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What are they thinking? (ASD/PDA stuff)

(62 Posts)
LeninGrad Sat 18-Jun-11 20:31:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brandy77 Sat 18-Jun-11 20:51:39

hi leningrad, on my sons statement that he got this week it said ASD with PDA, still not sure he has PDA too be honest. just wanted to say that i cant ask my son anything, dont know why, if he visits his dads he will just walk in straight past me, no greeting and get on with his own thing, will tell me to be quiet or moan that hes too tired to talk if i ask him if hes had a nice time. If i push it he will get very agitated so i just leave it. As for school, the mere mention of school freaks him out so i dont mention it much at all. God knows its going to be hard to get him to attend even with a statement.

As for meltdowns, ive given up figuring out what kicks them off. My son has been off school 6 months and i have to say the meltdowns have reduced massively, he still has them and sometimes theres an obvious reason, other times its like a switch has flicked and hes off on on.

As for control, since the EP got involved and gave me pointers on my sons behaviour and basically reported that its not my son who has to change its the people around him, ive started being a lot firmer. Im very firm anyway as ive already raised a teenage son but with my youngest I tend to speak to him now, very cleary, not many words, not many demands and in a very firm tone (which i dont think he recognises anyway!) and over do the praise! I actually explained it in a report as instructing him like you would a dog, thats sounds awful but its the best way i could explain it smile

My son is where yours was a year ago and he was definitely worse at 5, unless im just imagining it because the stress of school has been taken away. I know in his early years he was absolutely horrific and would scream at anyone that entered the house whereas now he gets excited if someone comes, even though he will bore them silly with his talking and hyperactive behaviour grin

TotalChaos Sat 18-Jun-11 21:00:45

assuming no underlying language issue, I would hazard a guess that for him it's a bit like us being at a job interview, being asked about strengths/weaknesses - that for whatever reason this sort of question makes him stressed - maybe he worries about giving the right answer?

In terms of control - lots of different ways to set a boundary - objective importance - e.g. paed appt v school fair, subjective importance to you/DP- visit to best friend v trip to soft play, or "the principle of the thing" i.e. not wanting to give in

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Sat 18-Jun-11 21:16:49

DS1's school = DS1's school fair
DS2 is not at school = DS2 does not go to the school fair

That is how I immediately saw that one. Think it is literal thinking.

dolfrog Sat 18-Jun-11 21:41:28

Have you seen
Teaching Social Skills to People with Autism you may have to go to the Abstract to get the PDF download

Sops Sat 18-Jun-11 21:52:04

My ds will not answer questions directed to him like 'How are you?' 'What's your name?' from anyone. He won't say hello or goodbye either. Even with me and dh he won't reply when we say things like 'Good morning, did you sleep OK?' 'Did you have a nice time at X?'. I think it comes from having to control everything so they don't like anyone else instigating conversation. I'm guessing that your ds finds that extra stressful so can't just ignore and gets upset at it.

Brandy77 I think the way you say you have been firm with your ds works for the ASD side of things but I know for mine (few ASD characteristics and all of the PDA ones) that more words, being less clear about what you actually want him to do, and keeping the tone of voice casual always works best. Likewise although we always remember to notice and comment on as many positives as possible we have to keep our voices pretty low key, overdoing the praise actually backfires as he comes round to thinking he's been manipulated.

BialystockandBloom Sat 18-Jun-11 22:08:34

My ds (ASD) does the first to some extent - if we ask him too much about his day at nursery or whatever, he might end up getting annoyed and shouting at us to stop asking him. In his case I suspect it's because he doesn't really know what to say, how to answer us. Lots of NT kids the same but they'd just say "I don't know" or "can't remember" but those phrases don't come naturally to him. Perhaps the same for ds1 if he feels under pressure to talk about things about which he doesn't really know what to say, or how to answer. Chatting about family etc is such a social thing isn't it, and serves no real purpose for someone with ASD ("what's the point?"), perhaps it just annoys him?

I agree with Ben10 about the second thing - literal thinking that DS2 does not belong at the fair as he doesn't go to the school. Also some (totally NT) attention-seeking behaviour - his special day?

Finally, to what extent should we allow him to control all these interactions? It would take a massive meltdown to put our foot down and I'm not sure it's worth it at the expense of the activity not happening at all (there are so few things we can do), but there does have to be a boundary somewhere.

I'm an ABA devotee so you can guess what I would say to this grin

Control makes him feel less anxious as he knows what to expect, but it won't be making him happier. The more you give in to his controlling behaviour, the more control he has, and at 5yo he is not ready to be in control - it's not fair on him really. And the older he gets the harder it's going to be for you to regain control. The more control you give him, the more he's going to take, till eventually the already-restricted activities you do will diminish to nothing. Focus on helping with communication and anxiety, and show him that just because he's not in control of what happens, he is still just as loved, can still have a great (if not better) time, and will still get his needs met. So he doesn't get his way on everything but he will learn quickly that it is still ok. Honestly, I have seen this first hand with my ds.

Sorry, hope this doesn't sound harsh/judgy/lecturing or anything. As is my usual response, I urge you to look at something like Catherine Maurice Hear My Voice, or Robert Schramm Educate Towards Recovery (especially about the control issue).

brandy77 Sat 18-Jun-11 22:19:55

Bial, the explanation of control is spot on, you explained it well :0)

BialystockandBloom Sat 18-Jun-11 23:00:53

Aw, thanks brandy smile

Actually it's funny what you said about the dog-training techniques - in some ways ABA is like a version of this, as it's all about changing behaviour through positive reinforcement. So in the same way you would teach a dog to sit by giving him a treat for doing it so he learns he gets something good for doing what you ask, in ABA you reward the 'appropriate' behaviour and the child learns that the more he does xyz, the more it is in his interest to keep doing it.

Your EP's advice seems pretty sound too, hope it's having a good effect for you and ds.

brandy77 Sat 18-Jun-11 23:20:07

Well it looks like the EP gave me good advice then, shes been brilliant, i have been lucky. I was thinking someone might comment badly about me saying its like instructing a dog. Id never thought of talking to him like this until speaking to her, she never said it as such but it just came across to me, she must have a good bed side manner smile. I am anticipating the extreme behaviour returning though when he starts school again, not looking forward to that at all but EP said ive got to be firm even though it will be hard. Ive heard a lot about ABA on here, think I need to google some more smile

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Sun 19-Jun-11 06:46:46

I didn't really understand the concept of ABA until the dog-training analogy. Now it makes complete sense - thanks smile

devientenigma Sun 19-Jun-11 07:08:50

This is very interesting. I have a ds who is slipping through the net. He is very controlling and demanding. He has limited his activities to nothing. What I see him do meets his needs fantastically. A lot of what has been highlighted is like him. Some of the profs involved and I feel he is missing an official dx of ASD and PDA. The reason it's missing I feel is at 10 year old he is an unco-operative, hard to engage/work with, stubborn, withdrawn.................child with down syndrome among other issues. I am at my wits end with not being able to control him and wish someone could help regardless of dx.

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 10:41:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dolfrog Sun 19-Jun-11 11:16:55

You might find this Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) research paper collection worth looking at, and there are a few Free Full Text (20) articles.

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 11:41:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 11:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

c0rn55ilk Sun 19-Jun-11 11:55:41

my ds gets very upset when he is asked questions about school and how he feels about things also
dev - your ds sounds very like mine with the unwillingness to engage meaning no clear dx....

Ineedalife Sun 19-Jun-11 12:35:25

Dd3 is also similar, she will talk all day about what she wants to talk about but when we ask her things she is very monosylabic[sp].

It hasn't made getting a dx for her any easier because when the proffs say how are things at school she just says "fine", end of.

When we ask about her day at school she usually recites the timetable. Although since the school move she has been a bit more forthcoming.

If she isn't in the mood to answer questions she often tells us to Shut up or leave her alonesad.

Very trickyhmm.

Sops Sun 19-Jun-11 15:47:55

For our ds it's not that he doesn't want to give out the information or doesn't know how to express himself, quite the opposite. Unprompted, he will often give quite detailed accounts of what has happened at school for instance, but if you ask him a question he just completely blanks you. Doesn't matter who is asking or what it's about, 9 times out of 10 he will not acknowledge the question or questioner.
I think he finds it easier to participate in group discussions (eg in classroom) as the questions are not directed at him as an individual therefore less stressful.
I'm just hoping that consistently noticing and commenting on the times he does respond (even if that is only brief eye contact) that eventually he will get more adept at it. I guess that's an ABA type technique?

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 20:21:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sops Sun 19-Jun-11 21:40:30

Lenin. just looked at our link above. Very interesting, I've been struggling with understanding the application of ABA for ds. Like you say, the constant novelty is hard to sustain, but that article did help me to see a bit more of how we might find it really useful.
The trouble I have is that every technique sounds so fantastic when I read about it and I start to apply it with complete positivity then ds just does something that completely short-circuits the plan and I have no where to go....

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 21:47:33

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LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 21:50:00

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c0rn55ilk Sun 19-Jun-11 21:51:04

what type of educational setting is recommended for a PDA child?

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jun-11 21:51:53

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