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Lack of empathy :(

(15 Posts)

Just want to vent........

DS (age 6 dyspraxia and suspected AS) has been fine for the first 3 weeks of the holidays - unbelievably fine as has been at the local playscheme. His "best friend" is the 50 yo playworker. He scootered around all day long. Now the playscheme is closed,

Yesterday we went toboganning, today bowling and mcdonalds so he has had fun treats but obviously not as much structure as school or the playscheme. . On the way back today he did the (usual up until 6 months ago when we realised walking was a trigger for behaviour issues) refusing to walk and not wanting his hand held to cross the road. I had to hold his arm in order to get him to move and for his safety- he literally punched me all the way home. I am awaiting an operation so not great to have c50 punches on the arms.

Tonight when called for his dinner, he kicked DH in the privates.

Both times he showed such an unbelievable lack of understanding and empathy that we are flabbergasted. He acted as if nothing had happened, chatting away to us, querying why he had been sent to his room etc

Today I have been reminded very clearly why we are pushing for a dx............ I keep questioning myself but today there is no question in my mind sad

Oh well, time to log it for the MDA,..........

blueShark Tue 16-Aug-11 19:38:00

holidays are difficult for everyone including NT children not just SN. The lack of structure is not helping and I have noticed DS doing some repetitive actions that havent seen since he was 3.

Make sure you include the contents of this post in the parental feedback required for the dx.

Apologies I dont have advice but just wanted to say you are not alone! And not long to go till school, 2-3 weeks.

AlysWho Tue 16-Aug-11 19:39:15

sounds like he's missing his playscheme..wink Can he understand if you explain something else in the future for him to look forward to? (eg school- if he likes it?) With my dd she needs loads of re assurance/reminder about sequences; if something finishes (and also when it starts!!) its like a masssive crater has opened up in front of her and she just panics big time = aggressive/ challenging/ hysterical/ anxious behaviour. Also lots of talking/ drawing a picture etc about the playscheme, all the things and people he enjoyed etc can help him re visit those happy days..
Hope tomorrow is better for you, hope you can try to find the hidden 'compliment' in you guys being the safest people in the world to him, eg he can hurt you ('not ok'!) and know you'll still love him x

Thank you ladies. smile BTW Blueshark have you produced a minishark yet?

He has so much to look forward to still. DH is off for the next two weeks and we have loads planned. Alys you are right about the sequencing - that seems to be a huge problem for him if something happens in a different order to what he has planned in his head. He said that his "brain made him kick daddy".

We'll do some drawing and I think that we need to do a calendar of all of the things that we are going to do. However that might be even worse as he can't wait for things and he wants constant attention.

We have both had a cuddle with him but are feeling fragile at the moment both physically and emotionally.

AlysWho Tue 16-Aug-11 20:05:47

Yes i know what you mean about timetables.. sometimes they really help and seem absolutley necessary in order to make-the-world-make-sense, but then at other times its all just Too Much Information!! We're not using them at all (shock!) at moment, and havent done since dd started at new school she LOVES at Easter. She's happy (mostly), i'm pretty good at guaging how much info she can take/ timings. She too has little real sense of time and gets overwhelmed easily. x

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 17-Aug-11 01:05:39

Hi Ben10. God, I used to dread the summer holidays. It has got better, but only because I've let the screen time restictions slide during the summer holidays. Probably not a recommendation for good parenting. grin So long as we get out of the house for at least an hour I feel I've done my bit.

And I don't always like my DSs but they are lovely boys, really. hmm

smile Ellen

Dh and I were discussing whether we should restrict the screentime this holiday. I think that the concensus was NO grin - we just can't give him the 24/7 attention that he demands otherwise - he doesn't understand how to play with toys and if he does play it is for 10 minutes - there are 18 more days of the school holidays grin.

The whole thing is becoming more and more complicated for us to understand. How can an intelligent boy not understand that people get angry/hurt/sad from his actions and the appropriate response to that, how can he not know how to play with action figures (because we haven't taught him was the answer), what behaviours are just 6 year old and what are dyspraxia/ AS. We don't actually think that he does much that is just naughty 6 year old behaviour confused He is a primary school teacher's GS, he hasn't had much chance grin but he has behaved differently forever even since babyhood...................

DS and I have come to an agreement this morning that he can earn 1 hour at a time dependent on the behaviour the previous hour. I don't care if he watches it all day, so long as there is no repeat of yesterday grin I've sat on the settee for the past 9 months waiting for my operation (1 month to go smile) and I'm not used to having to do things all the time any more.

AlysWho Wed 17-Aug-11 09:40:00

Yes I've learnt to give in to screen time too..its her 'thing' and its chill out time. Its 9.30 am and she's on her 2nd DVD blush

But- then its OFF and we're going out blackberry picking and will then do some baking this arvo. x

Well it's been on since 6. Him and DH are going to the driving range this morning and then might go to the park after - might even look for some berries Alys. Good idea smile

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 17-Aug-11 09:54:50

DS is very similar, he lives in the here and now. A major strop is forgotten in minutes, eg I tell him we're going to the park, he'll be heartbroken confused sobbing, then by the time we are down the end of the road, he's happy and smiling. It's good that he doesn't sulk for hours, or hold a grudge but he doesn't understand that others may not be able to snap out of it so quickly. And they truly don't understand about hurt feelings.

makemineaquadruple Wed 17-Aug-11 10:14:58

Morning ben10!

Just wanted to say that we've had similar issues with our dd (4.8). For the first bit of the holidays she was being unusually good. To the point where you were constantly waiting for the bubble to burst so to speak. Of course it did, but when it did it was more of a KAPOW!!! than a pop.confused

I think sometimes it makes getting your head around everything more difficult when the behaviour can switch so dramatically and rapidly. You say that there was a trigger with your ds. Change in routine is obviously a classic reason for behaviour problems, so I guess it's some small comfort to know what the trigger was with his recent violent behaviour.

The lack of empathy i find with my dd can also really switch. Sometimes(when she's being the angel she can be) she's so understanding, caring, thoughful, gentle and she really wouldn't hurt a fly. When she's acting like this her speech is almost perfect, her manners and social skills are vastly improved and all is good. However, othertimes(when she's being the devil she can be) she genuinely doesn't understand why she should be sorry for hitting or biting, she's rude, babbles, is constantly fidgeting and is basically like a different child.

If this sort of contradictive behaviour were on a chart, the experts would call it "spikey". Lots of peaks and dips and not much middle of the road behaviour.

I would much rather my dd was somewhere in the middle ie not little miss perfect one minute and an absolute monster the next, but I think that's a classic symptom of asd. Especially AS. It's an emotional rollercoaster I know, but the older our children get(I hope) the more we understand how to not only help our dc's, but how to help ourselves cope.

I hope the older my dd gets the less I worry that she's sometimes "different" to her peers and hopefully I can celebrate all her little quirks rather than see them as unusal. I'm not 100% there yet, but i've been inspired by a lot of mumsnetters that one day we'll get there. smile

makemineaquadruple Wed 17-Aug-11 10:19:23

Should just point out though that i'm not saying kicking your dp in the privates is a "little quirk". Obviously the violence is something we can never accept.

I think I was going off track slightly, but I just wanted you to know that I understand completely how you're feeling.

coff33pot Wed 17-Aug-11 13:11:46

We are having a lack of empathy day here too! DD sprained her ankle 3 days ago. DS cannot understand why she wont run around with him and that she is being unfair. Full on tantrum as he screams there is nothing wrong with your ankle you have no tears so its not hurting!! Prompty sat on her foot to prove a point which reduced dd to tears. Ok he said now its hurting I can see it and walked off! Its odd. He links tears with pain or hurt, but if you TALK that you are hurt or have a head ache or just go ouch! he really is unmovable in the empathy side.

Had a lad in a few days ago who knocked door. He was furious when the boy said he couldnt breathe. Came down stairs and said "mum X keeps dying when I am playing with him, I am shooting him but I dont want him to die yet!" I go up and the boy is having an asthma attack bless him. Got him ready to walk home for his inhaler and DS was having a full on hissy fit as the boy had ruined his game even though I told him he was poorly.

Suggested the Wii .....oh boy.........6 different games later and 5 tantrums due to losing they have settled down taking it in turns on Raving Rabbids grin Hope against hopes that will give me long enough to do the dishes!

Thanks Makemine and Coff and Ellen

Better day here today and has had daddy time at the driving range. I have told him that he has to behave acceptably to earn a stay in a hotel next week. We are going to Legoland and have booked a hotel but will cancel on Tuesday if there is anymore violence. He doesn't know about Legoland - the hotel and a meal in a restaurant are a big treat for him anyway!

DS is definitely an all or nothing boy with everything which I guess fits the AS stereotypical personality. I'm hoping that if we get a dx that we will be able to accept and understand this as "our normal" rather than seeing it as a problem.

Park this afternoon and Horrid Henry at the cinema tomorrow - how many days left now? gringringringrin

coff33pot Wed 17-Aug-11 15:34:01

oooh! Ben10 let me know how Horrid Henry goes please!

Its my birthday on friday and I was thinking of taking DS and DD to see it. He loves the animated verson on telly but I understand this is a proper film so would like to know if it will hold his attention or not grin

If not we will go soft play somewhere smile

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