Other parents/friends of mine do not understand my child.... HELP PLZ

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Megs87, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Megs87

    Megs87 New Member

    I have been on here for a while now but havent posted in a while.

    My 8yr old has High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorder. She loves to always be surrounded by friends and loves making new friends, but she is not very good at keeping them. I am still learning myself on how to help her with this and also be her voice. I am having trouble sorting through what is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or sensory processing disorder (SPD) related or what is "typical" kid actions that need punishment and or guidance. (I really hope I make sense here.) I am going to try my best ro explain a recent event that went down with my daughter and her best friend. It's going to be long so please bare with me. I just want to make sure I give you all the facts to understand what I am asking. Lol

    So my daughter has 2 close friends. (Ill refer to them as "friend " and "friend 2") But like your typical girls there is always drama. Her 2 best friends do not really like each other. We all live in same neighborhood. The other day my daughter was playing hide and seek with her brother, "friend 1" and another kid from the neighborhood. (((I hate this game because my child is not very good at it as far as accepting it and will get really upset when found. She is extremely competitive but also very insecure! all games played are more than just a game, they are a huge deal to her. She takes them all very serious and competitive))).. my daughter knocked on "friend 2" door and asked her mom (a very good friend of mine) who answered if she could hide in their yard. She was given permission. "Friend 2" hurried and finished her food to run out to play with her friend who is hiding in their yard. Not knowing at all who my daughter was playing with or hiding from. She runs outside and towards my daughter hiding spot at the same time "friend 1" is rounding the corner. My daughter got upset and went way to far with her actions. She was in "friend 2" yard hiding and went off very rudely to her. Said mean things because she was convinced "friend 2" purposely gave her hiding spot away to "friend 1". She was set off by that I hated it for "friend 2" because she was verbally attacked by her friend that was using her yard to hide from another friend she doesn't get along with.
    I made my daughter come home and I talked with my her and tried to make her understand how wrong that was and why it hurt "friend 2" feelings. I know what my daughter did was a brat move and needed adult intervention. What I am upset over is i know my child. This was not a premeditated attack to rub in "friend 2" face that she was playing with "friend 1" she was just being selfish and wanted to use a spot in their yard. I truly believe she believed she could do it without "friend 2" even noticing. I completely understand "friend 2" and her mom being upset about it. Who wants to see their daughter treated that way by a friend in her own yard when all she was doing was running outside to play with her friend. Her mom was telling me how messed up it is that she did that on purpose and had to rub it in her face like that. Though I understand her frustration I truly believe this was a result of her not processing being found very well and her "friend 2" was caught in the cross fire of her flipping out . I do not want to be the mom that makes excuses because what she did was wrong. I just dont want them thinking they know my daughter better than I do and she was intentionally doing this to her child. I hate the games they play because it almost always results in a big meltdown because my daughter feels like everyone cheats and is out to get her and does not handle it the right way or very well. I do not know how to make her understand that part yet. Her counselor is working on that with her though.

    Sorry that was so long and I really hope it makes sense for you all to read . I just want to know the best ways to handle situations like this, how to sort out the things my daughter can or can not help and discipline the right things the right way. Am I just making excuses? I feel like i need to be her advocate but so worried I'll go about it wrong. Any help is much appreciated. I am open to constructive criticism and all help if it results in my daughter being able to thrive more easily with peers and her emotions when things turn out a different way for her. I want to be able to stand up for my child and be her voice when others are labeling her to be something shes not without fear in the back of my mind that I am just enabling her bad behavior. I want to be able to talk to my daughter and explain to her why others are so hurt by her actions. I know she can not empathize very well and it's a struggle for her to put herself in their shoes. And I so want her to be able to play the games she loves to play without feeling intimidated or ambushed.

  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Megs

    I think that some of this is just part of growing up. I think all children overreact. I think that helping our children learn to navigate these emergent kind of social games and relationships and to not overreact and to personalize is our job as parents. I know you feel bad. I would feel bad too.

    I believe that the parent may have overreacted but it is understandable. I think we as parents, too, have things to work on. Not being overly sensitive, hearing others out, even if they are critical, even when we think they are wrong, forgiving them if we can, telling them our piece, and learning to negotiate misunderstandings in a way that everybody grows. They call this conflict resolution. There is a very good book on this called Nonviolent Communication. The approach leads to bringing people together when there are disputes and misunderstandings.

    I think it is a mistake to focus on the part of this related to your child's diagnosis. This is because I believe this happens to everybody. Your child has a counselor so that there is a mechanism to help her learn from these things. I assume she has adequate support in school, too (at least I hope she does.)

    I think it sounds like she is doing great. Friendships are a growing edge for everybody. I used to think I had no trouble with friends. I always had lots of close friends. People liked me. And then when I got older I realized that the reason that friendships were so easy for me was because I did not really show up as a person, have strong boundaries, and know what I needed from friendships and I didn't really get that attached. It is really hard to admit this, because I looked like I cared a great deal, and I thought I was a caring person. I actually have not admitted this before. Even to myself.

    Now I see that I was kind of surfacey. At least compared to who I am now. Now I am able to care deeply and feel deeply. And friendships are much harder because I care so much, and feel so much.

    There is always something we need to learn and to hear.

    I hope I did not mis-read your post. I am glad you posted. Your daughter sounds like a great girl. And you too.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have a son, now 25 and doing really well, with autism. You cant compare autistic behavior to typucal behavior. These kids are different. My son started sutism interventions at age 2. At 3 he started school to get more help. He kept up the interventuons. A core symptom of autism is not understanding social norms. Autism is a developmental and social and communication problem, even if they have normal speech.

    Today it is hard to tell that he has autism.

    Is your daughter receiving community and school services to help her understand social norms and even tje world? Life is confusing for autistics but there is so much help these days but you must find it and fight for it. Schools sre very cheap about paying for tje help that your daughter deserves by law.

    My son would not be where he is today without all the great interventions he received. These kids do NOT just learn typical behavior. They need a sort of text book teaching plus social skills classes, physical therapy, occupational tjerapy and often learning help, even if they are smart.
  4. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    You have a fine line to walk. But the bottom line (to me) is that regardless of autism spectrum if she wants friends she needs to learn empathy and how to behave towards others. Kids will not make excuses for her disability they will walk away and say."nope. not playing with her she's mean". Maybe discourage competitive play? I don't know. My son who has physical disabilities had an autistic and a friend with downs (they are adults now) K (autistic) was similar to your daughter, they would game and he would melt down when my son kicked his butt in a video game.. A (my son) would always tell him to get over it or don't play, funny to hear my son "I've got one hand and I am not giving you a win" His mom's attitude--"Suck it up" Guess what..that boy.man is a pharmacist! he had to learn to deal with people and conform. I truly think that many on the autistic spectrum are way above "normal" intelligence but they get held back because socially they have a hard time conforming.
    I am not therapist. I just know what I see. I have been around a lot of different disabilities on a daily basis. I really believe that sometimes we only see the disability and don't see how much extra the individual was given in ABILITIES to make up for the disability that made some things tough.

    Maybe she isn't being intimidated or ambushed maybe she just wants to win. period. She needs to learn winning and loosing are all a part of life. NO body like to loose. NO body likes to feel ambushed. Everybody wants to be 1st. We never allowed our son to play the disability card. You can help her learn to empathize and is she can't feel that I sure hope she can learn right from wrong because going off on someone you call your friend is just wrong. Will she understand the , "How would you feel id friend 2 scolded, got mad at you like that?"
    Good luck. raising a child with any kind is different-ness id tough.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Autistics dont not conform. Its not like ODD. They dont know HOW to conform and watching others doesnt help.

    They have empathy. Dont insult my kind loving son who has more empathy than most humans do :) Autistics often do not know how to show their feelings and often have a flat affect. They are more often very sensitive rather than coldhearted.

    This girl needs autistic interventions. She is not going to just learn how to conform by watching other people. My son learned with a lot of help which is what this child needs.

    Many autistics meltdown very easily. My son did not. But again that is part of the disorder. Sometimes it gets better with age.

    Not all autistics are very smart. That is a myth. Many are on disability and have normal to below normal IQs. They are all different but all benefit with help for the disorder.

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Hi Megs. Grown up, late-diagnosed Aspie girl here. I'll share my perspective, which may or may not apply to your daughter. Take whatever is useful!

    First, if she has two girls she counts as friends, she is doing great! I didn't make my first friend until my junior year of high school. So your daughter has a great base, in my opinion. My only experience playing with another child at that age would have been a sibling or cousin at a family event, where they were expected to include me.

    Second, on the games, I will say games were REALLY hard for me to understand. Not the rules - I am REALLY good with rules - but the give and take of it. I understood the rules and the objective. The objective was to win. If I did not win, it meant I must have done something wrong. And I must be somehow inferior. And there must be something others got that I didn't. (This was often the case, so I just learned to assume it, even when not true.) Losing a game thus brought about not just momentary disappointment but a deep sense of SHAME. It was another reminder that I was inferior. On the flip side, if someone else did not follow the rules, it was extremely upsetting. Because, you know, rules. You follow them. Autism loves order. Rule breaking is UPSETTING. I can see your daughter seeing the "rule breaking" of exposing her hiding place as very upsetting, and she may not yet be able to understand the difference between "intentional" and "accidental" in cases like this. She may just see the result - my hiding place was exposed, and therefore I lost - and be very upset by it.

    I think no one told me, and I wasn't able to grasp until much older, that the real point of games was not to win, but to have fun playing with each other. I wasn't operating on that principle. I was following a set of rules to achieve an outcome. When I didn't achieve that outcome, I was upset. I needed to be explicitly told "Games are about having fun, and it doesn't matter who wins and who loses. Your relationship with this person is much more important than winning the game." To be honest, I still don't much enjoy playing games with humans, because they put two parts of my brain - the part that still struggles with navigating social interactions and the part that wants to achieve an objective - in direct conflict with each other. I love computer games, especially strategy or puzzle games (like the old Civilization and Myst games). But when they made Civilization into an online multi-player game with humans, it totally ruined it for me. I want to play against a computer, where I can be as ruthless as I want without feeling bad, I don't have to navigate anyone else's feelings while I'm playing, and I don't take it personally (and therefore feel shame) if I lose.

    I agree with Tired and SWOT. Overprotecting her and trying to get others around her to adapt to her is not going to work, long term. She needs to be told, directly and explicitly, how to behave, and why the way she reacted was wrong. Not in an angry or punishing way, but in a loving and teaching way. SWOT is right -she won't eventually learn by example and watching. She needs to be told. Understanding other people's emotions and perspectives, and demonstrating empathy, are skills your daughter can learn. Recognizing and managing her own emotions, and avoiding going into total meltdown mode by redirecting behaviors, are also skills that can be learned. She just may not learn in the same way and on the same schedule as others. Expect more "teachable moments" like this as she grows up.

    I really liked this recent article about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in girls, and why it's so often undiagnosed. It really speaks to my experience: http://www2.philly.com/philly/healt...e-female-on-the-autism-spectrum-20181106.html

    It is TOUGH being an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) girl. Girls, in my experience, expect more out of their friends than boys do, and it's harder to figure out the "rules" and keep up. But your daughter sounds like she is doing great, overall. She has friends. A lot of this kind of thing goes on even between neurotypical kids. She is absolutely capable of learning and growing in her social skills, and you should expect it of her. Just give her plenty of time, space and grace along the way. I think she'll be ok!
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  7. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I learn so much on this forum.
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  8. Megs87

    Megs87 New Member

    Thank you for your advice. I truly am sorry if I made it sound like all autistics can not empathize. I truly pray and can not wait for the day she conquers that. Hearing about your amazing lil one is so inspiring. He sounds wonderful and and sweet. Dont get me wrong my lil one can be so sweet and empathetic to me I know she has it in her when it comes to me. But sadly at this moment I am one of the very few that are able to witness it at this .moment. she was a late diagnosis. Another thing I beat myself up about but I am happy to know that we can now guide her in the right direction. I am still learning about the programs set up and interventions that can be made for her. We have an SBLC meeting on the 13th rhat I am anxious for. Last year I was not very informed and allowed her to slip through the cracks. But momma bear is ready for it this time. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out. It truly means a lot. :)
  9. Megs87

    Megs87 New Member

    Thank you so much for you response and advice. I worry that I am looking into things so deeply now that I end up missing the obvious because I'm so focused on what I can do that is the "right" thing in any situation. Though I do recognize some of her behavior as a typical kid that is learning how to navigate through life. I remember being like this when i was her age at times. I guess where my mind wanders to her diagnosis is her tantrums that are not the typical response you would see an 8 yr old do. She processes things so much different than i can comprehend much less her peers and I understand that with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) I will not be able to. I try and be patient and understand her and that's where i get scrambled with my own issues I have in life. I always fear I am doing it the wrong way and pushing her back further. I always second question myself. I fear that I will be the mom that makes all the excuses and enables while 'sticking my head in the sand'. I am working on that also with my counselor. I have really bad anxiety when it comes to conflicts with my daughter and I know it shouldn't bother me but I almost always feel like I am being watched and judged by every lil step I make regarding her behavior and how I handle it. I constantly hear from family and few other, " that's not how I would of handled that" or my absolute favorite, "if she were my child she would hate me because I would have already had her calmed down and she wouldnt like the way I would go about it". I usually just let it roll right off my shoulders and either ignore their ignorant responses or other times I am not as strong and I hit back with, "well its good that she isnt your child, matter of fact, it's a good thing you do not even have a child". "Walk a mile in my shoes or better yet how about you try and walk a yard in her shoes and then come back to me and we can try this "talk" again." You had some great advice on how to handle these types of situations and I greatly appreciate it.
    We have an SBLC "School Building Level Commitee" meeting on the 13th that I am very anxious for because last years was a blow. I was not very well informed and did not know how it all works and allowed her to fall through the cracks. She was what some consider a late diagnosis. We didnt get the answers until she was almost 7 or shortly after. Once we got that though it all started to make since and everythibg that I was so concerned about and didnt undetstand was like a puzzle that was just coming together in my head as I sat and dwelled on everything we had been through-through the years. .

    Thanks again, your encouragement means more than u may even know. I am my worst critic and I can be brutal with my judgement of myself. 1 step at a time and 1 day at a time :)
  10. Megs87

    Megs87 New Member

    Wow everything you just said seems to me like it could be what my daughter is experiencing. Thank you.

    I do want to clarify though. I was trying not to sound like i was making excuses for her in my post. (Maybe I was and didnt even realize it.) I definitely whole heartedly agree to not allow her to hide behind her diagnoses and I do not encourage that or even myself bring up her diagnoses to ones that just do not need to even know about it. I do not want her friends who are already so patient to stick around after what they have witnessed of her to have to adjust to her. I hope I wasnt coming off that way. I am wanting my daughter to adjust and learn the things needed to socialize and socialize well. I struggle with how to go about It on my end. I am still learning how to discipline her without making it worse for her or anyone else involved. I still have a lot to learn. She was a "late diagnoses" as well. Another thing I blame myself for taking so long to get it. I allowed my issues in life to overshadow hers. I always felt like she was the way she was because of me that i wasnt disciplining right and resulted in her being this way or that way. But it got to where I could no longer ignore there was something more to this than just me. She was having problems with more than i could explain away to myself. Hope that made sense.

    Thanks again. Your response was uplifting and very informative :)
  11. Megs87

    Megs87 New Member

    You are so right there. She is not gifted in academics. She is still struggling to read and though I know she can do it a lot of it is her fear of getting the word wrong or spelling it wrong. She is really hard on herself if she fails at something. I try and assure her that it's okay to get it wrong that she will soon get it right with her determination that I know she has. Her test will come home unfinished or with a lot of things skipped and not even attempted to do. She does this because she will fear that she is wrong on the answer so she would rather just skip it and not try. The test will he unfiniished because when she is struggling with something and for example only be on question or problem #5 of #20. She will see her class mates turn their sheet over and put their heads down as they were instructed to do when they are finished. So that tells her that they are doing it and getting it so why cant she. Then she is getting upset thinking about this and focusing on not showing it on the outside which in result puts her even further behind and she ends up only completing a portion of it. Hopefully this will change soon and we can finally get that 504 that for some reason is so flipping hard to get in place.
  12. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Perhaps don’t think of it as disciplining. Think of it as teaching. In my experience what will help most is being both very calm and kind and very explicit and direct.

    Calm and kind because she’s already struggling with her own emotions, so you need to keep yours out of the equation as much as possible when she’s having a meltdown. And because, if she’s like me, she already has a highly developed shame reaction, and you don’t want to add to that shame. That will only make things worse.

    But you need to be very clear and direct because she’s not going to read between the lines, pick up things by inference, or learn by example and modeling without a direct explanation. She needs to be told explicitly. Including things you may think of as basic.

    In this case, I think she needs to apologize to the other girl, even if she doesn’t fully understand why what she did was wrong. Her reactions to things may always be a bit out of step with her peers. She needs to learn that if someone is hurt by your behavior, you need to apologize, even if you do not understand ‘why’ they are hurt. It doesn’t matter if your daughter had a very good (in her mind) reason for what she did, or if she would not have been hurt by similar behavior from a friend. What matters is that THIS girl is hurt, and when someone is hurting because of your actions you apologize and make it better. This is what she needs to understand. When I accepted that other people don’t respond to some things the same way that I do, but their own responses matter just as much to them as mine do to me, that helped a lot with human relationships.

    I also don’t think there is anything wrong with quietly telling the other mother about her diagnosis, while also letting her know you are working with your daughter on her understanding and behavior. If it gains her a little more understanding and patience and another adult in her corner that’s a good thing. Perhaps this other mother can also be someone who can learn to be clear, direct and kind when your daughter needs correction or redirecting at her house.

    I haven’t visited it for a while, but you might check out the website ‘Wrong Planet’. It was helpful for me when first diagnosed. By Aspies for Aspies (now rolled in with other high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) I’m the latest DSM - I’m still adjusting to that.)

    It sounds like she may have some other learning disabilities holding her back as well. Keep pushing for accommodations from your school. She may need more than a 504. She may need a full IEP. In my experience schools want to get by with the minimum amount of services (or no services) most of the time. Don’t let them. Fight for what she needs. This is my number one regret with a couple of my children - that I took the school’s diagnosis and recommendation over what I knew in my heart my kids needed.

    And don’t beat yourself for her ‘late diagnosis’. When I say I was a late diagnosis, I mean I was in my 30s and raising four kids. Learning this about myself put the whole rest of my life up to that point in focus, and helped me let go of a whole lot of shame and insecurity.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) wasn’t something anyone in my corner of the world ever heard of when I was growing up. I’m from a stoic rural family who took a ‘sink or swim’ approach to pretty much everything in life (including learning to swim - they used the throw-the-baby-in method). My ‘treatment’ consisted of being told to suck it up and stop being weird, going to church for the ‘laying on of hands’ to pray the devils away, and tying my hands to my sides with short strings so I wouldn’t flap my hands. They weren’t unkind, or they didn’t mean to be. They just didn’t know. I remember sending an article about Aspergers to my mother when I first heard of it and asking ‘do you think this could be me?’ And she just said ‘well isn’t that interesting. I suppose that could explain a lot.”

    I’d say my experience had both pros and cons. On the plus side, since I wasn’t coddled I had to learn to fit in and probably developed a lot of skills I wouldn’t had if my parents had tried to shelter me more. On the minus side, I grew up feeling a lot of shame, and was in a lot of situations where I was hurt or taken advantage of because no one told me how to recognize danger signs in other people.

    The best thing that ever happened to me in life was having a boss who took the time to teach me social things no one else realized I needed to have explicitly explained. How to shake someone’s hand, when and how long and how to recognize when someone else was ready to let go. How to look someone in the eye - enough to show interest and respect but not so steadily that it’s creepy. And if I couldn’t handle the direct eye contact try looking at their forehead instead. How to speak up at a meeting, and when not to. How to interact with the CEO. How to navigate the company Christmas party. He not only explicitly told me these things, but he PRACTICED them with me, until I got it. He never accepted that I ‘couldn’t’ do something, but he took the time to,show me how. He even made a public speaker out of me for a while, if you can believe it. I never got comfortable with that but I did it. I don’t know how he knew what I needed. His own kids are a bit younger than me and none of them are anywhere on the spectrum. I wasn’t even diagnosed yet. But somehow he knew the right balance between kind and explicit to help me be successful. We remained good friends long after we stopped working together, up until his death two years ago. But bless him, he changed my life.
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    A couple other thoughts:
    • Read fiction with her and talk about the characters’ emotions, reactions and behaviors. Help her understand the emotions and reasons that might be behind a characters behavior.
    • Talk about your own emotions. Say (calmly) ‘I am feeling angry right now because ...” and model how you deal with that anger. Also name and model positive emotions.
    • Help her identify and talk about her own emotions. When she’s having a meltdown, that is not the time to discipline. She needs to be calm first. Help her identify what she is feeling (I am feeling really angry right now...or I am feeling overwhelmed, scared, frustrated, hurt, etc.) and find ways to redirect that emotion and calm herself in the midst of a meltdown.
    She needs to develop her emotional vocabulary and learn more productive ways of dealing with powerful emotions. Perhaps she needs to learn how to remove herself from a situation and practice calming behaviors. She may need to learn to say to a friend ‘I am really upset right now and can’t talk. I am going away for ten minutes and then we can talk’ before she says something hurtful. Give her tools and strategies for dealing with those strong emotions that engulf her.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Here are a few things thatnreally helped my son.who.also needed help in school. Some.if not most except for the highest functioning somstimes need an IEP.

    We demanded and fougjt fougjt for;

    1. Social skills classes. Parents cant always do this right. We dont have tje right training

    2. Occupational therapy iskey

    3. Physical therapy

    My son had an aid in class and took Special Education in reading and math where all the exyra attention skyrocketed his functioning in all levels. He became the class leader helping all the otjer kids and he made some friends in regular classes too. He eventuallt np longer needef his early supporys in school but they truly helped him for the rest of his life. He acts pretty normal now and is truly beloved in the community. He is very kind tje first one to run and open a door for somebody or scuery to pick up something that somebody dropped
    He always did undetstand noce manners. They are all different. He works and bowls and doesnt want to drive but gets around by cab, which is very cheap here if you are on disabilitu, and bike. He is not a social butterfly. He never will be.

    But he is happy in hos own skin. He is my angel an my hero.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Megs, when my son was about 9, he was diagnosed with HS Asperger's and a mood disorder. Recently he was diagnosed with bipolar. He still has few friends. He does not know how to or care to initiate a conversation. Ironically, he is in sales. But on the other hand, it's pretty much the only way he can initiate a conversation because it is scripted. "Good afternoon. How may I help you?" Smile. Pause. It gives him huge confidence. He doesn't even chat with his coworkers on break. He just goes into a corner and plays games on his phone. :( Unbelievably, he is married.
    So, back to childhood. I know exactly how you feel. Autism or a mood disorder is not an excuse. We still have to hold our kids accountable. But we have to teach them in a different way. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to smack my son and jump up and down and yell, "You did WHAT??!" But I didn't. Okay. I did once. Okay, twice.
    He knew how to socialize. I always heard good things from parents. But it was a lot of work for him, pretty much an act. He could only do so much, and then he would come home and melt down or play video games. He just couldn't handle the daily "performance."
    9 times out of 10, before I opened the car door to let him out, I'd say, "Remember, you're not going to run up to Sam and yell at him. You are going to wait for him to approach you," or whatever the situation required. I would often make him rehearse the words. (My dad had me do that too, because I was painfully shy.)
    He would listen to me and follow through, oh, about half the time. :)
    He got into almost daily fights with friends. Some would forgive him and play again after a cool-down session of a week or two. Some never called again.
    He was very similar to your daughter in regard to rules. It was quite a challenge having me for a mom--an artist and writer. I make up rules as I go along! Looking back on it, it was a good thing, because he knew that I played differently than other people played. And I often reminded him of that.
    His best time in school was middle school through 9th grade. He had a 504 plan. He got extra time for tests and homework and instead of chastising him, the teachers took time to teach the same concept over again. That was what he really needed.
    At first, when he'd yell, "WHY?" regarding anything I said, I thought he was being a brat. He was just too old (I thought that phase should have passed around age 3.) And after much research, I realized that regardless whether he had dysthymia or Asperger's or both, I had no choice but to explain, Why. 99% of the time, it worked.
    I hope that helps.