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When your autistic child hates strangers

(21 Posts)
Theonslostbits Fri 08-Jul-16 23:08:23

So been single two years. About a year ago I had a relationship. Waited about three month to introduce him to the kids. Ds1 who is autistic was not happy. Threw things at him, told him to get out the house...etc. I ended it. I haven't even considered starting anything else. Is this it for me? Alone forever? Obviously kids come first. I feel like my life is on hold

ouryve Fri 08-Jul-16 23:18:33

The mistake there might have been meeting in your DS's comfortable safe place.

Do try again, but this time, meet somewhere neutral, just for a brief chat. With no prior fanfare. You just bumped into a friend. You might bump into this friend a few times over the next few months. Your friend might stop for longer and longer chats and buy everyone ice cream, or suggest a trip to the railway museum - or whatever sounds like a pleasant activity.

You're going to need to help along both participants in this introduction - coaching for prospective DP in what makes your DS tick and possibly for DS in how to be polite with mum's friends even if they really hate them at first sight (still working on that with DS1!). How a future DP works with you in this may just be something that helps you determine whether or not he's a keeper because, while your kid is not more important than you, he is part of the package

ouryve Fri 08-Jul-16 23:19:59

TL:DR version - a partner needs to gradually not become a stranger before he can be accepted.

Theonslostbits Fri 08-Jul-16 23:30:28

Thank you for replying. It is very hard knowing how to do this! Yes on the safe place. I should have predicted that really. It was a new experience for me, introducing a bf to kids. Everything feels so final right now. As if it will always be just me and the kids. I fully accept im primarily responsible for my children. I just feel lonely and miss being in a relationship

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theonslostbits Fri 08-Jul-16 23:49:07

That sounds a better way of doing it, thanks. He is 12. His obsession is call of duty modern warfare 2 ?? Gone from lego (5 years) to mine craft. Im not craving a partner at all. But would like to think it could be a possibility. Im 32, part of me thinks I should just deal with what I have, but another part of me wishes I had somebody to share it with. I feel in limbo land on a lot of levels. (Thanks for the replies it means a lot) sad I know lol

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theonslostbits Fri 08-Jul-16 23:54:56

Thank you smile

mummyto2monkeys Sat 09-Jul-16 00:00:14

Three months is actually far too fast for your son, I have an autistic son who is very overwhelmed by change. For introducing a partner I would start by talking about (p) when you are with ds, (p) is Mummy's friend, p likes such and such, oh that's funny p was telling Mummy this story about x. When ds seems comfortable with hearing you talk about p, you can start showing ds photos of p, 'Mummy was on Facebook and found the funniest picture of p, here look', remember Mummy went out last week, here are the photos (include photos of p). Think of a special interest of your son, be it lego, dinosaurs, science, computer games, first talk about how p likes this topic, then when you are absolutely sure that your p isn't a short term acquaintance, you can look at your son being around whilst p visits with (new Lego set, dinosaur toy?,book on favourite subject). Before inviting p over,you can write a social story about p 'this is p, p is Mummy's friend. P is kind a n d knows lots/ is interested in/ lego/computers and football.Sometimes Mummy goes out with p, that's because they are friends. Sometimes P will come to our house to see Mummy, just like I go to Ben's house, that's what friends do. On Monday p is coming to our house to visit Mummy, if I feel overwhelmed I can go to my room and play with my sensory toys. P knows that I find new things tricky, P understands and wants to be ds friend too.

When organising visiting, concentrate on introducing p as a friend of Mummies. If ds struggles with p being there, you can bring out the Lego/ dinosaur toys/ computer games and p can broach his interest in Lego and how you (mum) have mentioned that ds likes lego, he saw this and thought ds might like it. Hopefully with the prep work your ds will feel safer and happier for be in your partners company.

I would recommend thinking of somewhere your son can retreat to.somewhere that feels safe/ a calming activity that your son enjoys as the environment of the meeting. If your partner loves/ cares for you he will be happy to wait and gently introduce himself.

Theonslostbits Sat 09-Jul-16 00:08:25

Mummy that is very good advice. I was in a long term relationship before and im trying the best I can. Ive read everything going on autism. But maybe I was too optimistic hmm the first time. Also I think sometimes between meltdowns, I cry to myself (I didnt ask for this) nor did my son, I know. It's bloody hard

mummyto2monkeys Sat 09-Jul-16 02:55:08

Please remember OP that most neurotypical children would find three months too early. In fact you would be well within your rights to not introduce any future partners, until they have shown that the relationship is serious and you are moving towards living together.

Your son has the added complication of going through puberty and the huge changes that come with it already, at the moment. Change is such a huge trigger to children and adults on the spectrum. I am willing to bet that many of your sons current meltdowns are triggered by a combination of huge sensory overload, testosterone, lack of sleep and CHANGE. Does your ds know much about his autism? Has he worked through any of the books/ workbooks that are out there for kids/ teenagers on the spectrum to work through? Does your son have any friends that are also autistic? Often local NAS branches will run groups for teenagers on the spectrum. It might help your son to have friends his age, who understand/ or are also going through what he is feeling/ going through.

Does your ds have a quiet space/ sensory area that he can retreat to after school/ when things get too much.? We have bought ds a weighted blanket and sensory toys for his room. He actually takes himself there to calm down at home.A space he can retreat to will be so important when introducing a new partner/ friend etc.

Theonslostbits Sat 09-Jul-16 09:10:19

It wasn't three months after I had split up with his dad. I had been getting to know him for three month before I introduced him to the kids. As im a single parent I only have 5pm on a sat until 12pm on a sunday every two weeks to myself. Initially I told both kids I had a new friend and he would be coming over to watch a film on the night time. He came over at 8pm. Youngest child was in bed. Ds1 doesn't sleep until around midnight although has a deadline of 9.30 for staying in his bedroom (written routine on the back of his bedroom door). He has to surrender iphone, tablet and xbox controllers at 10pm. At 10.30 he began throwing objects from his bedroom down the stairs. I asked him what was wrong and he just said "get him out". The new boyfriend left (could sense a meltdown). Tried talking to ds, explaining bla bla. I perservered for a couple months, (once a week) things got worse. I ended the relationship (im suprised he didn't run).

Ds is very aware of his autism. I have talked a lot about it to him. He also has ASD awareness as part of his school timetable. His safe place is his bedroom, he has a very thick fluffy blanket he wraps himself in when he shuts down.

I think im just feeling sorry for myself and trapped.

Theonslostbits Sat 09-Jul-16 09:24:37

There is a local NAS group for kids his age. He won't go. It is hard to get him out of the house. He has no friends.

I haven't tried any books for teenagers. I am going to look into that. Are there any you can recommend?

mummyto2monkeys Sat 09-Jul-16 15:07:34

Apologies OP, I typed up a huge reply earlier but it didn't send.

This book is actually designed as a programme for teachers who work with autistic teens. It should be adaptable for working through with your ds at home.

This book more covers puberty and the relationship issues that can arise during puberty for teens on the spectrum

This book is an aid to autistic teenage boys dealing with the changes happening to their bodies

This is another lovely book

This book looks a fantastic resource for you op.
My ds is just turned 9, he is already panicking about how his body will change, since leaving school to be home educated, his meltdowns stopped completely for just under a year. Unfortunately testosterone is kicking in and our boy is once again struggling, we have ruled out any other trigger and usually we can find any other causes so it's change ( growth spurt and turning 9) and hormones. I like yourself, have read every book going and been on several different parent courses. I have a huge list of books to read on my booklist.

ClassicMonkey Sat 09-Jul-16 17:06:29

Am I the only one wondering what a 12 year old child is doing playing an 18 age rated game?!

Theonslostbits Sat 09-Jul-16 18:58:57

Thanks for the links mummy. I will look them up.

Yes he plays an age 18 rated game. He is well aware that killing people is illegal. For all of his social and communication problems he is very clever. He is obsessed with anything to do with war. This includes films, video games and books. He plays online with many other kids the same age as him. He has no real life friends and struggles to make conversations. At least he is practicing talking to people. If he was exposed to games where there was blood and guts flying all over at age 6 I would understand your horror.

He is also very clued up in online safety.

If I thought playing a game about war was going to warp his impressionable mind/outlook, he wouldn't be playing it.

ClassicMonkey Sun 10-Jul-16 00:18:34

OP have you actually played the game?
Bloodied soldiers dragging themselves along the floor. A cut scene where someone gets their throat slit under water and a campaign were you can kill civilians. You also can't regulate who he is speaking to and he will be able to hear and speak to adults. The language from some players of cod is appalling.
I can't believe anyone would let a child play and 18 rated game

ouryve Sun 10-Jul-16 00:40:53

CM I'm all for age appropriate gaming, but do shut up. This isn't the point of the thread.

ClassicMonkey Sun 10-Jul-16 00:58:07

ouryve no it's not the point of the thread but the OP is asking about their child throwing things (which in my eyes is violent behaviour) and then goes on to say that their child plays and 18 rated game

RestlessTraveller Sun 10-Jul-16 08:52:02

I'm with ClassicMonkey on this. COD is a brutal game and as for playing on-line the thought is really quite frightening.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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