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To think DS(14) has broken or stashed my laptop battery?

(34 Posts)
UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 11:44:19

He's been using it for school work - prefers to sit at his desk in his room to use it. 4x this week I've asked him to bring it downstairs but no, I find it slung on the floor by his desk because it was "taking up too much room".

There's no battery in it, he hasn't seen it and apparently I'm being unreasonable to blame him for it.

He's Autistic (mainly affecting his emotional regulation) so he's had a massive meltdown and blazing row over it which normally happens when he's been caught out - for lack of a better term.

He has his own room which none of us go in unless he's there and his sister can't use the laptop without help so it can't have been her either 🤔

OP’s posts: |
UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 11:47:11

I should also add I have checked every possible space in his room and upstairs but it's not there.

My suspicion is that he has planked it so his sister couldn't use it today (he has form for not hiding her stuff to piss her off) or that he has broken it by accident and won't tell me (which he also has form for).

I've told him that I don't care if it just magically reappears on the laptop or on the floor, whatever, as long as it is returned.

OP’s posts: |
Nottherealslimshady Thu 25-Jun-20 11:47:25

Search his room. He needs to learn to look after things or theres consequences. He doesn't get to use it in his room anymore. He also needs to learn theres consequences to emotional outbursts.

Nottherealslimshady Thu 25-Jun-20 11:49:19

It must be somewhere. Try the bins. Any cupboard where theres random junk. If hes done it to stop his sister using it then he doesn't get it at all. Print off school work and he can do it by hand.

britnay Thu 25-Jun-20 11:51:06

do you mean no power cable?

EL8888 Thu 25-Jun-20 11:52:07

That’s fine is he’s lost it or hidden it. He can buy a new one and not use the laptop ever again.

SpillTheTeaa Thu 25-Jun-20 11:52:09

He also needs to learn theres consequences to emotional outbursts.

Doesn't quite work like that with an autistic child.
He's probably hid it. Make him search his room. Probably put it in a wash basket or a draw.

GetUpAgain Thu 25-Jun-20 11:53:15

Yanbu, it sounds like you understand him very well. I think your suggestion for it to magically reappear is best.

Re consequences to emotional outbursts- for someone with autism this is an unfair thing to say 'they need to learn'. Its a disability, you would not say a wheelchair user needs to learn to walk!

user69 Thu 25-Jun-20 11:54:00

The power cable or the actual battery?

GetUpAgain Thu 25-Jun-20 11:56:02

PS LOL at 'printing high school work off'.

Clearly not familiar with
Google classroom
Etc etc

It's like saying 'print Mumsnet off'

TerrorWig Thu 25-Jun-20 11:58:57

Well, if he’s the only one that has been using it then how can anyone else be responsible?

For that reason I would replace at his expense if he can’t produce it by the end of the day.

I think the fact he has autism is a red herring. Clearly he understands he is responsible for whatever has happened.

ChicCroissant Thu 25-Jun-20 12:04:17

If you think he's hidden it to spite his sister, then I would set a deadline for the return and outline the consequences if it is not met.

My DD is secondary age and has printed off work to do most days, GetUpAgain, it's not all online.

ItsWhineTime Thu 25-Jun-20 12:15:09

This is exactly something my Ds does all the time. He has autism as well. Usually it's found at a later date all smashed but it's never him. I have to watch my stuff like a hawk

UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 12:17:16

Honestly feel like I'm going mad! Trying to figure out another possibility but I honestly don't think there are any.

It's the actual battery pack that has been removed it has a sliding catch and a button clip so can't just fall out. He's a fidgeter so I'm wondering if he has found the catch and accidentally broken it whilst mucking around.

I've told him it's not to go upstairs anymore so he's now refusing to do any school work, I've given up on that for today tbh as it's honestly not worth the drama.

We're using teams here, all his work is online so printing isn't really an option unfortunately.

I've hunted every inch of his room, his sisters room and any toy boxes/bins that it could be in but no sign. He goes for a cycle every day, if it's been broken he may well have dumped it somewhere and he will never own up to it 🙄

It's his birthday on Saturday and if I wasn't such a damn soft touch I would cancel our plans and use money to replace but he doesn't respond to consequences that way so it'd be pointless really.

OP’s posts: |
UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 12:21:51

It's so frustrating isn't it @ItsWhineTime, it seems to come down to lack of accountability which no amount of consequences or talking helps with!

OP’s posts: |
ChicCroissant Thu 25-Jun-20 12:26:50

So he's broken/lost it and only his sister is losing out now because she can't do any work? He's not losing out on anything and gets a day off school work as well?!

MillicentMartha Thu 25-Jun-20 12:31:39

No advice about the situation with your DS, but you can easily get a replacement battery. I needed to get new ones for work (school laptops) and found that Battdepot was great.
Maybe if you have a ‘spare’ that will take the sting out of the situation and some of the power away from your DS? If not, at least you’ll have a working laptop.

MillicentMartha Thu 25-Jun-20 12:34:06

The catches on the batteries aren’t that secure and if he’s been a bit rough with it, it may have fallen out and he may have damaged it trying to refit it? If the catches are damaged you can gaffer tape the replacement in.

UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 12:34:37

@ChicCroissant He has lost out.

I've removed his games console, he isn't allowed to go for his cycle (although he's tried to break down the door and jump out a window twice so far today - if he succeeds I guess he'll get out on his bike!) and I've made it clear that if it isn't returned by the end of the day I will be buying a new battery with his birthday money.

I've also phoned the school whilst he was present to ensure he knew I was telling him that he was refusing to do the work.

His sister is 7, there's not much she needs to do online. It was only to play a few maths games for a bit - not missing out really smile

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Thu 25-Jun-20 12:39:47


So he's broken/lost it and only his sister is losing out now because she can't do any work? He's not losing out on anything and gets a day off school work as well?!

^ This
He does need punished. Re checking everywhere have you checked in pillowcases, inside all bags, behind and under furniture including underneath the mattress but above the bed base ( in slat spaces)? Bathroom cupboards? Kitchen cupboards? Laundry baskets?

Nottherealslimshady Thu 25-Jun-20 12:47:11

@SpillTheTeaa I'm autistic, it's very important to learn that you cant just have emotional outburst and expect people to put up with it. The vast majority of autistics will learn to control their emotions, just like neurotypicals do, it's harder, not impossible. And those that dont fully manage it, will still improve and be better for it. It's actually better for yourself to be able to manage your own emotions. Meltdowns are exhausting and terrifying.

You've done good with your consequences OP 👍

minisoksmakehardwork Thu 25-Jun-20 12:48:58

You know your son well and you have come up with a consequence that is achievable, even if your son does not like it.

If you want to know the truth, give everyone some space to calm down and try 'wondering' aloud (in earshot but not directly at your son) at what might have happened without apportioning blame. i.e. "I wonder if the catch might have accidentally got broken" or "I wonder if the battery has been put somewhere else for safe keeping" - remove the contention that the act has been deliberate in order to inconvenience his sister or directly blaming him. It is something we have used with our SEN children to find out what happened without the situation descending into a meltdown.

One of mine really can't handle the thought of being blamed for anything, even if it is blatantly obvious that it was them who did it. An oft heard phrase is 'we don't like what happened but we still love you" It removes the issue of DC being blamed and puts the blame on their actions. ASD children can be quite black and white in their thinking as I am sure you know, and the more subtle nuance of instinctively knowing that the behaviour was wrong and not the person is not always easily understood.

A possibility for the future is a contract which allows your children to have the laptop in their rooms but as it has to be collected from and returned to an adult, they are held responsible for any damage which occurs while they are borrowing and for the cost of repairs - by collecting from and returning to an adult, you know who is responsible and avoids the doubt caused by finding the laptop elsewhere to who you know had it last. eg if it gets damaged and hidden in someone else's room.

And as an aside, I replaced my battery with an off brand one from duracell direct. Having bought cheap ones previously which had failed, I was going for branded but managed to save myself £30 on the price of a branded new one. Not had any problems with it at all.

LtJudyHopps Thu 25-Jun-20 12:49:31

Can you take one of the wheels off his bike so he physically can’t get out on it? Or chain it up?

UsernameNotValid Thu 25-Jun-20 12:50:13

10 minutes after finding out that I had his birthday money from relatives in my posession he's just "found" it at the side of my bed (under a pair of flip flops in an otherwise empty corner 🤔) surprisingly in one piece and the catches still seem to be fine so I assume he had indeed planked it for the sake of it.

Now I just need to find that bloody hiding spot for future reference!

OP’s posts: |
JoshJoshJosh Thu 25-Jun-20 12:51:30

Just as an idea in the meantime. Some laptops will work without the battery if plugged into the mains. Obviously will instantly switch off if it gets unplugged but worth a shot for the short term smile

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