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how do you deal with your child's reactions to people when you're out? (ASD)

(26 Posts)
thisisyesterday Thu 11-Aug-11 20:32:56

especially as they get older?

ds1 has aspergers/hfa and he finds it hard if he is approached by someone.
It's worst if it is someone he knows, because he really compartmentalises his life, so if he sees someone who isn't where they "should" be he really finds that hard.
today we were in town and we came across one of his classmates and her mum. The mum talked to him and he just said "go away, you coward" in one of his "voices" that he uses (he tends to change his voice when he is stressed!)

I don't really know what to say when he does that. When he was little people just assumed he was shy or whatever, but as he gets older obviously people are going to expect him to be able to just say "hello" or whatever rather than being rude.
I tell him it's rude to speak to people like that, but I find it really embarassing. Most people don;t know about his diagnosis, and neither does he and I think it would be weird if I started going "oh sorry, he doesn't mean it but he's autistic"...

I am really hot on manners in general so I find it quite difficult even though I know he is finding it even harder than I am! I am not cross with him, I understand why he is doing it, I just don't know how to respond either to him or the person he is/isn't talking to

LeninGrad Thu 11-Aug-11 21:02:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thisisyesterday Thu 11-Aug-11 21:05:49

yeah, social stories and modelling behaviour. do you think it does eventually sink in??
ds1 "gets" all his social stories. he knows the right answers to how to behave in certain situations.... but when it actually comes to the crunch he will just follow his gut

coff33pot Thu 11-Aug-11 21:12:13

Other than social stories I dont know what to suggest. My DS is the opposite in the sense he will talk the hind legs of anyone he meets..............but doesnt stop. Question after question comes out and he will invade peoples space and has no qualms in looking right into peoples windows! Children wise he just shrugs them off with a disinterested hi and carrys on walking.

looneytoons Thu 11-Aug-11 21:18:47

My ds went through this when he was younger he use to be rude to people who talked to him when we were out. The reason he was doing it was because he didnt want to talk to the person and he didnt want them talking to him. We taught him what he should say when people talk to him and how to end conversations without being rude. It took a long time but eventually he started to use the strategies with people we knew. It took a lot longer to accept a stranger talking to him. How old is your ds ? My ds still does not like to see people when he thinks there in the wrong place eg seeing dinner lady out of school.

thisisyesterday Thu 11-Aug-11 21:19:27

yeah ds1 is like that with strangers! but only if he chooses to.
so he'll gladly strike up a conversation with them, but if someone talks to him first he just gets scared lol

had an awful trip on a miniature railway when we were on holiday when he attached himself to a child-free couple and proceeded to spend the entire journey talking to them. i couldn't get him away as I had his 2 little brothers to prevent from falling out of the train!!!

insanityscatching Thu 11-Aug-11 21:23:27

Ds finds it very difficult to speak at all so generally doesn't acknowledge anyone. Now that he's 16 it appears that people expect less from him in terms of chit chat possibly because he's no longer small and cute and people don't consider that they have anything of interest to share with him.Dd who is eight but small and easily mistaken for five has a repertoire that she runs through and generally gets away with it anyway until she starts ad libbing and then we have mixed resultsblushLike the time the miserable old bloke (Jehovas Witness) said hello and asked how she was, she'd normally say "fine, thank you" but decided to follow it up with "but the bloody weather's awful" grin

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 11-Aug-11 21:28:47

I'd say just keep practising a simple phrase to say, like 'Hello, nice to see you.' Or whatever you think appropriate. I'm currently practicing 'Oh dear, what a shame,' with my DS2 (11) rather than getting cross with people who are upset. He just gets very cross with them and may hit them, which really does little to improve the situation!

Practise it often and hopefully it'll become second nature. Mind you, it hasn't worked with my DS yet. More practising, maybe.

thisisyesterday Thu 11-Aug-11 21:38:07

he is 6 btw

Mamma101 Thu 11-Aug-11 22:33:36

My little boy (5) will talk to anyone. "HELLO, WHAT'S YOUR NAME?" is his usual introduction. Brings a smile to a lot of peoples faces but not always appropriate. He almost made an old man fall off his bike the other day!
Sometimes he needs reminding that other people have things to do.
If he says something too out of place I'll just look at him and say "Remember your manners".

brandy77 Thu 11-Aug-11 22:38:27

coffeepot, my son is just like yours

Cathycat Thu 11-Aug-11 23:00:36

I suppose it is easier to deal with if the person you meet knows about your ds. My son is 8. I tend to do a mock shock type reaction to him - but communicating reasons to the person we've met, such as, "Goodness ds, I know that it is a shock to see .... in a different place but there is no need to say something like that to them. Speak nicely and say 'hello' please!" I find that ds is trying to amuse people or get a laughing response but have explained that people just want to hear hello.

Triggles Fri 12-Aug-11 19:44:31

DS2 will also be the one saying "hello what's your name" to everyone he sees, whether he knows them or not. Sometimes it's "hello man" and "hello girl" as well. If someone approaches him and talks to him first, then he gets distressed.

So I guess he only talks to those who aren't looking to talk to him... hmm

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Aug-11 19:59:47

at least you get a hello mamma and triggles

ds1 will just go up to someone and very loudly say sometjhing along the lines of
"UM, did you know that my pokemon is a fire type and he can do tackle and the other day when I was in Nimbasa city...." and so on...

cathy that's a good idea, trying to inform the other person while you also let your child know that what they're saying is a bit rude.
I had the opportunity to use that in a lift earlier today when DS1 started telling all the other people off <sigh>

he WILL learn one day. won't he? wont he? arghh

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Aug-11 20:02:05

i wonder if it's a control thing?
DS1 hates not being in control of situations, so I suppose if someone else starts talking to him he feels like they're in control of the conversation? whereas he will happily strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone if it's on his terms

Triggles Fri 12-Aug-11 20:05:31

No, I have to say sometimes it's nice for him NOT to greet people. Especially when he was going through the stage where his typical greeting was this:

"Hello, what's your name? Are you a boy? Do you have a winkie?" hmm

All in one breath. VERY loud. VERY embarrassing.

pramsgalore Fri 12-Aug-11 20:09:40

my ds has no stranger danger but will not look at someone he does not know [keeps his head sideways] but will say things to them and they really don't know how to take it, i don't explain because i don't think i need to, they should not be trying to strike up a conversation with him in the first place they are strangers [we spend all our time telling dc not to talk to strangers].
the other week we were sat outside a shop, kids eating sauage rolls when an old man started to talk to ds, ds turned his head away but the man kept trying and trying to talk to him, suddenly ds shouted GRASSHOPPER GRASSHOPPER really loadly, jumping up and down, the man just said oh and walked off grin

LunarRose Sat 13-Aug-11 12:23:58

Why don't you just tell people? confused

Most people are very accepting and those that aren't worth your worrying about anyway. Most of the autism t-shirts are fairly naff, but I quite like ones with the phases "sorry currently experience autism technical difficulties" and "what is my autism showing?", could you use either of those phrases more comfortably to make light of the situation?

grin at the funny things kids say (pokamon, winkie, grasshopper)

colditz Sat 13-Aug-11 12:29:13

Ds1 is another random approacher. he walks up to total strangersand says "Do you know me? Have you ever played Tower Defence Three?" or "I have a cuddly Pikachu on my bed. He loves me." or "My mum uses the Midlands bank, which bank do you use?" or "My feet are an H fitting."

Or, the worst one- "BOING!" and then he leaps into someone';s arms. As he's 8 years old, this is becoming difficult to manage

Vinniesbisqwits Sat 13-Aug-11 14:01:47

my ds talks the hind leg off a donkey but he still says things to them he shouldnt like wow your old or fat or eww youve got zits sad i try and make light of it and if dh is there he will excuse himself and take ds off so i can explain and appologise but with complete strangers it is awkward'

with people we do know he will still say things like why are you here ,'AGAIN'
your always round here and hes been known to repeat if he has overheard something and will take it out of context...
he heard us saying to each other before about feeling a bit guilty keep asking a certain friend to look after ds3 when were at a meeting , I hope they dont think were using them ect ect.
when she next came round he told her mums just using you to babysit me blush

Triggles Sun 14-Aug-11 15:36:10

Why don't we tell people? Why SHOULD we? I mean, really, why should we have to justify his behaviour to anyone? Why can't people just mind their own business? There's been a few times where I've said something about it and gotten a rather "oh, that's okay then" type of response. Who said I ASKED them if it was okay?! It makes me feel like I have to make an excuse or get their permission for him to be different. Can't tell this is a hot button for me? hmm

The other day I choked back a particularly nasty response to a lady on the bus that remarked "well he's a big lad to be in a pushchair, isn't he?" Grrrrrrrr SO?!?!?! WHY do they feel they need to comment on it?? We're not DEAF! We can HEAR it... SO RUDE!

And DS2 can read. We haven't explained to him about his SNs and I'm truly not looking to do so now, as he simply wouldn't understand. It would only confuse and upset him, as he would think he was sick or that something was "wrong" with him.

insanityscatching Sun 14-Aug-11 16:00:56

I don't feel that I should have to justify ds or dd's behaviour or how I handle it to anyone tbh. I believe that my children have a right to privacy and so refuse to divulge their diagnoses to all and sundry because really it's none of their damn business.
Ds is now 16 and it is obvious that he has extra needs but that doesn't stop the stares, tuts or comments angry and to be honest I am more vociferous now pointing out just how badly others behave because they are openly gawping and criticising an obviously disabled young man and it makes my blood boil tbh.
I tend to have a few choice comments and an evil stare that keeps much of it at baygrin

thisisyesterday Sun 14-Aug-11 16:07:00

ds1 is only 6. he doens't know he has a diagnosis or that anything is "wrong" with him and i don't think he needs to right now. he doesn't need to feel he is different or that there is something the matter with him.

and i don't want to come across as one of these parents who just uses it as an excuse for bad behaviour

Miggsie Sun 14-Aug-11 16:08:30

My friend's boy is ASD and I used to think he hated me, he never made eye contact, never answered my questions and used to barge into me when I was talking to his mum. Once I twigged he was ASD I read a couple of books and realised his behaviour didn't mean he hated me at all. Now I can interact with him fine.
I would tell people if your child's social interactions are a bit awkward. I told DD that he was "a bit slower to pick up everyday conversation" and "needs a bit of time to work things out" as she got a bit confused by his mannerisms as well. Now I know I feel fine about it all, and take his strange behaviours as they come. By "strange" I suppose I mean "age inappropriate" as his social skills are about 3 years behind his physical age. He is improving all the time but it obviously taking him longer than a child without ASD to pick up and absorb social interaction and all the complexities that lie therein.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 14-Aug-11 17:20:52

There's a difference explaining a DX (or lack of one) to good and supportive friends and explaining to acquaintances at the school gate or random strangers in the street. I've told all my friends and family and most of the parents in my DS's class at school who have had him at their children's parties (especially in the early days.) I've had no trouble telling people who I feel need to know, people whose knowledge will then benefit my DS. But sod it if I'm going to tell anyone else, and I'm afraid I hate the autism T-shirts, even more than the 'Daddy's Little Angel' type T-shirts.

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