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Not to Stop Autistic DS?

(101 Posts)
LadyNym Sun 24-May-15 16:41:38

My eldest DS will be three next week and he's currently going through an ASD diagnosis. One of the many traits he displays is being inappropriate in social situations and becoming immediately attached and obsessed with random strangers. I'm often at a bit of a loss as to how to handle this since he's not being 'naughty' or nasty or anything...just 'inappropriate'. I'm also often not sure when he's being inappropriate because of the ASD and when he's simply being a child. I know many NT children who overstep social boundaries!

The most recent example was when we were in the GP's waiting room. A mother and her son came in. The boy was a little older than DS (probably around four). He played at the bead table with my DSs for a couple of minutes then decided to take his mum a book for her to read to him. DS decided he would copy this behaviour and took over another book and gave it to the other mum. She was a little bemused and I tried to distract him but when he's set on something it's hard to stop him without a meltdown. Then he took another book and then a few more and started trying to dictate to the poor woman which book she should read, which she didn't seem especially happy about. I stepped in and managed to get him back to where my mum, my other DS and I were sitting but it didn't last long and DS went back to his new 'friend' (the boy hadn't said a word to him but DS is convinced everyone he meets is his friend).

At this point he started listening to the book being read (I had offered to read to him several times but he wasn't interested)...and then climbed up onto the seat next to the boy to better see/hear. This was a single seat so even with them both being small children it was a bit of a squeeze but since the boy didn't seem particularly uncomfortable I just left DS to it rather than intervening, which would have probably resulted in screaming and kicking etc. We were called in for our appointment a few minutes later.

So, was I unreasonable for not stopping DS? Would you expect a mum to step in if her child was acting in this way or would you think nothing of it?

GGabcd Sun 24-May-15 16:43:55

You did step in by offering to read to him, though, didn't you?

If I was the other mum, I would have just included your son. So I don't think he really did anything 'wrong' for someone of his age!

AuntyMag10 Sun 24-May-15 16:45:58

I do think you should not have left him to sit in the seat with the other boy. Lucky for you the other boy didn't make a fuss over this. You don't want your ds thinking this is ok.

RainbowFlutterby Sun 24-May-15 16:46:23

Yes I would expect a mum to step in. I'm not psychic so I wouldn't know it was an autistic trait and I don't like other people's children.

FenellaFellorick Sun 24-May-15 16:47:22

It wouldn't bother me if I was the other mum in your story. But if I was you in your story I would have been more proactive in dealing with him.

I know all about it. I have great sympathy! Ive got 1 son with asd and the other with asd and adhd. Got a biiiiiig t-shirt proudly proclaiming how I've been there done that got the grey hair to prove it grin It's not easy I know.

shouldnthavesaid Sun 24-May-15 16:47:22

I think what he was doing was quite sweet to be honest. It's a shame the other mum seemed bemused, I'd have been happy to include him if I were her.

DixieNormas Sun 24-May-15 16:47:42

I think you were right to step in when he was taking the books to her and trying to dictate what she should read.

I also think leaving him to sit next to the little boy as long as he was quiet was perfectly fine.

I would have done the same if I was in your situation and if I was the other mum I would have been fine with a little boy sitting with us and listening to the story

cuntycowfacemonkey Sun 24-May-15 16:48:05

well he's still little so not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I think it's a bit odd that you didn't just explain to the other mum why your ds was behaving like this. My son has asd, if the behaviour isn't appropriate I don't let it carry on to avoid a melt down. If it's relatively harmless then I explain it to whoever is involved, but if they don't seem understanding or happy then I would move him away.

FenellaFellorick Sun 24-May-15 16:48:39

All about it as in how challenging it is, not all about it as in I know it all grin

wellysrule Sun 24-May-15 16:49:13

I would think nothing of it and include an interested 3-year-old in the story time.
I remember my youngest, at about that age, taking the hand of a stranger on a beach who I'd gotten chatting to show him where x marked the spot for treasure. He took it with good grace, but youngest was overstepping the interaction rules of our society. She just didn't know it 'cos she was only 3!!

manicinsomniac Sun 24-May-15 16:50:18

He sounds sweet but I think I'd have stopped him.

It doesn't sound like something he did due to his autism. Obviously you know your son but it sounds like his personality to me. My DD2, now 7, is totally NT and was exactly like this at this age - convinced that everybody in the world loved her and wanted to be her friend and spend time with her. It was very embarrassing at times and, on occasion, I worried about her safety (no awareness of stranger boundaries etc). She grew out of it when she started in Reception.

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Sun 24-May-15 16:50:19

Yes, you need to step in. I know how hard it is at that age. DS was diagnosed with ASD just before he was three. He had no boundaries with strangers either - that's why it's even more important to 'teach' what is and isn't appropriate, despite meltdowns. There's no harm in explaining to other parents either. A quick 'Sorry, he has autism' works wonders too.

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Sun 24-May-15 16:52:00

And, I know what you mean about not knowing whether a behaviour is down to autism, or typical child behaviour. It took me a long time to realise that it doesn't actually matter. You can't separate the child from the autism, so you just have to deal with the behaviour regardless.

Icimoi Sun 24-May-15 16:52:13

I think it was fine to leave him, but maybe you could have muttered to the mother to let you know if he was being a nuisance.

Crowquill Sun 24-May-15 16:52:57

Yes I would expect a mum to step in. I'm not psychic so I wouldn't know it was an autistic trait and I don't like other people's children.

All of them Rainbow? biscuit

Sirzy Sun 24-May-15 16:54:23

I think if you could tell the other mother/child weren't happy then you should have moved him away, it's hard I know but you need to try to encourage appropriate behaviour.

A child came and started watching CBeebies on the iPad with ds at the hospital a few months ago, ds was happy (miracles do happen!) to share and his mum checked it was ok so it was fine.

It is difficult and it's all a learning curve, ds has a tendency to tell other adults off (for things like opening a door or pressing lights and crossings) and although he doesn't know why it's wrong I have to stop him and explain its not appropriate.

DixieNormas Sun 24-May-15 16:54:43

Oh he was on the same seat as the little boy, im not sure then. Obviously its important that he learns about personal boundaries, his own and other peoples.

Its difficult, ds4 is also going through dx atm

Feminine Sun 24-May-15 16:55:40

I'd tell him if it helps him and you. I'd have adjusted myself and child, he sounds very cute smile
I'm surprised the other mum wasn't more welcoming. Unless (and l suppose we have to remember) she could have been poorly herself.
As another poster said, a NT child may also have done the same.

Noeuf Sun 24-May-15 16:56:19

Yeah step in and remove him. You don't know what's going on for the other family. My ds (asd) would have hated that if he'd been the boy, and probably tried to physically get rid of your son. So safest to avoid.

RainbowFlutterby Sun 24-May-15 16:58:09

Crowquill - Sorry but yes, all of them. And I don't think other people's children like me much either. I'm just really shit with little kids and I have no patience.

Chunkymonkey79 Sun 24-May-15 17:02:39

If the other mum appeared uncomfortable i would probably explain his situation briefly so they knew he wasn't just over being bearing.
It might help how they deal with the situation, i imagine some people who get annoyed being bothered by strangers kids could be quite grumpy with the child, but they might be kinder to them if they knew.

I don't think ywbu though smile

defineme Sun 24-May-15 17:04:29

Ds1 is 13, has asd, and I still find it very hard to judge when to intervene or when to share his dx with strangers he befriends. It's hard to tell if someone is being polite but finding him aggravating. It's also potentially humiliating for ds1 if I do anything.
In that circumstance, I would weigh the possibility of the 1 women being annoyed for a few minutes with the likelihood of the whole waiting room being agog at melt down and the dr not being able to do appointment etc.
you tried your best, and I wouldn't have been bothered at all, just thrilled another child was befriending mine.

PenguinsAreAce Sun 24-May-15 17:07:42

I have four kids. I like children. In this sort of situation I try so hard to be understanding and accept the other child, and remember they are only a child and there could be anything going on with them etc etc. 80-90% of the time I manage.

However, this has happened to me on occasions, for example when I am alone with one of my children doing an activity and having very precious and rare 1-2-1 time with them (yes, even in this sort of medical setting). At those times, or when I am tired and just don't want any more bugging thank you, this would piss me off and I'm afraid to say I would probably seethe and want you to take him away.

Buttercup27 Sun 24-May-15 17:08:03

At a Dr surgery I would step in, the poor women may have been feeling lousy and just able to cope with her own dc, or her dc may have been infectious , you never know.
Else where I would leave him to it but probably helicopter around as you did trying to distract and checking everything was OK.

Springtimemama Sun 24-May-15 17:08:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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