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What words do you use for your child's odd behaviour? In jest or otherwise?

(17 Posts)
swanriver Fri 23-Sep-11 15:10:55

I'm beginning to think I've got it completely wrong. I've always thought my ASD child was absolutely wonderful. But a bit strange at times, and never hid that opinion. And some of the things he does are certainly not wonderful, just plain horrid, like licking people or kicking people. I can't pretend they are normal. Since his diagnosis I suppose I've been letting off steam by somehow sharing a lot of our life together a bit more freely, and trying to enjoy the black humour of some situations.

On another thread, people were talking about how the language you use feeds into your child's perception of themself and others' perception.
So should I be emphasising to Ds2, recently diagnosed with ASD/HFA that he is just different not in any way odd. And being VERY CAREFUL not to say things that are insensitive to his "condition".

I've done a lot of odd things myself, and never minded being different or special, just I can see now I may have contributed to the problem by being a bit too open with my use of strange/odd/geeky. And possibly apologising to others for his behaviour by these words when I don't need to, apologise, I mean.

I always hated it when people used the phrase "challenged" to describe what they were essentially saying was "naughty" but being all pc and fake about it. I wonder if I just need to be much more careful in what I say in front of my dcs. And never tell funny stories even if they are appreciative and warm because in some ways it is belittling, perhaps?

I suppose I had a lot of ASD traits, and always thrived on being a bit of a clown as a child and a bit tactless, as well as being serious in other ways. People always told funny stories about me, and my odd habits. I just feel as if I am gettign it wrong, and people are looking at me strangely when I tell stories about my children, especially Ds2, as if I should be much circumspect.

I would always always stick up for my children like a tigress, but I'm wondering whether I put myself in their shoes a bit more.

swanriver Fri 23-Sep-11 15:12:29

should put myself in their shoes

Off to pick up now.

wigglybeezer Fri 23-Sep-11 15:52:41

Depends on the child, Ds1 hates me talking about him to anyone, so I don't (he rarely says/does anything amusing anyway! he's thirteen!).

However, we use humorous terms for DS2's Aspie traits, namely Martian or Vulcan (I also call DH a vulcan from time to time). We use geeky often. Personally, I don't have an issue with this and neither does DS, we also have cheeky nicknames for DS1 & 2 that refer to their red hair but we also genuinely celebrate difference. Geekiness is something to be proud of in our house.

I wouldn't call him silly names in front of friends. I would tell stories about him to my friends and family if they were genuinely touching or amusing but not embarrassing or humiliating.

swanriver Fri 23-Sep-11 16:00:19

No, I would never tell stories that were embarrassing or humiliating, unless I was asking for advice, to one person, perhaps, and not in front of child obviously.

I love the Dr Spock ds Wiggly.

tabulahrasa Fri 23-Sep-11 16:07:43

I tell people things about my children if they're funny...but to be fair if they've done something funny, they'd know I found it funny too and if it was unintentional why, because I'd laugh at them, lol.

I suppose there are certain things that I'd tell close friends that I'd not say in front of the children (especially DS) but that's more in a - I need to find this funny or I'm going to go mad kind of way. Me and one friend do have a running joke about DLA forms, that there should just be a box saying...Is your child a numpty? skip to page 40. I wouldn't ever say that in front of DS, but that's more to do with the DLA form, lol and numpty is a word I use a lot.

I called him a geek once, well sort of - he went to chemistry camp and they gave him a free t shirt with Salter's Chemistry camps and a list of dates on it which he likes because it's his favourite colour, he wanted it ironed because he was off into Edinburgh with his youth club and I said something along the lines of, you might as well put on a big sign saying I'm a geek, but in a jokey way.

I don't know, I don't tend to be negative - but I do poke fun at them, but they do it back, lol. It's different for me though because DS is aware of AS, to the point where he's started saying he thinks characters on tv programmes have it.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 23-Sep-11 16:52:33

I dunno. I never have really. I call stimming stimming. May as well have a shared name.

I can say to ds 'stop stimming, we are crossing around and you need to pay attention'.

And 'Okay, lots of stimming, we're about to get to the kiosk at legoland' grin

I suppose it would be okay to poke fun if the child was taught a retort, so that if it happens amongst peers he has the skills.

You're a geek!
Well your a double geek with a cherry on.

You're boring!
Only to boring people!

tabulahrasa Fri 23-Sep-11 17:14:58

see I wouldn't just call him names, with me it's much more playful teasing than that...but he's got a pretty good sense of humour - so he's definitely complicit in it.

But like I said, he's aware of both his AS and what the traits are - and of course he's 15, so it's more like normal teenagery banter.

I'm not the same with my friend's DD who's only 10 and very worried just now about being different or 'weird'.

and I was probably different when DS was younger and completely oblivious...

ouryve Fri 23-Sep-11 18:34:19

I tell DS2 he's being a little turkey when he's off on one of his attention seeking behaviour binges. HIs language is barely emerging at 5, but the other day he went and started whacking the telly, while announcing "I little tata!" We've not yet developed specific words for their traits, mind, though we do occasionally look at each other and announced that what we just witnessed in DS1 was a definite Sheldon moment. We do also call him a geek, qualifying it with "just like your dad."

signandsmile Fri 23-Sep-11 18:35:48

have to say I call dh 'spoddy', (Its like geek) and he has definite spectrum traits, but didn't quite score enough on two of the triad section when they did his assessment.

We also within the family describe his disabled person railcard, (for physical disability) as 'wonky discount', my mums older person one is wrinkly discount.

we describe (to our selves, not infront of him) ds's ASD group as going to 'flappy chappies', blush

and if ds is tired and not able to process speech anymore we describe it as 'teflon brain'. (it just slides/bounces off and doesn't stick long enough to be processed/responded to) I think it is partly coping strategy for us maybe

really funny, as am really hot on other peoples comments / descriptions, (hate it when people ask 'whats' wrong with dh?' always want to say 'nothing') ?

madwomanintheattic Fri 23-Sep-11 18:44:44

i remember a thread where someone said they described their child's behaviour as 'a bit english' grin (i think they were o'seas with dh's family or similar) - the thread was hilarious. it epitomised the quirky nature of some of the less complex behaviours. interesting to see it in a different light, although i do believe that humour (as in laughing with not at, obv) can reduce stigma. i think if you are in tune with your kids you will know where the line is, really. dd2 is sometimes very happy that she is the star of a funny anecdote, but does occasionally 'smart' a little, so we reassure and change tack.

difference is fine though - and i think it is important sometimes to emphasise that behaviours are out of the 'ordinary', whatever that is. how you do it depends on the family and child. no one size fits all, some kids are entirely robust, some more sensitive. (and some can work a nice rejoinder)

swanriver Fri 23-Sep-11 22:25:58

Starlight we always refer to ds's stimming as Your Hand Thing. He calls it that too! Arf at Lego Land. I think I went for the bot queue thing.
Madwoman it is quite English to think eccentricity is funny, and applaudable isn't it? Think of all the Mumsnet names where we call ourselves crazy things too... but know there is a intellectual edge that some people will get the reference and not think us mad at all grin

I asked ds2 what he thought today, and he said he hated people thinking he was odd. Which I suppose clinched the fact that he doesn't like any teasing comments at all, and just wants to be taken seriously (unless of course he's telling a joke, which he does quite often smile

coff33pot Fri 23-Sep-11 23:14:18

I cant call my DS anything lol

If I said "youre a geek" he would retort "I am not a geek, I am 'DS'

If he did well on something at school I say "well done smart brain" he says "I am not smart brain, I am 'DS'

If I say hi soldier when he is playing soldiers he would just look me square and repeat the above grin I cant win there

zen1 Fri 23-Sep-11 23:36:11

I know this sounds bad, but when DS does his shaking his head really fast from side to side stim, I call him "stimothy" (his name's not Timothy btw!). It's now backfired a bit as he thinks it's a joke and has now started to say "stimothy" before shaking his head and laughing grin.

Triggles Sat 24-Sep-11 09:41:40

coff33pot - DS2 is the same way. Very precise. I am DS2. Gets annoyed.

He refused to use the baby bath soap the other day as he saw it said BABY bath on it. I am a CHILD (saying it like CHI-YILD for emphasis hmm) not a baby. Tried to get him to understand that we use it because it doesn't aggravate his eczema, but he was having none of it. I'm going to have to find another bottle to put it in. grin

ouryve Sat 24-Sep-11 14:17:15

Triggles, DS1 is like that with anything he associates with babies. He even doesn't like DS2 because he thinks he's too much like a baby sad

Triggles Sat 24-Sep-11 14:32:06

DS2 likes DS3... well, most of the time. grin But he's adamant that DS3 is a BABY, not a TODDLER. I've been informed of this in no uncertain terms by DS2. hmm That's me told then.

purplepidjinawoollytangle Sat 24-Sep-11 14:41:08

Best ones I've ever come across are kind of "staff shorthand", or euphemisms for some of the less... erm... unsavoury behaviour. Obviously, when having a pint in the pub after work with colleagues, confidentiality is important but you still want to discuss work stuff...

So, Personal Time = having a wank = Tommy Tank = <student> was playing with his/her train set...

I shall try and remember more, but most of my stories are student-specific and might out me/the student (so I won't be telling them on here!) grin

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