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Controlling behaviour with siblings in ?ASD

(10 Posts)
Surrealistrhinoceros Sat 03-Nov-12 08:19:37


DS (6) has attachment issues and ?HFA (going for ADOS assessment this month and I couldn't call it either way).

He can be very bossy and controlling with sister aged just 4. She is for better or worse a sweet natured little soul who adores him and tolerates a lot, but we feel the need to challenge the behaviour. this is difficult as he either doesn't understand or doesn't wish to understand the impact of it on DD.

Attachment toolkit of strategies not very helpful - have any of you observed this in your HFA children and if so how do you tackle it?

Many thanks

porridgelover Sat 03-Nov-12 08:46:21

Surrealist, I had similar issues with DS and DD1.
The best resource I found was this. Because its big on feelings, it has started to help him to feel understood (by me), to help him understand himself and started on empathy to his sister.
Since I started using it, she can better stand up for herself (she copies what I say).
I also did the Talkability course with SaLT which is big on developing Theory of Mind. It helped me to see where he is ''people blind'' and how he cant see that she ( or me...he did try to control me for a long time) has her own ideas and wants and needs.
It's going to be a long hard road for him to learn this....and he gets very frustrated with it, as he just does not 'get' it.
SaLT said NT child gets this by about 6y. And that it can take that long more for HFA kids to start to get it.
Hope thats of some help.

Surrealistrhinoceros Sat 03-Nov-12 10:46:27

Thank you I will try that book. Whether he's diagnosed HFA or not he certainly has problems reading people and interactions so I suspect much patience will indeed be required!

It's interesting to hear it takes that long for NT children to get it fully - DD is pretty empathic and flexible already so perhaps I thought he was further behind than he actually is.

What is talk ability? He doesn't have language delay but I am sure his social language could do with help.


porridgelover Sat 03-Nov-12 11:25:34 didnt register on first read that he isn't diagnosed.
DS has no language fact he is way ahead of his peers on language scores. But what is interesting is that he has much higher expressive than receptive. So he controls situations by talking. And his language is all factual with little insight into nuance, levels of meaning, social gestures, social rules.

This is Talkability. There is a SaLT led course that goes with it which I was lucky enough to get on. I found it useful, but I would say the first book was as useful to me.

Further to another thread here, I am looking at this ATM. Has anyone used this?

WilsonFrickett Sun 04-Nov-12 00:33:17

My DS has a dx of social communication disorder so he basically has an autism profile, but is just below the scoring thresholds so he doesn't 'qualify' for an ASD dx. However, I absolutely recognise that behaviour. My DS has a real need to control everything and everyone. One thing I would try and do is give him as much control as you can, when you can. So he gets to choose (what to have for breakfast, what top to wear, for example) as much as possible.

Do as much practise of turn-taking as you can, in games, etc and then try to generalise that as much as you can. So you play a game DS likes, really emphasising that you're all taking turns. Then when he's with dd, you say 'let's take turns being in charge.'

Social stories may help too.

And you do need to make sure dd has her own space, friends, etc of course.

Surrealistrhinoceros Mon 05-Nov-12 07:07:39

Thank you! I could see us ending up with that sort of diagnosis or a non-diagnosis - he has days and behaviours that scream ASD and others that really don't.

Interesting that you find giving control wherever possible helps. The attachment specialists tend to advise that DS can't cope with an excess of choice and that he will be less controlling if we limit his choices. This has a good deal of wisdom and we do use it ... but presenting DS with a limited choice or no choice can be an interesting moment!

HotheadPaisan Mon 05-Nov-12 07:34:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Mon 05-Nov-12 10:12:36

I didn't phrase that particularly well, I mean lots of opportunities to choose, but with restricted choices. So not 'what top do you want to wear out of this entire drawerful of tops', more 'do you want to wear the red top or the blue top.'

<shudders at the thought of giving DS unrestricted choices grin>

shoppingbagsundereyes Mon 05-Nov-12 12:49:22

We have this and it is exhausting. Ds is 6, dd is 4 and to date has been so patient and compliant to her brother's demands but the tables are starting to turn. A typical attempt at paying together will go like this:
Ds: let's play Batman, who do you what to be?
Dd: I'll be Robin
Ds: no you can't be Robin because we are playing Batman villains
Dd: I'll be Jessica
Ds: Jessica isn't a real baddy, you need to be Poison Ivy
Dd: I don't want to be poison ivy
Ds (whacks her for 'spoiling the game')
Dd: I don't want to play with you anymore

Drives me bonkers. I tend to intervene and help them decide what they want to play and once the ground rules of the game are established he seems to cope much better with allowing her some say in the game. She is starting to get sick of being told what to do all the time.

Surrealistrhinoceros Tue 06-Nov-12 11:07:21

I could have written that script! Dd and DS are exactly that age and it's at least good to know I am not alone. Thank you!

Wilsonfrickett we all seem to be on the same page then. I don't make a habit of unrestricted choice either smile it does feel like a balancing act between restricting the choice enough to get him doing what e needs to, and avoiding backing yourself into the sort of corner where you can see the brick wall approaching at speed ...

Thanks very much for all the helpful resources hotheaUd which I will chase down - his issues are undoubtedly about anxiety and control wherever the root cause lies. A lot of the attachment stuff seems to focus on building the relationship and is a bit dismissive about the value of 'behaviour management', but sometimes one does need to manage his bloody behaviour!

Onwards and upwards!

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