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Need help with my Aspie...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm going to cross post this in the SN forum as well.

Ok--he will be 7 in February. He has Asperger's and things have been really going down hill lately. I've resorted to spanking and I don't want to, but he doesn't respond to anything that isn't spanking or threatening. I'm just not creative enough. I need new "tools"! It stinks.

Here are some examples of what we're dealing with lately:
Screaming...if he's frustrated about something, he yells and screams. Whether it's frustration with something he's trying to accomplish or something someone else is doing that he doesn't like...he screams.

Refusing to do what is asked of him. Like a few nights ago, I asked him to hang up his shirts. I was right there with him hanging up his pants and putting his underware/socks away. He just sat there and said he wouldn't do it. I spanked him. He still wouldn't do it. I threatened another spanking and told him he'd have to sit there until it's done. He begrudgeingly did it. Honestly, I was only asking him to hang up about 5 shirts. I was right there with him and helping him none the less.

Saying or doing things that upset others. He especially does this to his 3.5 yr. old sissy. Everytime I explain to him that what he said/did just made her upset and he need not say/do it. Trying to think of something specific here...ok--"L, you can't come with us to ____ because you're too little." I explain that it hurts her feelings and just not to say anything, but he does it all the time.

If he's losing a game, he will just quit. I tell him that it's ok to lose. That everyone loses sometimes, but he still won't finish the game. It's pretty frustrating. Would it be ok just do say "If you can't finish the game, next time you want to play, I won't play with you."? And then not play next time he asks and remind him why?

I feel like I constantly have to threaten him with some sort of punishment and I hate doing it. I need to have practical ways to deal with him. I think it makes it a lot harder because he's an Aspie to boot.

I really want to do better. Really. I do. We've also been butting heads with his school work too (homeschool). What do I do with this child? I have been praying a lot for him (and with him) and it helps some, but I also need practical tools to use.

Please help me here. Like I said, I want the spanking to stop, but man, this child is so hard headed. He is such a sweetie. Our relationship is really wearing thin lately. I appreciate any advice and/or kind words. We need a change, but I need to know how. Please don't think I'm awful, I'm trying all I know how.

Thank you!
post #2 of 7
That you recognize something is wrong and want to change your parenting style says a great deal about what a good mom you are. Many parents don't give spanking a second thought.

My DH is an aspie, and I've worked with many children on the spectrum. Many aspies get stuck with a certain response or behavior, and it takes time and patience to change that response.

I think it would be very useful to implement a behavior plan that includes a strong positive approach. Figure out which of those behaviors are really so horrible you absolutely cannot tolerate - those are the ones you could consider using negative consequences for. Everything you have indicated here to me would not be severe enough to punish. Things that I have considered using negative consequences for (e.g. exclusionary time out, loss of priviledges, but never physical pain like spanking) would include physically hurting other people or animals, destroying property on purpose, or physically hurting yourself.

Screaming - Prompt to a place where he is not disruptive to others, every single time. Teach him to take ten deep breaths, count with him. Give minimal attention to the screaming and encouragement when he responds to the deep breathing. A good three-step plan is:

1. Step back from the frustrating situation.

2. Take 10 deep breaths. Count.

3. If calm, look again at the frustrating situation and figure out how to fix the problem.

Refusing to do what is asked of him.

Make a visual chart of the things that are expected of him, in what order and at what time of the day, and use a sticker chart, token reward system, point system, or other positive system.

Keep arbitrary or unexpected requests to a minimum. Aspies need lots of time to process an activity or event that is out of the norm or out of the flow of the day.

If he chooses to not do the next scheduled activity (hang up his shirts, clean off the table, evening tidying of toys... whatever you decide should be part of his routine) nothing happens; he simply loses that opportunity for reward. If its something than can wait, like hanging shirts, nothing fun happens until the chore is completed (no going outside, TV is off, etc) but you otherwise disengage and don't show frustration or give repeated prompts. If the chore is something that cannot wait (e.g. setting the table for dinner, or whatever his chores are) and he chooses not to do it, either offer the chore to another child for the reward, or calmly say, "Okay, I will set the table for you this time."

Saying or doing things that upset others.

Lots of social skills training. Give him the words to say that will accomplish what he is trying to get. "I want to do this by myself right now" rather than "No, you're too little for this!" Incorporate spontaneous appropriate use of good social skills into his positive reward system (e.g. catch him doing well, ask him to give himself a check or token or point or whatever you are using for using kind words.

If he's losing a game, he will just quit.

Many children have great difficulty with competitive games where there is a winner and loser. Aspies have even more difficulty with competitive games. Don't play competitive games - its probably just too difficult for him right now. There's some good cooperative games out there if he's really into board games.

Competition against himself is okay, though. "Last time you ran around the house in 15 seconds! Think you can break your record today?"
post #3 of 7
I recommend the book, "The Explosive Child" http://www.amazon.com/Explosive-Chil...2114876&sr=8-1 That has helped us somewhat.

Also, look into social skills groups in your area for kids on the spectrum. My older son goes to one, and he has learned a lot about how to deal with his competitive nature and interact more appropriately.

My son also ends up in his room a lot to give him a chance to calm down until he can interact with us in a more calm, respectful manner. He has found ways to help him deal with his emotions better in the quiet of his room. He might rage for a while, but then he'll calm himself by beading or playing with legos. Trying to reason with him or in any way punish him while he's in that state is useless and can make things worse.

We talk a lot about feelings. I try to help DS understand what it would feel like if someone said to him some of the less compassionate things that he says to others. We've had some success there.

Hope that helps a little!
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
That you recognize something is wrong and want to change your parenting style says a great deal about what a good mom you are. Many parents don't give spanking a second thought.

My DH is an aspie, and I've worked with many children on the spectrum. Many aspies get stuck with a certain response or behavior, and it takes time and patience to change that response.

I think it would be very useful to implement a behavior plan that includes a strong positive approach. Figure out which of those behaviors are really so horrible you absolutely cannot tolerate - those are the ones you could consider using negative consequences for. Everything you have indicated here to me would not be severe enough to punish. Things that I have considered using negative consequences for (e.g. exclusionary time out, loss of priviledges, but never physical pain like spanking) would include physically hurting other people or animals, destroying property on purpose, or physically hurting yourself.

Screaming - Prompt to a place where he is not disruptive to others, every single time. Teach him to take ten deep breaths, count with him. Give minimal attention to the screaming and encouragement when he responds to the deep breathing. A good three-step plan is:

1. Step back from the frustrating situation.

2. Take 10 deep breaths. Count.

3. If calm, look again at the frustrating situation and figure out how to fix the problem.

Refusing to do what is asked of him.

Make a visual chart of the things that are expected of him, in what order and at what time of the day, and use a sticker chart, token reward system, point system, or other positive system.

Keep arbitrary or unexpected requests to a minimum. Aspies need lots of time to process an activity or event that is out of the norm or out of the flow of the day.

If he chooses to not do the next scheduled activity (hang up his shirts, clean off the table, evening tidying of toys... whatever you decide should be part of his routine) nothing happens; he simply loses that opportunity for reward. If its something than can wait, like hanging shirts, nothing fun happens until the chore is completed (no going outside, TV is off, etc) but you otherwise disengage and don't show frustration or give repeated prompts. If the chore is something that cannot wait (e.g. setting the table for dinner, or whatever his chores are) and he chooses not to do it, either offer the chore to another child for the reward, or calmly say, "Okay, I will set the table for you this time."

Saying or doing things that upset others.

Lots of social skills training. Give him the words to say that will accomplish what he is trying to get. "I want to do this by myself right now" rather than "No, you're too little for this!" Incorporate spontaneous appropriate use of good social skills into his positive reward system (e.g. catch him doing well, ask him to give himself a check or token or point or whatever you are using for using kind words.

If he's losing a game, he will just quit.

Many children have great difficulty with competitive games where there is a winner and loser. Aspies have even more difficulty with competitive games. Don't play competitive games - its probably just too difficult for him right now. There's some good cooperative games out there if he's really into board games.

Competition against himself is okay, though. "Last time you ran around the house in 15 seconds! Think you can break your record today?"


I have 4 ASD kids, and Dh is an aspie. The social things he says, he just cant help. Dh says things sometimes that just leaving me scratching my head, but I know he cant help it. He just doesnt "get it".

We play a lot of co op games here. The kids love them

I spanked 8 yo ds ONCE when he was 5 out of sheer anger. He still talks about it all sad. It breaks my heart, and I wish I could take it back. Dh was spanked as a child. It still bothers him A LOT.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
That you recognize something is wrong and want to change your parenting style says a great deal about what a good mom you are. Many parents don't give spanking a second thought.

My DH is an aspie, and I've worked with many children on the spectrum. Many aspies get stuck with a certain response or behavior, and it takes time and patience to change that response.

I think it would be very useful to implement a behavior plan that includes a strong positive approach. Figure out which of those behaviors are really so horrible you absolutely cannot tolerate - those are the ones you could consider using negative consequences for. Everything you have indicated here to me would not be severe enough to punish. Things that I have considered using negative consequences for (e.g. exclusionary time out, loss of priviledges, but never physical pain like spanking) would include physically hurting other people or animals, destroying property on purpose, or physically hurting yourself.

Screaming - Prompt to a place where he is not disruptive to others, every single time. Teach him to take ten deep breaths, count with him. Give minimal attention to the screaming and encouragement when he responds to the deep breathing. A good three-step plan is:

1. Step back from the frustrating situation.

2. Take 10 deep breaths. Count.

3. If calm, look again at the frustrating situation and figure out how to fix the problem.

Refusing to do what is asked of him.

Make a visual chart of the things that are expected of him, in what order and at what time of the day, and use a sticker chart, token reward system, point system, or other positive system.

Keep arbitrary or unexpected requests to a minimum. Aspies need lots of time to process an activity or event that is out of the norm or out of the flow of the day.

If he chooses to not do the next scheduled activity (hang up his shirts, clean off the table, evening tidying of toys... whatever you decide should be part of his routine) nothing happens; he simply loses that opportunity for reward. If its something than can wait, like hanging shirts, nothing fun happens until the chore is completed (no going outside, TV is off, etc) but you otherwise disengage and don't show frustration or give repeated prompts. If the chore is something that cannot wait (e.g. setting the table for dinner, or whatever his chores are) and he chooses not to do it, either offer the chore to another child for the reward, or calmly say, "Okay, I will set the table for you this time."

Saying or doing things that upset others.

Lots of social skills training. Give him the words to say that will accomplish what he is trying to get. "I want to do this by myself right now" rather than "No, you're too little for this!" Incorporate spontaneous appropriate use of good social skills into his positive reward system (e.g. catch him doing well, ask him to give himself a check or token or point or whatever you are using for using kind words.

If he's losing a game, he will just quit.

Many children have great difficulty with competitive games where there is a winner and loser. Aspies have even more difficulty with competitive games. Don't play competitive games - its probably just too difficult for him right now. There's some good cooperative games out there if he's really into board games.

Competition against himself is okay, though. "Last time you ran around the house in 15 seconds! Think you can break your record today?"
Thank you for your thoughts and ideas! I will look further into using rewards and see how we can implement them. As for the cooperative games, my dd3 just got Hi-Ho Cherry-O for Christmas and it *does* have cooperative rules as one way of playing it, I know there are other games too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I recommend the book, "The Explosive Child" http://www.amazon.com/Explosive-Chil...2114876&sr=8-1 That has helped us somewhat.

Also, look into social skills groups in your area for kids on the spectrum. My older son goes to one, and he has learned a lot about how to deal with his competitive nature and interact more appropriately.

My son also ends up in his room a lot to give him a chance to calm down until he can interact with us in a more calm, respectful manner. He has found ways to help him deal with his emotions better in the quiet of his room. He might rage for a while, but then he'll calm himself by beading or playing with legos. Trying to reason with him or in any way punish him while he's in that state is useless and can make things worse.

We talk a lot about feelings. I try to help DS understand what it would feel like if someone said to him some of the less compassionate things that he says to others. We've had some success there.

Hope that helps a little!
Yes, you DID help! I think we actually have the book you recomended. I haven't read it in years though. I had originally gotten it for my now 9 yr. old ds.

DS6.5 does go to his room when he totally melts down. We tell him he can come out when he can stop _______. Usually, it's stop SCREAMING, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post




I have 4 ASD kids, and Dh is an aspie. The social things he says, he just cant help. Dh says things sometimes that just leaving me scratching my head, but I know he cant help it. He just doesnt "get it".

We play a lot of co op games here. The kids love them

I spanked 8 yo ds ONCE when he was 5 out of sheer anger. He still talks about it all sad. It breaks my heart, and I wish I could take it back. Dh was spanked as a child. It still bothers him A LOT.
YES! My aspie is the same way. He really has a hard time when he sees/preceives someone is not treating him right, so it's come back to bite me way more than once!
post #6 of 7
Just subscribing...j

We have so many of the same issues (including the spanking ) with our (undiagnosed) DS of the same age.

Good luck.

I would love to have more tools to help us 'enjoy' our sweetie. We have such a hard time....
And it's true-so many of these 'issues' are small; unpunishable, even. But it becomes an issue when it is every. single. choice. he makes or every. single. limit. we have to set, etc. It just doesn't seem like parenting should be this hard......
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlehawksmom View Post
Just subscribing...j

We have so many of the same issues (including the spanking ) with our (undiagnosed) DS of the same age.

Good luck.

I would love to have more tools to help us 'enjoy' our sweetie. We have such a hard time....
And it's true-so many of these 'issues' are small; unpunishable, even. But it becomes an issue when it is every. single. choice. he makes or every. single. limit. we have to set, etc. It just doesn't seem like parenting should be this hard......
I understand. I really do! The issues ARE small many times, but it almost becomes like a stand-off with my ds and I hate it.

I've noticed that as he matures, some of his behaviors either get better, go away or change to a different but almost as equally difficult behavior.

Blessings to you!
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