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#1 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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This is definitely one of the hugest part of AS that affects our family. I don't have any suggestions at all other than prepping and prompting ahead of time if possible. I love that the internet has photos of lots of the places that we may want to go. I will show them a week or a day ahead of time.... sometimes they get the negativity or anxiety over ahead of time and will warm up a bit to the idea. We NEVER have any outing where everyone is happy ( two with AS) and it is just a fact of life for us. It really can be depressing sometimes as you try to provide love and opportunity and fun places to go, and the feedback is always negative. I really have a hard time with the aftermath as well, when I feel completely defeated and exausted and everyone else is totally oblivious to the stress they caused and are back to " normal " with no aknowledgement  or  closure of what went down! Funny enough, I think my dad is possibly somewhere on the spectrum and he is EXACTLY the same way. I thought I finally escaped the constant negativity when I moved away from home!

Does it make you feel any different at all to know that she can't really help it and that anxiety may play a large part? I found that it made it a little bit easier and helped me detach from taking it personally( i am not nearly successful all of the time!) I do really try to make rules  around the negative wording and name calling for the boys... it is still completely evident in their actions, but they are still able to learn to tone down the actual wording so that people aren't offended or their feelings are spared a little bit. This took work, but takes the edge off a bit!


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#3 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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It is the worst when they have conflicting emotions inside , like being excited and anxious, or uncomfortable and sensory overloaded.... still wanting to do the thing, but rejecting it all in the same breath. poor kiddos! So conflicted with no idea what to do in the situation!

 


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#4 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Now that I've learned about AS I know that my mother clearly has it. I too have been trying to escape her negativity and complaining my whole life - Now my son is the same way! It drives me insane!!!! Some days I feel like I am being punished. Yesterday I broke down sobbing in front of him because I couldn't take it anymore. =(

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#5 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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Just a thought (from someone on the spectrum) - it might be due to a person having a hard time dealing with the fact that the outside world is different from the world they have in their head.  They find all the imperfections in the real world that are 'wrong' from the perfectionist world inside.  I'd say look into treatments for perfectionism. 

 

For an autistic person, the inside world is far more real than the outside world.  It's hard to ride a horse because you have to follow external sensations.  It's hard to surf because you have to ride the wave that's given.  It's hard to talk, because you have to follow an external passing of time and measure out your words into this external movement of time that you can't control and never stops. 

 

 


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#6 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#7 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post

 

'For instance, the other day we were walking to a nearby playground. It's been very hot out, but we left early to avoid the heat as best we could; it was still hot, though. About 1/3 of the way there she started whining about wanting to go home and I told her that was no problem and we could go, but she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about and kept walking. A few minutes later she was still going on about it, and said, "Why can't we go home?" I stopped the baby's stroller, and said, "We can. Let's go back. It is pretty hot," to which she replied (VERY LOUDLY), "WHY? I don't want to go home!" denying she'd ever said that. '

 

Oh my, this is my 10 yr old Aspergian son exactly! He does the contrary thing constantly and has done since he was 4 years old. For example, "Let's go to the zoo." "No, I don't want to go to the zoo." "Are you sure?" "Yes." "Okay, we won't go to the zoo." "It's not fair! I want to go to the zoo!!"

 

Psychological warfare ;) I know how frustrating it is. It's interesting that you were told it was a typical ASD thing. I always wondered if it was that or just a particularly annoying aspect of my son's personality ;) I usually try and have fun with it when he does it, though often it isn't possible and he and I both end up getting more wound up.



 

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#8 of 50 Old 07-21-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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I definitely see it in some of my students with ASD. For one of them, it's very hard for him to not use extreme adverbs like "always" or "never". And then it seems like he really feels as if it is "always" or "never". As in, "I never get a turn" when he had one two minutes before and is about to get another one. Or "you always give me hard work" when it's one page out of 5 that is challenging. Or "I can never finish this" when he only has one more bite.

We work hard with him on using better language like "This work is challenging. Can you help me?" which really helps his emotions as well. Sometimes, I see that the words my students use have a direct impact on their actual emotional experience. Get them to change the way they frame it verbally, and suddenly they can handle it emotionally.

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#9 of 50 Old 07-22-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post

 

'For instance, the other day we were walking to a nearby playground. It's been very hot out, but we left early to avoid the heat as best we could; it was still hot, though. About 1/3 of the way there she started whining about wanting to go home and I told her that was no problem and we could go, but she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about and kept walking. A few minutes later she was still going on about it, and said, "Why can't we go home?" I stopped the baby's stroller, and said, "We can. Let's go back. It is pretty hot," to which she replied (VERY LOUDLY), "WHY? I don't want to go home!" denying she'd ever said that. '

 

 

Originally Posted by juicylucy View Post

 

Oh my, this is my 10 yr old Aspergian son exactly! He does the contrary thing constantly and has done since he was 4 years old. For example, "Let's go to the zoo." "No, I don't want to go to the zoo." "Are you sure?" "Yes." "Okay, we won't go to the zoo." "It's not fair! I want to go to the zoo!!"

 

Psychological warfare ;) I know how frustrating it is. It's interesting that you were told it was a typical ASD thing. I always wondered if it was that or just a particularly annoying aspect of my son's personality ;) I usually try and have fun with it when he does it, though often it isn't possible and he and I both end up getting more wound up.

 

 

nod.gif  My mom used to call me "contrary" lol.gif.

 

I often have ds repeat back to me what I have said; 70% of the time he did not 'take in' the information at all, and 5% of the time he gets the message wrong.

 

For situations like those mentioned, we sit him down and go over the options, what he wants, and what it means to do that.

 

For the constant complaining, I've said that "I know that it can make you feel a little better to keep saying what is bothering you, but it makes my head hurt bag.gif; I hear that you feel X, but I need you to stop repeating it."  Now that ds is a little older and enjoys having quiet -- but has little sister who doesn't know the meaning of the word -- he understands what I meant.
 

 


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#10 of 50 Old 07-22-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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When DS was in therapy for anxiety, one of the techniques used was to put the worry in the worry box for until a specified time.  We now extend the idea for obsessive negative thoughts (in his case he has just as many obsessive positive ones, but they aren't nearly as annoying).  We say "OK, we get idea (X), now that you're aware of our opinion we don't want to discuss this again until(X) time when we can revisit this.  This works especially well with rigid ideas like "People who cut trees for a living should go to jail" (we live in a region where forestry is the primary industry, so very challenging) "The whole world is dying because people are driving cars instead of riding horses", etc, etc.  We stay very strict on it, with consequences (usually small increments of computer gaming time).  In the past I would have felt like this was too coercive, but at this point this is the only thing that works so we don't go crazy.


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#11 of 50 Old 07-22-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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We make efforts toward being positive as a family. Every night at dinner, each member must say one thing they are grateful for. For a while, we kept a "book of positive aspects."  Different things in our life had a page, and we wrote all the positive traits of that thing on it's page. There was a page for the dog, our favorite pizza place, etc.

 

There is a book about thinking positive for kids called "Sara, Book 1: The Foreverness of Friends of a Feather" by Esther and Jerry Hicks. It's VERY new age, and I recommend reading it first to make sure you are OK with the content. But it helped both my kids understand why and how to control their thoughts.

 

I'm not sure that everything listed in the first post was negativity, though. Some of it could have been communication problems, sensory issues, or anxiety. My DD has said that she doesn't really think in English, and she's always translating. It's weird to her that the words we use are how most of us think. I think that sometimes it's helpful to think of our autistic kids as being people who haven't really mastered the language yet. Focusing on non-violent communication and really hearing what she is trying to say right now is helpful for me.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 50 Old 07-22-2011, 09:12 PM
 
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Linda on the Move, that is a really sweet idea saying one thing you are grateful for at dinner.  What a nice idea for learning the value of gratitude for any family!


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#13 of 50 Old 07-23-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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DS1 does this.  It is often because he has conflicting feelings about a situation. To use OP's example, he might be happy about going to the park, but really uncomfortable on the walk because it's hot and sticky.  The discomfort from the walk then flows over into how he feels about everything else and he's negative about all of it. It can move on from there to wreck he rest of the day.

 

We use Rational Emotive Therapy techniques to address this by talking through the emotions and beliefs that are starting the downward spiral.  You can use an "ABCDE" device to remember the technique. 1) We identify the Activating event. (Trigger). 2) We identify the irrational Belief. 3) We identify the Consequences of the irrational belief. 4) We Dispute the irrational belief. 5) We substitute  more Effective thinking.  

 

In your example: 1)  "Wow, it's really out hot and I'm uncomfortable. I think you're uncomfortable, too, and it's making you crabby." 2) "You are feeling unhappy and uncomfortable and that is making you think you don't want to go to the park or doing anything. You're hating everything right now because the heat is making you feel bad." 3) "You're really crabby right now and hating everything. But if you crab at everyone and go home, you won't get to go to the park and everyone is going to be upset and disappointed." 4) "It is really hot out here and walking is unpleasant, but that doesn't mean the park won't be fun." 5) "This walk is unpleasant, but the park will be fun when we get there. We can sit in the shade to cool off and get a drink of water before we play. We're tough enough and big enough that we can put up with an unpleasant walk to get to the park. The park is awesome. It's worth it."

 

We do that process a lot. DS1 is learning to do it for himself. 

 

We also work on positive talk. Ie. "Don't tell me what you hate. Tell me what you like. I want to hear about what makes you happy."

 

We also have a "No whining" saying. Ie. "You get what you get and no whining."  I've heard my kids repeat this to each other. 

 

 

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#14 of 50 Old 07-23-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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We use Rational Emotive Therapy techniques to address this by talking through the emotions and beliefs that are starting the downward spiral.  You can use an "ABCDE" device to remember the technique. 1) We identify the Activating event. (Trigger). 2) We identify the irrational Belief. 3) We identify the Consequences of the irrational belief. 4) We Dispute the irrational belief. 5) We substitute  more Effective thinking.  

 

We also work on positive talk. Ie. "Don't tell me what you hate. Tell me what you like. I want to hear about what makes you happy."

 

We also have a "No whining" saying. Ie. "You get what you get and no whining."  I've heard my kids repeat this to each other. 

 

 

thumb.gif

 

In Kindergarten ds was taught "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." I've heard my children repeat it to each other as well.

 


 

 


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#15 of 50 Old 07-23-2011, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#16 of 50 Old 07-23-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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My kids have found many, many things to be grateful for that weren't from me, and they aren't mostly powerless.  Even if you feel that actively teaching your children gratitude isn't the right path for you, you can still choose to actively practice gratitude yourself, and your children will learn from your example.


I think that learning to notice all the little wonderful things around us everyday is the secret to happiness, and that teaching our children, even our SN children, to do this is one of the things we can give them that will help them have a wonderful life. My kids have been grateful for everything from a specific teacher at school to the smell after the rain. The notion that children are only grateful for things that their parent buy them is simply not my experience.


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#17 of 50 Old 07-24-2011, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#18 of 50 Old 07-24-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I find the idea of gratitude with my kids to be a difficult one, and I think it is primarily a matter of perspective that they don't have because they haven't really lived much of their lives yet.  My own gratitude for different things is partly based on my perspective-I know what I have, and experience, and I know what I don't have and how different my experiences could be.  It's difficult to put into words, but my children's lives are what they are, in the moment.  My preteen is only just starting to look ahead (or behind), and learning to experience a moment as distinct from another moment.  Kind of difficult to explain, I guess.

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#19 of 50 Old 07-24-2011, 11:33 PM
 
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I find the idea of gratitude with my kids to be a difficult one, and I think it is primarily a matter of perspective that they don't have because they haven't really lived much of their lives yet. 


I think  that every day provides something to be grateful for. It has been tougher for for my ASD, than my NT child.

 

And the kind of things they come up with are different than my DH and I. He and I can sit down to dinner and just be grateful to be there -- grateful to have a family, have each other, to get to watch our children grew up, to have a home and that is a gentle respite from the world. I can't count the number of times my DH has said that he is grateful to have a family to come home to, and that I've felt grateful to have a family to cook for.

 

Neither of our kids are like that. They are generally grateful for immediate things -- something funny that was said, or something interesting to do. For several months, my ASD dd was grateful for Bill Gates every night at dinner.  shrug.gif  The invention of the microcomputer was the only thing she was happy about on the entire planet.

 

With an ASD kiddo, it might help to start with their current special interest, and help them find something positive about their interest to share with the family at dinner time. This is a great chance to let them talk for a minute, while teaching them to take turns in a conversation, and to really listen to them for a minute, and to be happy that they have their special interest -- that with the myriad of difficulties and confusions that each day brings, they have something they love and enjoy that makes them happy.

 


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#20 of 50 Old 07-25-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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My son is also quite negative.  Whenever I come up against a behavior that I haven't been able to change/work with (etc), I ask his clinical neuropsych for advice/ideas.

 

One thing that I have found that works for my son is that when he starts in with the major negativity, I bring up something that he finds comfort in or that he finds funny.  Kids on the spectrum tend to get 'stuck' doing/saying the same things over and over again.  I find that I sometimes need to 'unstick' him.  It's not easy and it's a constant battle.  You have to have a bunch of comfort or comical things in the back of your mind to use at a moments notice.  Plus, you need to find new ones as using the same comfort thoughts too many times loses it's effectiveness. 

 

I once showed my son a photo of fluffy baby owls. They were adorable... Like puffballs with feet.  Every once in a while, I start chatting with my son about them (in a different scenario) when his behavior really starts to slide.  If that one doesn't work, I move on to the next one (funny british animal voiceovers on youtube.)

I'm happy to say that usually breaks his negativity streak.  At least, until the next one.  orngbiggrin.gif


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#21 of 50 Old 07-25-2011, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#22 of 50 Old 07-25-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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My kids can get pretty negative sometimes, and these days it's DS who is really on a negative streak. Everything sucks, we're all stupid, etc. It can be really draining for anybody, so don't be so hard on yourself for not being able to brush it off. OTOH, I do think it helps to remind ourselves that we don't have to let others' moods affect ours. In reality that is harder, especially when it's a young child and you can't exactly get away from them whenever you need to!

 

One thing I've noticed with DS is that when people try to point out the positive or make him laugh or whatever it can backfire. I try to wait until the negative mood has passed before doing that so he doesn't feel invalidated. It can be very upsetting when you are feeling X and everybody is convincing you that you should feel Y instead! :-)


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#23 of 50 Old 07-26-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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Just yesterday, I ended up in a situation where one of the main things my son gets stuck on being negative about was truly validated.  He really feels like cars mess up the world, and one of the reasons is all the road kill we can't avoid seeing living along a relatively fast rural highway.  Yesterday, our cat was killed, and he is very rightfully upset and grieving (really we all are), but for him this also quickly set him into the all or nothing anti-car rant ("we should all switch back to horses").  I guess this has reminded me that even though we may see more negativity in our kids on the spectrum, that sometimes all kids have a valid reason to feel negative.  They don't have quite the perspective to see the big picture, that something is sad or wrong in the world but that in the overall balance things are OK.  Sometimes children, like everyone, need to be voice negative thoughts for a brief period of time. (My son once said to the psychiatrist he was seeing for anxiety that he was tired of everyone worrying about his happiness because he thought it was all over rated).  We all need to be able to "be with" our negative emotions of sadness and anger as part of processing them.  Then, once our children are calmer and have some of the negativity voiced, we can guide them through the process of looking at whether the negative thought is so extreme as to be unrealistic.  After my son had a good cry yesterday, and a lot of ranting (I let him, he seriously had a need to be angry), we looked at the reality of it calmly, today.  Were all the pets getting killed?  Are all drivers paying inadequate attention.  Was all the cat's life ruined by the event, or did it have a good life before-hand.  Learning to think realistically during emotionally-charged situations is a challenge for everyone.  It's just that situations that are everyday for some people may be more emotionally-charged for kids with ASD because of the added challenges of sensory issues, rigid thinking and problems self regulating.  It takes some extra-conscientious modelling by the parents and it's a slow process, not an overnight one.


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#24 of 50 Old 07-26-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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 Learning to think realistically during emotionally-charged situations is a challenge for everyone.  It's just that situations that are everyday for some people may be more emotionally-charged for kids with ASD because of the added challenges of sensory issues, rigid thinking and problems self regulating.  It takes some extra-conscientious modelling by the parents and it's a slow process, not an overnight one.


agreed. Another thing we've worked on is non-violent communication.

http://www.cnvc.org/about/what-is-nvc.html
 

This is about really listening to what the other person is saying, and hearing the underlying feelings, and the responding back to them in such a way that they know we really heard them. It sounds simple, it isn't how I was brought up and it has taken me work to learn to do this. (I have a couple of books on it!)

 

My statements on teaching kids to be positive to and find things to be grateful for were NOT about how to respond in the moment when a child is upset, but rather, how to work with kids  at other times -- when they are neutral -- to help them not get so stuck.

 

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 50 Old 07-27-2011, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#26 of 50 Old 07-28-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Wow, you sound tired.  I understand better now how the conversations are going.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#27 of 50 Old 07-28-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Me to dd the toddler: Thank you for carrying that bag for Mommy. That is so helpful!

 

DD the 7yo: That's not helpful. Anybody could do that. Babies are stupid. They can't do anything.


I probably would have said, "Good then here's yours." winky.gif

 

Me to dd the 7yo: She doesn't know as much as you, that's all. Would you mind carrying a bag for me too? My hands are kind of full.

 

DD the 7yo: No, I'm not carrying anything. Why should I carry something?

 

Me to 7yo: Because I need some help. M is helping. Could you please just carry one bag?

 

This reminds me of the military, in that as an Airman I was "asked" to do things all the time, because "asking" is...more pleasant; but these "requests"  were essentially orders. Though saying "ds, I could use a hand; could you take this into the house" usually works, sometimes I have to be more direct. Sometimes I get into the "we all contribute to the running of the house" but usually not when we are in the middle of "it."

 

7yo: She is NOT helping. It's just one stupid bag, and it's not even heavy! Look at her. She can barely carry it. She's a weakling.

 

I probably would have said "She is helping me; and it is not acceptable to say mean things about your sister." I'd probably add in a quick example of when I said something that hurt ds' feelings. I've had to pull out examples a lot because ds has had trouble with empathy, though he's improved since last year.

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"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#28 of 50 Old 07-28-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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My DS is 10 and he is this exact way as well!  His therapist even mentioned that he may have some depression which she said is not typical in a ASD kid.  One thing we have done for the past year and it seems to help a little bit, at bed time after story we talk about three good things that happened to us that day.. We have to be careful though... because if he's too tired or had a REALLY bad day, he only wants to talk about all the bad stuff and we have to navigate through it with lots of caution or else we will have melt down city... and tired ASD kiddos with melt down city is not a good thing!! 

 

We also have a four year old and my 10 year old has always been a layed back easy going never violent in anyway kind a kid until the 4 year old showed up.. and alot of his violence (not physical) and negativity is all directed towards him..  all this is pretty recent too... i'm also having a hard time determining which is ASD and which is just 10 year old, big brother behavior, lol!!

 

I'm new to this forum stuff and have already been so excited in the last few days to finally find a place that is so helpful and not feeling so lost and alone!

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#29 of 50 Old 07-28-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post

I own the NVC book and have been attempting that for years. It's just hard to figure out exactly what the underlying feeling is when this happens:

 

Me to dd the toddler: Thank you for carrying that bag for Mommy. That is so helpful!

 

DD the 7yo: That's not helpful. Anybody could do that. Babies are stupid. They can't do anything.

 

Me to dd the 7yo: She doesn't know as much as you, that's all. Would you mind carrying a bag for me too? My hands are kind of full.

 

DD the 7yo: No, I'm not carrying anything. Why should I carry something?

 

Me to 7yo: Because I need some help. M is helping. Could you please just carry one bag?

 

7yo: She is NOT helping. It's just one stupid bag, and it's not even heavy! Look at her. She can barely carry it. She's a weakling.

 

And on and on and on...so much there. She's feeling what, exactly, that I'm supposed to validate? That her sister is stupid and weak? I'm not going to validate that. That she's jealous? Sure. We talk about how we love both of them just as much all the time, and we try to give the 7yo lots of individual attention and take her places alone and so on and so forth, but it doesn't stop her from acting that way. Now, I do try to reframe what she's saying into something less offensive and rude, like that the baby is less knowledgeable and less strong, instead of stupid and a weakling. I guess I just have to keep plugging away. lol

It looks like the sibling relationship is a large part, too.  My DS(11yo) struggles a lot with understanding why our expectations are different for our 7 year old son (DD is very close in age so we don't have any issues regarding different expectations with her.  Not all kids get this, especially ASD kids who tend to make broad-sweeping, one-size-fits-all rules.  Also, I find that when DS's self-esteem is low, he is more likely to speak poorly of his younger brother.

 

I would try actively observing and commenting (in a noticing rather than judging way) the mature things you observe your daughter doing.  "Gee, I noticed how far you carried that shopping bag.  You can mange to carry it so much farther, now, than when you were small," or "I really appreciate how you were able to read you book while I was busy cooking supper.  That was very mature behavior", to help booster your daughter's self esteem.  Allow her to see how far along she has come without bringing the younger sibling directly into it.

 

I'd also try regularly getting her to contribute (in a cheerful, telling way, as in "Time to do dishes, it's your day on the calendar") to the household.  I think that the more that something becomes an expected routine, the less helpfulness is something to haggle over.

 

Along with the NVC (which I admit I know less about), I'd recommend the book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Can Talk", as just a plain old great book on the subjects of communication and positive discipline.  The same authors also wrote a great book called "Siblings Without Rivalry".  Very verbal kids can be very adept at arguing and it's easy to fall into a rut you never expected.  I think my NT middle child has put me through the arguing rounds in an even more harrowing way than DS.  It always helps to see a different way to look at communicating.  There are also some great parenting programs on the topic (Including "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen").  Practicing communication skills with another adult (via a program or a councilor) can sometimes help more than reading a book on the topic.
 

 


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