Trying to explain to easy child/difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    about his brother's Asperger's. I think he understands some things like the rigid thinking and changes in routines. I am having difficulty trying to help him interact with difficult child in a more positive way. I am working with difficult child on this also but easy child usually makes comments, while I am talking to difficult child about an issue they are having, that are less than helpful, sometimes CAUSING a problem because of how they are said. difficult child definitely has problems with literal interpretation but easy child doesn't understand this.

    I am getting more confused and frustrated all the time trying to teach both and mediate at the same time. It gets to be tiring.
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    probably need to do separate explanations and maybe some role playing. You don't say the age of the children so it's hard to offer more advice.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I bet there are appropriate aged books for this. Also...have you watched Parenthood? There is an aspergers kid on that show. Maybe watching an episode or two of that would be enlightening. Yeah there is more on there than just the kid but it is really a prominent feature.

    Im sure you could find episodes on line. Its on NBC.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Aspies usually have a special interest or two, are there ways easy child could learn to phrase things using examples from difficult child's special interest(s)?
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Look into Sixth Sense program. it basically discusses the social sense, which most of us have but Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) people lack. The Sixth Sense program doesn't come out and tell what the sixth sense is, just hints.
    "Tell me of any senses you can think of. [sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. There are actually others, such as proprioception, but let's not complicate the matter.] Let's look at seeing. Do we learn how to see? Can we practise seeing and get better at it? Maybe, but we are born with the ability to see. Do you know anyone who is blind? What do you think it would be like to be blind? What would a blind person need to do, in order to get around? What would you do to help a blind person?"

    And son on, take them through the senses. Always get the child to discuss what it would be like to lack that sense, and how they would help someone who lacks it. Every so often, ask if they have any idea what the sixth sense is. And of course, the pattern is - we are born with our senses, we do not learn them. We do not blame people who lack those senses because it's not their fault.Instead, we help people to find ways around the problem caused by a deficit in a sense.

    Finally you get to the last one. Have they guessed it? Let them know that the sixth sense is the social sense. it is what tells you how close to stand to someone when you;re talking, it is how you recognise if someone is happy or sad. It is face recognition, facial expression recognition. A lot of other stuff. Do you have some idea what I am feeling right now? Look at my face. What do you think my expression means? How would yo respond to me if I had this expression? Someone who lacks this sense does not recognise these cues. or just as there are degrees in visual impairment or other sense impairment, there are degrees in deficit with the social sense. How would you help someone who has a problem here?"

    We had difficult child 3 present in class for this because he was in the process of learning about his own autism. Normally the child is not present.

    The finish is a Q & A session.

    Another thing we did - difficult child 3 was into computers in a big way. I said to him, "Think of a text file coming off the printer. Look at it. Can you tell, by looking at it, whether it was written on a Mac? Or was it an IBM-compatible? Can you identify which type of computer made the document? Let's look at the document. I want another. Here is a computer. Mac or easy child, it doesn't matter. I can re-do this document, type the same words in, choose the same font, the same margins and spacing, print it off and you wouldn't be able to tell the two apart. But if you went into the two different kinds of computer, each one needs very different programming in order to do this identical task. You can't install a Mac program on a easy child, not without a lot of tweaking. Now consider - everyone's brain is different. Some people have Mac brains and some people have easy child brains. Both types are equally capable, but each type needs a different sort of programming - education and management - in order to function best."

    Our aim was to allow our kids to see themselves as their own kind of normal. The disability (which it is defined as) means they have difficulty in some tasks, but it brings gifts and talents which make life interesting and enjoyable, but in surprising ways.

    We allowed the unusual in our home. Home should be where a person can be themselves, and an autistic person can be themselves in some very individual ways! So when we got a new front loader washing machine, after always having a top loader, I started off a load and went to do other chores. Then I noticed the boys were missing. I found them, both sitting quietly on the floor in front of the washing machine, staring intently at the little window and their heads tilting this way and that, in time with the machine.
    difficult child 1 said, without changing what he was doing, "I don't know why, but I find this strangely compelling."

  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks for the advice. I have been trying to find a book SOMEWHERE written for teens to explain Asperger's but have had no luck. I try to do separate explanations but both are so "nosy" that they listen in and make comments from other rooms. It's pathetic really. Marg, using something like that is what I did to introduce easy child to some of the issues difficult child faces. What seems to be the biggest problem is that easy child has a rather dry sense of humor and also uses sarcasm as humor alot. These are totally lost on difficult child who usually misunderstands the meaning, takes easy child literally, and gets upset. That's the issue most of the time. How do I change easy child's personal style of humor or help difficult child understand what easy child means BEFORE he misinterprets and gets upset?
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    How far into teens? Early or late teens? There's two first person point of view books I added to the suggested reading thread by guys with Asperger's, but you'll want to read them first yourself before you decide if it's acceptable for your easy child.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Very early teens but with a very high IQ so he is able to understand a lot of later teen reading also. Thanks HaoZi!
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Not so much a matter of smarts as it can be of content. Wouldn't want to give him any ideas.
  10. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    How much of a reader is easy child? TRhis might help.

    I've been re-reading the five novels laughingly called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. For those who don't know the main characters are an Englishman, Arthur Dent, and and alien researcher for the Guide, Ford Prefect.

    Arthur's humour is VERY English and full of typically English sarcasm, a completely closed book to Ford. Many of the exchanges between them are funny because of Ford's complete inability to follow Arthur's sarcasm and Arthur's complete ignorance of life in the Galaxy.

    A difficult child is like Ford, an alien who looks human but really doesn't understand how society works. As a result he makes all sort of social gaffs.

    If you can introduce easy child to this series of books explain to him that he is like Arthur in some ways and difficult child is Ford. If he's not a reader it was originally a BBC radio serial the script of which was used as the basis for the first three books. These were made into a BBC TV series 30 years ago and there was rather good movie version released in 2005.

    I think the radio play is now available as a free podcast so there are a couple of electronic versions around.

    Marg's Man
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    An absolutely brilliant book for the other kids is "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. it is fiction, written from the point of view of a teen boy with severe Asperger's. The author does not have Asperger's but does have amazing insight.

    Also of value if you can get a copy, would be the film "The Black Balloon". It was released in 2008 and has won numerous awards including Berlin Film Festival.

    My three youngest and husband had bit parts in it (they cast autistic teens and their siblings in a small segment) but that's not why I recommend it. It's because it shows the point of view of the normal teens dealing with an autistic sibling. The autistic boy in this film is profoundly autistic and non-verbal. He's also a big handful. But the main message of the film is, you look after your family. Whatever you are given as family members, you look after each other because it's your job. It's a really good film, it has humour in it but it is not a comedy. It also has anger in it, frustration, it shows the hassles a kid faces from bullies too. It is very Australian which is not necessarily a bad thing. The writer/director was writing from personal experience. The film stars Toni Collette, Rhys Wakefield, Erik Thompson, supermodel Gemma Ward and Luke Ford (he went on to play the now-grown Alex in Mummy III). The film is available on DVD, definitely worth getting your hands on a copy. You might be able to ask your local library to order one in as a resource.

  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks guys. easy child is an avid reader like myself and our interest in books is pretty much the same. I will look into your suggestions. Anything to help at this point. Thanks again.