My 7 year old son had pdd nos, an ASD. He def. has boundary issues. We have a 2 year old that he constantly picks on by trying to pick up, hug, taunt, touch, etc which ends up with my 2 year old whining, yelping, screaming. And me at the end of my rope constantly reminding him about boundaries, respecting them, blah blah blah. It's not working. And no, I can't carry around a pillow for him to squeeze 24/7. Any advice? I end up yelling and it's not good. It's daily and it's often and my husband is in denial and doesn't think it's a big deal at all and gets defensive about him and says things like "he's just trying to hug him, play with him." Really?!????
Losing my brain cells. argh
You already know that you cannot control this with reminders, so your only real option is to provide as much physical separation as possible. Some suggestions include: hiring a mother's helper, like a local teen, to come and mind the 2 year old while you can focus on your older child, setting up "quiet time" during the day where your older child can find a quiet activity to do in his room while you tend to the younger one, setting up your day so that you can spend more time being physically present while the kids are together.
The strategy of having pillows around etc and redirecting him to those is great, and you should definitely include that as part of your plan. But the bottom line is that, until your 2 year old is a bit older and can go find some peace and quiet in a room by herself, you will have to make it a priority to be physically present around them when they are together. It is not only a safety issue from a physical standpoint, but your younger child needs to feel that her body is being respected, too. Believe me, I know how hard this is: I had to shadow my son for years because of his issues with pushing and shoving other kids, etc. But I can tell you that there will come a time, and it will seem to come soon, when you won't have to do this. But for now it is not fair to either of your children to expect that just talking and modelling will be enough. You should just make it a rule that when the kids are together (I'm assuming he is in school?) there is an adult around to give physical guidance to the older child (and it sucks that your DH won't support you in this).
It sounds as if he's sensory seeking. I wonder if it would help him to wear a weighted vest. I have to remind my son about 'bubble space'. When he starts consistently needing physical contact, I have him use a sensory strategy. Right now, his favorite strategy is having his huge stuffed dog on top of him (got the dog at costco). Sometimes, I need to give him a firm, extended hug to give him the pressure he seeks.
Can your two year old say "no" or "stop" when it's too much? My PPD NOS son would never stop if an adult told him too. It had to come from the offended party. In my son's mind an adult telling him to stop was the adult just trying to break up the fun. He really couldn't tell the other child wasn't enjoying it unless a clear "stop" or "no" came from the child themselves.