Whose AS child has an emotional attachment to inanimate objects?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I remember reading that in someone's post or profile last wk and now I can't find it.
    I would like to know more about that sort of thing.
    I'm wondering if the attachment is sort of a substitute for human attachment. And related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), too.
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Stuffed animals!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wiz has had many emotional attachments to things.

    Stuffed animals were some of the strongest. He has one bear with a special name that I found at a yard sale before I knew I was preg. TWICE it got put with toys and clothing for our town's Christmas Store.

    TWICE we came back from the delivery of these toys and found it sitting on the couch. My dad wasn't home either time, husband was at work, and gfgbro was off in another state. My mom and I were doing the delivery.

    The second delivery was just after I learned I was pregnant. husband and I hadn't figured ourselves and the situation out. When mom and I saw the bear the 2nd time we felt it must be a message. It was to be Wiz's special item.

    He didn't react to stuffed animals much as an infant. But he would latch onto this bear and not want to let go. The music box inside it plays teddy bear picnic and it would soothe him almost immediately when he heard it. finally he was old enough to drag it around and then even to sleep with it. If he didn't have it, well, we were not getting sleep!

    I replaced the music box. I didn't know the tune offhand. I wound up playing it over the phone to someone at a place that sold a bunch of htem. They figured it out and I was able to make him sing regularly again.

    He also became attatched to his beanie babies. He would like them up around the mattress he had on the floor. They all had to face away from the bed and "guard" him while he slept. It got rather creepy. He would tell me what they were saying to him. Not all of it was stuff you wanted to hear from someone "guarding" one of your kids.

    He truly, deeply LOVES that bear. Thinning out the beanie baby herd was always physically painful. He had stories about their lives, what they "saved" him from, etc....

    And then there were the pokemon things. They were creepy in the depth of the "life" he gave them. It was truly an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thing. Even one of his psychiatrists was creeped out hearing him talk about and to his pokemon.

    Not sure if this answers what you want to know, but there it is.

    Many times Wiz would rather have his family die rather than get rid of his "friends".
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    difficult child 2 is totally attached to his monkey puppet. He talks to it as though it were real. When he is outside in the yard, he puts the puppet on the window sill of his bedroom and waves to it. I could go on and on and on about this.

    We've tried to replace the puppet with more age appropriate things, but always end up failing. Unfortunately difficult child 2's life revolves around this puppet. It is so sad.

    I think you might be on to something - I've often wondered too if the unusual attachment he has to this puppet is an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type of issue. And, I believe that difficult child 2 does replace human relationships with his puppet - Human relationships are confusing to him in ways his puppet never will be. SFR

    P.S. If you think you "know" me from what I've written, you do. I had to change my screen name for privacy reasons.
  5. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Later Yu-gi-oh items.
    Currently a game system - he always washes his hands before touching it and I think may have other rituals with it that I am unaware of.
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    From the perspective of one who had/has a relationship with an inanimate object...

    Nicholas Bear. He is a teddy bear about 3 feet high that Santa Claus brought me when I was 6 years old. He is a beautiful honey colour and has big soulful brown eyes.

    Throughout childhood and beyond he was my best friend, confidant and comfort. I would tell him all my secrets, dress him in natty little outfits, and I dragged that bear EVERYWHERE. He was too big to carry around with me for the most part, but I would sit him with me in the car, on the sofa, etc., and he always slept next to the wall with his head on the pillow beside me.

    He even went away to university with me, and lived in my dorm room.

    At the age of 40, I still have him. Little easy child has fallen in love with Nicholas Bear, and he now keeps Nick in his bed, just the same way I used to. Interestingly, I never told Little easy child any details about Nicholas. He just seems to have adopted him, the same way I did.

    There was a level of trust with Nicholas. I knew he understood me and I didn't have to try and explain myself in "other-people" words. He always caught on right away. Sometimes he gave good advice (usually along the lines of "wait and see") And, he always gave the best hugs. There are times when I'm feeling very sad, when I just tiptoe into Little easy child's room and make off with Nicholas Bear for a bit of cuddling and comfort. He still gives the best hugs.

  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I posted something similar and was getting cute, but appropriate responses. I'm wondering how many of your AS kids have inappropriate attachments?
    Such as hoarding? (Food, lingerie, photos, etc.) And maybe these things take the place of more appropriate, human, emotional attachments?
    My son is still ... um ... collecting inappropriate things.
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    My difficult child steals from his sibs (money, toys, phone, ipod, anything he knows they really like), he is not attached to them per se. He does hoard rolls of toilet paper, paper towel, tissues to later shred.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Is he jealous of those things? (My difficult child practically lusted over Ipods until he got his own, and then realized it wasn't that big of a deal.)
    I had to chuckle at the TP rolls. At least he's planning ahead! Better than kicking holes in the walls. I leave phone bks in my son's rm to shred, but he always goes for the paperbacks. Sigh.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Trinity! I just love that story. I didnt have a bear but I had a baby blanket named Pinky. Pinky was given to me by the people who my dad worked for when I was born. I slept with that blanket until I was grown. It went everywhere with me. It was in the hospital with me when all 3 of my kids were born. I kept me safe through many of the horrible things that I went through. It was dirty and barely pink by the end of its life...lol. When Jamie was 3 he started this little daycare and he was so scared to go. I gave him Pinky to take with him for naptime. He knew how special Pinky was. Somehow Pinky got lost after a few days. He was devestated. We went to a store and found a new baby blanket just like it but in blue who he named "Suckie". He kept his blankie with him from that day until the day he left for boot camp. Over the years he cut little pieces of his beloved Suckie off so he could have it with him when he was scared. First day of school saw a little piece of Suckie in his pocket. Same thing with sleepaway camp. He even took a piece with him to boot camp...lmao.

    His witch of a first fiance stole that blanket and he never got it back. He misses it...
  11. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Tools of any kind. Army men (figures). Small stuff that he picks up outside.
  12. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Tools -- difficult child has been ransacking our house and garage of tools for years. My husband gets so discouraged when the wall in the garage where the tools hung, is completely bare.

    We have a fingerprint lock on the garage now -- just me and husband are able to open. I keep the all the sharp knives locked in there now because those are one of difficult child's very favorite tools.

    Whenever he is asked (in some context or other) what is most near and dear to him in life, he says "My stuff."

    I do think difficult child's "stuff" is inordinately important to him from my context as a non-Aspie. But I think he feels love and attachment lots differently from me, so I don't worry about it too much (learned this from AS husband and different ways that he shows love). I think talking to you so freely when he came home from camp is a big indicator or your difficult child's love, also that he fed the animals so promptly even in a time of transition shows love and attachment.

    I think the "stuff" and the way our kids feel about us are two completely different ball games. I think they think in patterns and the stuff they take is somehow related to a pattern which is important to them. I have an article about patterns which really helped me my understand my husband and now my son, I hope it's OK to post links here at the forum without permission.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wiz was very attached to computer games. Even if he was not allowed to play them, or he had no access to a computer that would play the disc the game was on (back when we had the floppy discs) because we had upgraded and the game was on a different drive.

    He even ransacked my parents' part of the house and took a laptop at one point. It didn't have a power cord or battery, but he STILL kept finding it no matter where they put it. He actually hacked out part of a box springs to hide it in. And it wouldn't even turn on.

    I am sorry he is still hoarding the things that have been a problem. Wiz also hoarded food. He once hid a box of ice cream bars in the couch. All unwrapped.

    Does the hoarding get worse when he is feeling stressed? Or the stress get worse when he has again accumulated things? Wiz would hoard more and more stuff when his other behaviors were out of control. If we got rid of them, and of the other stuff he obsessed over, we had about 2 or 3 weeks of total Hades, and then he would settle down for a couple of months. I knew when he started hoarding again because he would start with some of the other stuff.

    Have you figured out where he is getting the stuff? What does the therapist say? It is such a tough thing to handle.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Terry--

    With my two kids, I see lots of attachments to in-animate objects--but I have to admit that difficult child's attachments do seem a bit "off".

    My son, for example, just LOVES stuffed animals--uses them almost as "imaginary friends" sometimes....but also loves his action figures, Pokemon cards, army men. Pretty normal stuff...

    difficult child on the other hand, when she was very little had a stuffed animal that she regarded as alive. That might not sound so strange, except that she used to expect it to do things that living creatures would --like "heal" if something happened to it....or try to follow her to school.

    These days, she has developed an unhealthy attachment to "Twilight" and other vampire books. (For anyone who is not familiar with the story....the main character in Twilight is a vampire named Edward). Well, difficult child has "Edward" written all over her stuff--her clothes, her shoes, her furniture.

    And when we had a recent tornado in our area and we all headed for cover--difficult child was frantically trying to gather all of her books to take to the shelter. We were all yelling at her "Leave them! Leave them! Grab your shoes and let's GO!!!!" And she was crying trying to carry all these books.....

    I do worry that she is confused and that, as you say, these "attachments" seem to take the place of more appropriate human relationships.

    We are working on trying to diminish her emphasis on these "objects" and trying to get her involved in more healthy, normal, age-appropriate activities and interests.

  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If I understand this correctly, Terry, you are asking about obsessive attachments to inappropriate things. I have no experience with Aspies so I don't know how common it is or isn't. Have you tried researching on line or in books about this? The one thing that sticks out to me is that whether or not it's related to being Aspie, in my humble opinion, it needs to be addressed. It seems that several difficult child's have gone thru a phase of this- at least mine did- when puberty hit. But I'm concerned about the extremes and length of time this has gone on with your son. All of our difficult child's have their set of issues so I'm not suggesting that your son's are "worse" or anything, just that it seems like it would be better to get a therapist to deal with this now than to try to deal with it a few years down the road if it has worsened. (Yes- that is easier said than done.) I doubt behavior mod alone is going to do it, but maybe that is the only thing that works with aspies, I don't know.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My difficult child has shown some unusual and quite deep attachments to "inappropriate" objects.
    For quite a while, my shoes would go missing, and they were later found in or under difficult child's bed. Sometimes difficult child used to try to wear them out of the house.

    We've found his sister's bathing suits, a few of my t-shirts, and some...um...highly personal...um... objects belonging to husband and me, all stashed in or under his bed.

    difficult child also had lots of other objects to which he would get attached, everything from cuddly toys, to specific bits of lego, pieces of string, office supplies from my desk etc.,

    However, the really personal items (clothes, etc.) seemed to be more of a sexual thing, rather than just stuff he was collecting. This is borne out by the...erm...condition in which some of the things were found. Let me know if you need me to be more specific, and I'll PM you.

  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all. I can see that some of us are in the same boat. :)

    Thank you for the link, Barney'sMom. I read it and it was very interesting.

    My difficult child is still into PS2 and computer games, and sports. I am hoping we can keep him on grade level in school and he can have a career of some sort in one of those areas. It seems strange to plan ahead, but as with-most kids, you try out diff things with-them and see what fits. My parents figured out very early that I loved art, for ex.
    Same for my daughter.

    Trinity, if you have found any solutions for the sexual obsessions, please PM me. We are, indeed, still dealing with-that. I am concerned that it will get difficult child beaten up or get the police involved. I am worried to let him stay at overnight at other people's houses for fear he may bring something home. Bad enough when a kid swipes a pkg of gum or even an Ipod, but when it's something that personal, you wonder whether the person will notice it's missing and whether it belongs to someone else. It puts us in a very difficult situation.

    I wish I could get into his head and figure out what is going on. We made some progress a few mo's ago, and thought we'd gotten over it. Not so.
    Back to the drawing board.

    Why couldn't he have come up with-an obsession for sugar packets or something?

    Daisyface, scary about the tornado. I know people try to go back into burning houses to retrieve pets and such, but you never know when or where a tornado will hit. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

    We need to come up with-a plan for our dog and cats. I'm glad I had this reminder!
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aw, such sweet stories! I love it.
    Barney'smom, tools sounds very Aspie to me. :) It must be frustrating to try to find something when you need it.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We did fire drills at home as part of a lesson Jessie was involved in at school. Wiz did not know it was a drill, he thought the house was really on fire. He had been told it was a drill, but when it happened he thought it was real.

    That is how we found the stash under his bed. It was the mattress and box springs on the floor, and he frantically dug for his stuff, even thinking the house was on fire. It was that important to him. It finally yanked my husband out of that river in Egypt.

    I am sorry he is still taking personal items. I don't believe it was ever about comfort, or the other things that the therapist suggested, such as liking the fabric. It keeps coming up because it is sexual in nature, in my opinion. Until he gets help in dealing with this it will not go away. In fact, given the quantity of items he has taken in the past, and the way it keeps happening again, he may even develop some scary and dangerous behaviors. If he is not given training in how to handle this it WILL escalate. Just the nature of obsession, and particularly of THIS obsession.

    I am so sorry. I wish it would just go away. I am not sure where you find the help he needs. Maybe a developmental pediatrician would be able to address this and difficult child's sexual development?
  20. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I went ahead and merged the threads. I understand your desire to repost the question to get more serious responses, but I think this is easier for posters to read and respond and understand your motivation.