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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this an ASD thing, a developmental stage (he is 10, but delayed in some areas, ahead in others), or WHAT???<br><br>
YoungSon is going through a "morality police" stage. Everything is either right or wrong, and no exceptions. He gets upset if I simplify a story, leave out some details, when I explain to my Mom why we didn't stop to get her apple pie (really, I promise I'll get it tomorrow!). He worries that it is stealing to accept the free samples of food at the grocery store if we know we will not be buying the product. We cannot pass a homeless person without giving him or her some money. I can't think of all the other examples - these are just from yesterday.<br><br>
I love his strong sense of ethics, and I know I teach that actively. But he can have a major meltdown over the tiniest transgression on my part. I can explain situational ethics till I'm blue in the face, but he simply cannot get that a small lie might be gentler than the truth, that it's OK to take the pen from the bank, etc.<br><br>
Other than explaining myself and my actions in each situation, does anyone have any suggestions? I am trying to keep the incidents to a minimum, but, gee, no one's perfect...
 

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This is definitely an ASD thing, from what I've read. I have a suggestion that comes from something I read once in a Temple Grandin book:<br><br>
Get some containers, like buckets or baskets or something. Maybe even posterboard taped off in sections. Then label each one as such (or choose your own, better categories, these are just ideas):<br><br>
1) things that are good that we should always do<br>
2) things that are good that we can sometimes do and sometimes not do<br>
3) exceptions to the rules<br>
4) things that are bad that we should never do<br><br>
Then draw or write some social stories and practice putting them in the different containers. Here are some examples for each category:<br><br>
1) We should always write thank you notes. We should always pay for our purchases. We should always aplogoize if we have hurt someone.<br><br>
2) We can sometimes give money to homeless people and sometimes not. We can sometimes say "god bless you" when someone sneezes, and sometimes not.<br><br>
3) Usually we pay for everything we eat, but it's okay to take samples. Usually we say "hi" back to people, but it's okay not to if that person makes us uncomfortable. Usually we follow all the laws, but it's okay to speed just a little bit. Usually we should always tell the truth, but not if it's a comment about someone's appearance. We should never let anyone touch our privates, unless it's a doctor and mom is with us. We should never lie to mom and dad, unless it's for something fun, like a surprise party.<br><br>
4) We should never hurt people. We never go near a pool without asking permission.<br><br>
Category 3 can be broken down into lots of sub-categories if that's helpful. Like "things that are illegal but permissible" (like the speeding) and "white lies" and "rules that are dumb and make no sense but that still need to be followed or I'll get in trouble". Or maybe, "things that seem wrong but are okay" and "things that seem okay but are wrong." You know best what might resonate with your son.<br><br>
What's nice about this is that once he has a hang of the categories, then you can short-cut explanations when you're out and about. When he starts getting furious that you stepped on a cockroach when "We should never hurt living things!!" (this is an actual example from my son) then you can explain that it's a category 3, an exception: we never hurt living things unless they are roaches in my house, then we can step on them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
In any case, HTH. Good luck!
 

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I don't have a solution but based on what I've learned through relationship development intervention I think this is an autism characterstic (generally). I've seen this in people who I would say are subclinical too and I think some personalities tend toward it even outside of spectrum individuals.
 

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It's really both, if you ask me. It can be that people on ASD tend to be very concrete and may have a harder time thinking in terms of abstract- but once again not always.<br><br>
It sounds to me like your ds is working through somethink like the Kohlberg stages of morality:<br><br><a href="http://students.usm.maine.edu/bmcpha61/Kohlberg_stages_of_morality.htm" target="_blank">http://students.usm.maine.edu/bmcpha...f_morality.htm</a><br>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development</a><br><br>
Here's a link to a hypothetical to consider, just for fun:<br><br>
(The famous Heinz dilemma)<br><br>
Actually, just scroll down on the wiki page. It's towards the end <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I personally think this is a great chance for you to talk about right and wrong and vaues with your ds!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. all. I love the idea of the baskets/containers. We will definately be doing this. It just makes sense, in the concrete way my guy looks at the world.<br><br>
Yes, I see the stages of morality developm<br><br>
Whoops - gotta run - be back this eve.
 

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yes, def and ASD thing. Rigidity iin ideas comes up in so many different forms, morality is one of them for some kids. I do a lot of RDI work to address that (i like the rule change game and role reversal game especially).<br><br><br>
rule change game: you play a game the normal way, but have a set of cards with different rules on them. at a random point in the game, you call out rule change and pick a card, and follow those rules until the next rule change.<br><br>
role reversals: we do a lot of role playing as studnet/teacher, dad/child, customer/owner, etc. then when you call reversal, you have to stay the same role, but do things out of your role. so the dad will get ready for school, the student assign HW, etc.<br><br>
i do a lot of "opposite worlds" too. like, put together a puzzle, then when you say opposite world you have to un-do the puzzle one piece at a time. or you're making a beaded necklace, then opposite world you take it out one at a time.<br><br>
you don't want to stress the child out, but you want to push them *just* past their comfort level in a fun way. If anything in these situations stress them out, it's a safe environment to practice coping skills that are harder to teach in the moment of stress in another location (like the grocery store)<br><br><br>
It's a balance with ASD kids to use rules/guidelines to HELP them cope with the world, but at the same time teach them that rules can be broken and everything isn't black and white. I push a lot in this direction with lighthearted humor. we'll be putting away a game and a child will make it perfect, i'll mess it up and laugh and say "mess is good!" and we'll laugh together and every time they fix it i mess it up and we laugh harder and harder. OF COURSE, this is only for a child who is ready for that! some kids would have a full on meltdown and i know better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br><br>
so... IME the black and white morality is just a symptom of the general rule-rigidity mindset, so you tackle that one little by little, in FUN playful ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello again.<br>
I remember the stages of morality development from some class a few thousand years ago. But this is different from my other kids. Funny, he's not too rigid in other aspects of life, at least by ASD standards.<br><br>
Humor will definately work with him. I think if I can jump in quickly enough with our favorite brand of far-fetched exagerations, I may be able to diffuse the situation before it implodes. I don't know if I dare say this, but I am almost loking forward to the chance to try this out! Famous last words...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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