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Could some one talk/advise/help me to better understand my DGS with ?asphergers.

(11 Posts)
faintpositive Sun 03-Jul-11 20:17:18

So he is 10, and is undergoing assessment & diagnosis.
They are not sure but know that there is something going on with him.

This has been such a relief to every one around him, and it had definitely increased my empathy and understanding.

He is almost OCD about things.
He cannot tolerate mess or dirt. We have had to move tables at restraunts before now as he has become very distressed. (although this i think is a normal reaction in a restraunt when the table is mucky)

He has not just frightened, he has utter utter terror at dogs. It is very upsetting to see him so very distressed when we are out.
He is intolerant of large groups of people, he cannot cope with changes in routine. His behaviour is at times very difficult to deal with, he has an agressive streak and at the same time, cannot recognise when he is overly rough causing actual pain to other kids.
He is fun, sweet, lights up the room and very very loving.

WE have a family holiday planned with him and his family soon, and i want to understand how we can fit into his world, understand and most of all help him by not putting our foot in it, being insensitive and we want to be supportive so that we all enjoy our holiday. We are very much looking forward to going away as we have been friends for ever, but we have no experience with sn children.
He is not aware of any of this, so his mum does not talk about it around him, so its not easy to ask stuff.
Think we may get together before the holiday without the kids so that we can talk properly, but would appreciate tips and advice from any one who has experience.
TIA x

holidaytime Sun 03-Jul-11 20:37:25

The best thing you can do his talk to his mum she will know what makes him upset and what things he likes she will know what his obbessions are. This way you can try and avoid things you know will upset him. There will be times when he wont want to be bothered with you dont take this personaly just give him the space he needs. Try to talk with him about the things he likes doing. Let his mum sort issues in her normal way without interfering as he will need this so he can feel calm and safe. My son has autism and he manages when changes are explained to him in advance so talk to him about things you are going to do on holiday.

brandy77 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:53:31

If DGS is dear grandson, then well done for being such a caring grandma/nanny for asking for advice smile

Agree with everything holidaytime says, my son age 6 sounds exactly like your grandson.

The problems i encounter with holidays are that there is more socialising and its hard to keep the outbursts under control when my son cant cope. We spend all our holidays at a caravan park where my parents have a holiday home and this year (Easter and Mayday) ive found my sons behaviour has been worse. He is fine with 2 children but any more and he just cannot cope, the bossiness and controlling behaviour gets worse and because hes so sensitive any little comment from another child can start the anxiety off and if i dont intervene and distract him it ends up with a total meltdown, screaming, shouting, lashing out. When we go in 2 weeks time, ive decided to take the laptop with those dongle things to get the internet and if i hear/see him getting anxious im going to pull him in the mobilehome and let him chill out on the laptop games for half hour. Ive also thought I will have to try and get him off the site more, which is a shame as the kids play all day long, but I thought if i take him for a walk/play/outing then he will only spend a few hours with the kids and hopefully be more relaxed.

Its very hard because you never really relax properly, I always have an ear out for the signs of his anxiety looming. I dont know what sort of holiday you are doing, but perhaps if he can tell you when he feels anxious and then he can be taken to a quite place to chill out. The autistic society has mentioned starting a number or traffic light system for my son. I dont really understand all of it, but she said i could ask him when hes calm what number he feels hes on at that time, say no. 1 for calm and then explain that no.2 would be getting a bit anxious and so on, till you reach no. 4 which is about to blow and no.5 is too late and its time to remove him from the situation all together. Im going to try this for our holiday in a few weeks, i dont know if he will understand or not but will try as the last holiday was a nightmare.

Good Luck.xx

LunarRose Sun 03-Jul-11 21:43:08

Don't worry too much - the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to know when step back when DGS's Mum needs deal with DGS behaviour and offer her a big hug/ brew / wine when she's done!!!

If you actually want to understand AS better, I can really recommend reading "the curious incident of the dog at midnight". it's an easy (if sometimes uncomfortable) read and really talks about the way someone with AS thinks. It's an absolutely superb book!!! Else have a look at the National Autistic Society Website as their explanations are really helpful

Second being aware of any interventions in place (makaton, signing, symbols, traffic lights etc.) although you may still be to early in the process for there to be much help yet.

Don't be upset if sometimes DGS doesn't acknowledge you or seems to ignore you, it might just be he's at a point when he needs his down time.

Your comments about DGS having an aggressive streak but also lighting up a room are lovely btw and remind me of my own little DS with ASD!!!

Maryz Sun 03-Jul-11 21:50:52

If you want to read more about AS, there is a great website here which may help. In particular some of the articles are very good especially this one.

It is important to remember that with or without the diagnosis, he is still the same person. And although people may have difficulty dealing with him, those difficulties are as nothing compared with the difficulty he has in dealing with life. So in my opinion the best thing grandparents can give is absolute unconditional support to the child and his parents.

My son's difficulties with life have escallated as he has got older and he is very resentful of us sad. But the one thing he is sure of is that his grandparents love him, and accept him for who he is. They have been a huge support to him, and to me, and I'm sure you will be the same for your grandson. The fact that you are even asking speaks volumes smile.

Maryz Sun 03-Jul-11 21:52:52

In fact, I haven't looked at that website for years, but I must go back to it again. Many of the articles are well worth a read.

smugtandemfeeder Mon 04-Jul-11 07:48:57

Fab grandparents link. I have just posted it to my facebook page for my MIL to read, bound to cause ructions buy hey ho. faint you sound like a wonderful grandmother - just for being one of the few who asks "how can I help".

unpa1dcar3r Mon 04-Jul-11 08:46:30

Fair play to you for being so understanding. Wish my MIL was the same!

There is a book called 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time' by Marc Haddon. It's about a 15 yr old with aspergers and is written as if he wrote it himself.
It's very good.

Has your GS been formally diagnosed with aspergers or is he also having genetic tests to rule out anything genetic?

Hope you enjoy your holiday

unpa1dcar3r Mon 04-Jul-11 08:48:02

Oops sorry just seen Lunar Rose's post about same book (but it's called what I said above), Like she says it really is a good read.

faintpositive Mon 04-Jul-11 12:37:53

GS= God son, not grandson sorry.

I read the curios incident a few years ago, great book.

No formal diagnosis yet, diagnosed with addhd, however they are reviewing this now due to his obsessive tendancies and other things.

He has had the most awful time getting to this point, if i told you, you wouldnt believe....well maybe you would if this journey is the norm shock for these kids.
Pushing a pea uphill doesnt come close.

Thanks for your links, very helpful.

unpa1dcar3r Mon 04-Jul-11 13:50:41

Well then fair play to you for taking your Godmotherly duties as seriously as they should be taken. many don't.
Good luck

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