I'm crossposting in Parenting and in Special Needs Parenting, because part of this is about a physical problem and part of this is about an attitude problem. In short, we need lots of advice, because my son is driving us crazy and we're driving him crazy as well.
My son has Asperger's. He's socially inept and doesn't think about other people's feelings. Not because he doesn't care, but because he just doesn't get it.
My son has always had a very sensitive sense of hearing and an even more sensitive sense of smell. When he was a preschooler, certain smells would actually make him gag. About a year ago, around when puberty hit, his sense of smell and his sense of hearing became even more sensitive. This is the first problem.
We have a fairly big apartment, but if somebody's cooking in the kitchen, he says it's smelling up his room. We have certain resteraunts we go to that he doesn't like to go to... and doesn't like us to go to without him, either, because he says he can still smell it on us, even after we get home, even hours later. (Is this even possible?) And God forbid, anyone go to the bathroom. We have two- one next to his room and one on the other side of the house. If someone goes to the bathroom, even just #1, he will go on and on about how he can smell it and it's "stinking up his room". And his hearing. He can hear someone chew from across the room or sometimes even from another room. (Is that even possible?) And it drives him crazy. That's the first problem- the sense of smell and the sensitive hearing. I have unusually good hearing, and I've always had a better sense of smell than most people I know, so I do know a bit how he feels, and I think the Asperger's plays into it some with his sensory issues. But I do suspect that it's really not as bad as he lets on to be- we've tested it a couple times, with something "smelly" before he came home, and him not picking up on it. Anyways, that's the first problem. For his own comfort, what can we do about how he can't handle smells and sounds?
The second issue at hand. Life with my son has become a constant state of critisizm. He will constantly tell us (me, my Hubby, my little girl) how distgusting we are, because of a smell or a sound.
This morning, he went on and on about how the smell of my Hubby's coffee was making him sick and how disgusting it smells and how disgusting his Dad was gonna smell and on and on about "how can I (me) stand it, with him smelling up the house like that?". Needless to say, my Hubby left for work early and all pissed off.
Last week, it was raining (read: sprinking), but I had to walk the dogs, because they really needed to go. I came inside, and you would have thought I had commited a felony, the screaming fit about "wet dog smell" and "couldn't I have put them in their crates and made them wait" and how I'm so disgusting, can't I smell that? And of course, as soon as we came into the house, the dogs, like they do every time, went over to say hi to my kids and Hubby. My son started yelling at the dogs for coming over to him when they smelled like that, pushing them roughly away, and then yelling at me and the dogs because he touched them and now his hands will smell until he takes a shower and none of this would have happened if I didn't walk the dogs. (On a side note, one of my dogs has always been very sensitive and has anxiety issues. Within the last six months or so, when his outbursts became getting more frequent, she's become even more neurotic. I'm worried about her mental health now as well.)
A couple weeks ago, my Hubby and son went to my Father-in-Law's house and my Father-in-Law's brother was there. The brother is a cool guy, a bit rough around the edges, but everyone loves him. Except, apparently, my son, now. The entire visit, my son was disrespecting the brother, would not shake his hand (something he's always done- he used to love this guy), because earlier, the brother had been working in the yard with my Father-in-Law and, although he's washed his hands, it wasn't up to my son's standards. Another example, was, my Father-in-Law dropped a roll of tape, and asked my son to pick it up. My son refused, because it had rolled closer to the brother and the brother smelled. My Husband was absolutely humiliated (as was I, when I heard about it later) and sent my son home. (We live across town). We'd had plans to have dinner with my Father-in-Law and his brother, but my Father-in-Law actually uninvited us, because of this.
And then there was lunch on Sunday. My son and stepdaughter were eating lunch in the livingroom. Next thing I know, my son had my stepdaughter in tears, because "she was chewing too loud" and she was "disgusting". Not just those two simple comments, but he went on and on about it, chewing her out for at least ten minutes. And then another several minutes complaining to me in front of her about why can't I do something about her loud chewing. (Please note here, if my stepdaughter's Mother get's word of any of this, she will make a big federal case about this and try to stop visitation because of the "emotional abuse".) This is beginning to happen on a regular basis, the latest this morning, when I mentioned that his sister would be coming today instead of tomorrow, because tomorrow, my Hubby's going on a business trip. My son started going on and on about "why's she have to come over" and "she's disgusting" and "she gets her germs all over everything" (did I mentoin, he's become a germaphobic recently, as well?) and how she ruins everything for him. (This is not the son I raised, not the personality he used to have at all!!!) He does this every time she comes over, sometimes even in front of her. I'm surprised she even talks to him anymore. Of course, my Hubby, hearing this on the tail end of the coffe comments, left for work early and pissed off.
What can I do to help my son get rid of his attitude? It's one thing to make a comment about a smell, but quite another to completely verbally destroy someone with rude comments about a smell. My son's relationship with my Father-in-Law is shot, with my Hubby, damaged, and I'm always feeling like I need to protect my little girl from him, lately. (She's got the kind of personality, where she might be in abusive relationships when she's an adult. I don't want my son to be prepping her early on this, making her think that's her place in the world.) I love my son very much, but I'm even not wanting to be around him much lately. And this is causing alot of tension between my Hubby and I. I suspect he's been working late in order to avoid all this. Sometimes I wish I had that option. What can I do?!
I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES. Only then, will I know my child is safe.