to leave the beach because DS DOES NOT LISTEN arggggggggggghhhhhh

(32 Posts)
youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 14:22:57

Background: DS (8) has suspected AS. He finds socialising extremely difficult, is disorganised, anxious and seems to have a total lack of attachment or care towards things. He really wants something like a toy and then when has it (birthday/xmas) doesn't really how an interest.

So it's gorgeous today, I ask DS if he would like lunch and a play on the beach. He's very excited. Wants to use his snorkel he bought himself (poundshop!) a few weeks ago but has no idea where he's put it. We live in a 2 bed flat hmm
He always complains about sand/ stones etc and wants to wear socks on the beach - I use to allow him until he would take them off the minute they got wet/sandy and walked bare foot - proving he couldn't possibly do it to be a bit of an exaggeration and so no more socks got ruined.
He has 'crocs' and sandals for wearing in water, plimsoll type trainers and school shoes.
He refused to wear the 'crocs' and sandals - "they are sandy" - they are not as they have been cleaned - and insisted on wearing his plimolls. I made it clear they were not for wearing in water and they would get sandy and as they are the only shoes he has that he can apparently wear he would have to wear them after the beach.

He wears them.

Get to beach - he insists he has to go onto sandy bit about 10 meters from where we were sitting and wear his plimsolls and couldn't possibly walk onto sand from where we are and let me take his shoes for him.
He plays, they get sandy and then he goes in sea with them on.
Comes back, TAKES THEM OFF, Runs back across the bit he couldn't possibly go across half hour earlier, runs across the sand and into the sea. angry

I went and got him, told him we were leaving and why, explained he now has NO SHOES to wear (at least until plimsolls are washed and dry) and have told him he needs to learn things have value and he must learn to care about things.

He hates me, I feel guilty as it is only a pair of shoes, but AIBU to think it's about the bigger picture and he needs to learn he can't just treat objects how he chooses at the time as it' about the bigger picture.

<Dons flame proof suit>

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 30-Jun-13 14:29:13

Yanbu. You tried to have a nice day and you are doing your best to bring ds up.

thebody Sun 30-Jun-13 14:52:46

To be honest he sounds like a normal kid.

If you don't want the shoes to get wet then leave them at home.

Insisting is the preserve of the parent not the child.

TimeofChange Sun 30-Jun-13 14:53:36

Winning: Sorry, he is obviously being difficult, but really the plimsolls were already wet so the damage was done.
I'd of just stayed and enjoyed the time there as it was all going well (except for the plimsolls being wet!)

Did he put them on to go home or stay barefoot?

I'm not surprised he didn't know where the snorkell was - cos he is 8, why would he?

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 17:10:12

time Because we have a space in a cupboard where all beach/camping stuff is kept - he was told to put it there and said he had weeks ago - the goggles are there!

I bought him home because I feel he has to learn that things have value - this time it was a pair of shoes (which I cannot afford to place but thats by the by) but before and next time it may be something expensive. Like the hole in the paintwork in the back of my car because instead of getting in the car like I asked 3 times - he was fussing over what x,y and z child was doing and rode into the road without thinking. Luckily it was my car he hit, not someone elses and luckily it wasn't a car that hit him.

I am trying to teach him - I fear badly- that he gets to have fun and treats but to get these he needs to care for the environment around him. That he cannot go blindly through life ruining stuff - he has no empathy which is what makes it hard to explain it to him. TBH he has and never would I hope! deliberatly break something of his or anybody elses.

thebody thankyou - it's lovely to hear your child sounds pretty 'normal'. grin Its very hard sometimes to distinguish the SN from NT development. Your right about the shoes, I think that's why I felt so guilty - I'd allowed it to happen because he has an amazing way of manipulating me without actually arguing and then the thing I'd given into was the thing that I then punished him with. blush

property thankyou. I am trying my best but like all parents I make mistakes and have misjudgements - or wobbles about my actions when I'm actually right! I know MN will set me straight - and hopefully I'll get some advice on how to do it better next time too!

As the parent of a child with AS who can be more exasperating than my other three put together, I do sympathise with you.

Do you think he will be able to make the connection between the specific behaviour and the consequence?

PurplePidjin Sun 30-Jun-13 17:23:11

A child on the spectrum will (generally) benefit more from strict, solid, non-negotiable boundaries than your average child. Yanbu!

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 17:36:29

purple thanks. I feel sometimes that I'm constantly dictating to him - pick my battles and then it all goes wrong!

threeBee exasperating is the exact word. grin He is such a generous, kind, fun loving boy but cannot grasps the basic concepts of life. It's interesting about the connection between behaviour and consequence - he seems to grasp it at the time as I always make it clear - but it doen't top him from repeatedly doing the same things. Hence the exasperation I feel.

Yes, I get that. Remorse and seeming understanding, then repeating the same behaviour again 5 minutes later. <sigh>

TimeofChange Sun 30-Jun-13 17:43:43

If you were having a good time on the beach I'd have stayed and continued to enjoy the afternoon.
It's not often we get good enough weather to enjoy the beach.

I don't think him choosing where to sit on the beach is a issue either really.

But then I'm a pushover!

Tryharder Sun 30-Jun-13 17:59:10

YABU. It was only a pair of plimsolls. If they were wet, he would have either had to wear them wet and suffer or wait until they were dry. They would have dried within an hour in the sun in any case.

I think you are crediting 8 year old boys with more sense than they have TBH.

Unless you live next to the beach, presumably this was a day out for your family which has now been spoilt over a pair of bloody plimsolls.

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 18:20:19

We do live next to the beach! About 5 minutes in the car so go ALOT - come rain or shine! He's 9 in 7 weeks and his peers certainly do have self control - which is mainly what he lacks.

It wasn't about him choosing to sit somewhere - I gave him the choice - it's that he then wanted to go onto the sand 10m along the beach (which is where he wouldn't sit!) and finding ways to manipulate why he couldn't/ wouldn't take his trainers off!

He suddenly managed to wear his crocs - which he rinsed again with his plimsolls and which dried outside in seconds - the crocs HE COULDN'T POSSIBLY EVER WEAR AGAIN because they had got sand in them. <sigh>

For anyone who watches the Big Bang Theory it's like living with Sheldon Cooper - he's so amazing at arguing/ manipulating he can make you sound unreasonable even when your being sensible and are right. grin Yet he cannot sustain an actual conversation confused

We have pent 2 hours in the garden having fun this afternoon - I didn't make it a long drawn out punishment iyswim? We've just had a roast dinner and now he's watching a DVD and I'm going to get him some ice cream from the freezer.

PurplePidjin Sun 30-Jun-13 19:09:29

Pick your battles, yes, but you have to fight it every single time. Because what to us is a fractional difference, to the person with ASD is a totally new situation - the thinking doesn't join up iuswim? So, he now knows that getting plimsolls wet= coming home from the beach. He may not be able to turn that into disobeying mummy = coming home from the beach...

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 19:30:25

I absolutely get where you're coming from and why you did what you did, but the action and consequence don't match up IMO. He got his shoes wet/sandy, so the consequence of that is he has wet and sandy shoes. Not that a trip out is cut short - do you see what I mean? So I wouldn't have brought him home, but I would have made him fix his shoes himself and of course he would have had to wear them home.

My DS has a social communication disorder and I recommend 'how to talk so children will listen' which has helped me enormously with the difference between 'punishing' and 'consequences' and has made all our lives tonnes easier.

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:03

wilson I have heard so much about that book - really think I should get it! I totally get the wet/sandy shoes being the consequence - that totally makes sense.

I struggle with the fact the big deal about not wearing a certain shoe because they are sandy from before turns into him making others wet and sandy. Therefore he doesn't seem to learn by the consequence because the consequence is he'll have to do/wear something he apparently hates - but then does - ie; he then wore his crocs after all this. confused (iyswim?!)

It's a minefield!

insanityscratching Sun 30-Jun-13 20:00:24

Have you had an OT assessment? Sensory issues probably explain his behaviour today and he can't help having them. I have two with ASD and really you'll drive yourself mad sweating the small stuff. Only take on battles that are worth winning would be my advice because too many will create opposition from ds and frustration from you. For me if the plimsolls really were so important not to get wet then I wouldn't have taken them. Of they then got wet then I'd accept that I was foolish allowing them to be taken. Maybe more planning before you go to the beach could help next time. Have specific beach shoes that ds is responsible for rinsing in the shower when he gets home so that they are sand free for next time.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 20:08:02

Oh totally, I get it. Inability to link things up etc etc. although what's good (though infuriating grin) is that he then will then wear the crocs, so he's not as rigid as he could be.

Every cloud wink

Kleinzeit Sun 30-Jun-13 20:08:41

I might have suggested wearing the plimsolls to the beach and putting on crocs as soon as he got on the sand - if he would agree to that, and if I was sure he would stick to it, that is. (My DS would stick to it if he said so.) Otherwise I would either have insisted he wore the crocs (and put up with the meltdown) with the mantra “WHEN you have put on your crocs THEN we can go to the beach” (my DS would probably then refuse to wear anything but crocs to the beach, always and forever....); or else let him wear his plimsolls and accepted (sigh) they’d get wet and grotty.

“How to treat objects” or “care for the environment” are very large complicated general questions but the way to put things across to kids with ASCs is to be (mostly) very concrete and specific. Have you looked at social stories? Imagine writing a social story for “how to treat objects” – you’d probably need a lot of different social stories, for how to look after different kinds of object and things that can happen, getting water on it, getting it dirty, tearing it, breaking it….. It's easier to pick the most important examples and work on those.

And there is not much point in punishing unintentional damage. If your DS is distracted when he should be getting in to the car then the distraction is what you need to manage. If he has to wear crocs to the beach then that’s the rule you need to enforce. My DS didn’t damage objects but I had to teach him how to treat people more carefully (argh!) so I know where you’re coming from on desperately wanting to teach general principles. But it just doesn’t seem to work that way. It’s all specifics and details and being concrete and getting in there before the problem starts. Sigh!

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 20:54:52

Thanks for all this advice - it's greatly appreciated.

DS doesn't deliberatly damage objects or people - has damaged both through thoughtlessness though! I think it's his black and white view of things - if it's broken he can't use it, gets he can't use it because it's broken but doesn't get treating things carefully so they don't break! And it really is just forgetting himself not an intentional act.

RE: crocs only on beach. I am really going to have to enforce this. I assumed it was sensory issues as he does have them with clothes and shoes and mixing some foods on a plate! However he seems to be able to cope when he then can't cope with the item being wet/sandy. I guess maybe I'm missing that it's the lesser of 2 evils? Or that he gets used to sand or when he's distracted he then forgets about it?

Definatly going to start the "when you've done X, we can do Y". It's a nice positive way of getting what I want him to do done! I do say things like "you play on the pavement at all times" instead of "don't go in the road" because for some reason although they are both the same thing he gets the first. I guess like purple said it's the not linking up 2 things. "Don't go on the road" does not tell him what he actually can do!

We had a quick 'chat' when I put him to bed and he said he liked the 'beach shoes' he had last year - the wet suity type ones. I have said we'll get some of those so that should hopefully solve this problem!

I need to learn to ignore his constant reasonings; chose my battles and fight enforce them. grin

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 20:59:04

If 'when you do X, we'll do Y' and positive instructions are working for you then have a search on the SN boards for pathological demand avoidance (PDA). I am not in any way, shape or form suggesting he has this but the techniques both you and Klenzit use are classic PDA strategies, so you may find other strategies for dealing with it are helpful to you.

I feel I should repeat again that I'm not suggesting he has PDA! Just that it sounds like PDA strategies work well for your DS so take a look and see what else you can pinch.

Kleinzeit Sun 30-Jun-13 21:47:20

PDA was never mentioned when my DS was diagnosed with Asperger’s nearly 10 years ago, not sure if anyone had really heard of it then, but the psychologist told me “Aspies run on anxiety” and that anxiety was the main fuel for DS’s meltdowns. So for me there’s a big overlap between PDA strategies and Aspie strategies anyway – a lot of anxiety management in both.

And I once out-argued my own father when I knew I was wrong grin so I don’t believe in those kinds of logical arguments any more. It’s the difference between logical and reasonable – my DS is also very good at being logical and completely unreasonable! But a lot of his “logical” arguments are really just venting. So I negotiate if there’s something to negotiate over, otherwise I tell him how it’s going to be and I stick to my guns. I don’t argue against his logic but I am boring and persistent and I repeat myself, like they used to advise in assertiveness training, only I put pauses between the repetitions so DS has plenty of time to express himself and take in what I'm saying, as he has a slight processing delay.

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 22:05:24

I'll definately look at PDA techniques - thankyou. I don't think he has PDA (from what I've googled! read) because actually he is mostly far more "obediant" than most of his peers who all appear to be going through an argue the toss stage. grin That is a very basic argument against but he jut doesn't "fit" it iyswim? But then I also know there's a cross over with PDA and ASD and specific ASD like AS so anything is worth considering and trying.

Just some things he see's a logic in - that I and no-one else can see. Very much like klein said. And he'll argue his logic, that then goes off on a tangent, which usually ends up in me forgetting whatever it was I wanted him to do. hmm

klein does this type of conversation happen in your house?!

ME: DS, I'm doing roast potatoes and veg for dinner, do you want meatballs or sausages with it?
DS: I really like chicken, I like chicken that you cook in the bag, you know the one where you get the bag and put in the powder, you don't have to use your own bag. I know how they work do you?
ME: confused I have one of the bags, I don't have chicken. Would you like meatballs or sausages? I can cook it in the bag if you want.
DS: "maggies ohh so juicey" (starts repeating the advert. Repeats the bit about how it cooks etc.
ME: DS, FFS do you want sausages or meatballs.
DS: I like the maggies ohh so juicy with chicken.
ME: DS, I do not have any chicken.
DS: I know you told me, please can I have the maggies ohh so juicy with meatballs.

And I know people will say don't give a choice, and perhaps they are right.

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 22:06:42

"aspies run on anxiety" That explains a lot about my DS. Everything he does is as a stepping stone to the next thing - he actually 'jitters' iyswim?

Toni27 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:15:48

My son has asd and has really sensitive feet. The idea of a specific pair of beach shoes sounds like a Very Good idea. It can be so frustrating when u just want to have a nice day out and you havent anticipated something simple that turns into a big problem, but next time you will be prepared with the shoes thing and it will be fine I'm sure.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:24:37

Omg what are you doing with my DS (and can you keep him for a week, thanks) grin

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