is indeed so blessed to have Partner.
    As far as Sweet Pea, gosh! She deserves a whole thread of her own! lol
    I do see progress in her language but her words are very incomplete. She leaves out lots of syllables. I need to translate what she says to other people and even husband.
    But she is so funny, even with very few words, she will tell whole stories. She mixes words, signs and whole body re-enactment and lots of facial expressions to go along. It is quite the experience to witness one of her story telling.
  13. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    This kind of events reminds us how truely brilliant and amazing our special kids are! How much inner drive they really have to over come their challenges. It is so easy to forget it sometimes, at least I tend to forget it...
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I learned long ago to never end up with "one" of something left.
    You handled it great - I probably wouldn't have been so swift, which is possibly why I simply avoid getting into that situation!
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Don't know if it will help - but I remember that one of the exercises for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) was teaching that there was more than one correct answer.

    For example:

    Can you find a stick? (If necessary, help the child identify a stick.)
    Good job!
    Is there anything else that could be a stick?


    Try and tell the time three different ways. Such as:
    It is 2:45.
    It is also quarter-to-three.
    It is also "almost 3 o'clock".
    It is also almost time for such-and-such (a certain TV show, for example).
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you! I like DFs Q and A examples.

    My son still can't tell time very well on a regular clock. He can do on the hour, half hr, and fifteen min, but that's it.
    Also, he LOVES to argue, so if he asks me the time and I say, "It's 2:58," he'll say, "That's not what it says on the microwave. You're looking at a different clock."