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Lack of tact and Aspergers(33 Posts)
My son is being referred for tests for aspergers he shows several of the traits and his speech therapist has referred him, due to his need for strict routine and little things she has noticed in her sessions with him.
I was called in today over his inability to be tactful. To him a fact is a fact!!! There is a little boy in his class who is overweight and he keeps telling him that he is fat and asking him why. Yesterday we saw him with his mum in the shop buying crisps and a Fanta and my son just shouts out 'no wonder you are so fat' as to him eating crisps and drinking pop is bad for you. Apparently the teacher has spoke to him about what he said today and apparently he didn't say it in a rude or derogatory way just in a state the fact way. He does have a problem with empathy and used to often pinch or hurt children but he has got better but he just doesn't seem to get the tact thing. He says what he wants and doesn't understand that it could upset someone.
Socially he doesn't play with the other kids in his class much as he does do and say unpredictable things.
Is the lack of tact quite a common trait with Aspergers??
thanks in advance. x
Every time ds criticises my parenting ability now I ask him to let me know how I can improve and suggest he writes me a manual, this far he has declined!
Just to resuscitate this thread, my son (8) asked me today why I don't keep the house tidier, since he likes everything to be tidy. And mentioned that my cooking isn't as good as a restaurant.
And was rude to the Physio by acting as if she was being totally unreasonable and ignorant, asking him to do stretches to lengthen his hamstrings and calves after years of tiptoe walking, despite us saying over and over that he could easily get an injury if he doesn't stretch properly.
So I had a go at him for being arrogant and rude and made him make us all tea (since my cooking is so awful) and have told him he can tidy the whole house to morrow since he likes things so tidy. And he has to apologise to the Physio next time we go.
Have just eaten cold wraps, ham, cheese and raw veg. Quite nice actually. .
Dd's school brings in outside providers to run fitness and nutrition programmes. The latest one extolled the virtues of five a day and 60 minutes exercise. The trainer wasn't exactly svelte.
Dd asked "do you eat five portions of fruit and veg and exercise for 60 minutes every day?"
"Oh yes every day" said the trainer.
"So" said dd "If you do that why are you so fat then?"
Mine used to do that too.
He still tells people off for parking badly, in disabled zones or outside schools. Because he looks scary and is huge now, they just tend to move.
I always say you will never ask my son if my bum looks fat in
He used to march up to smokers and ask them why they smoked as our where going to get lung cancer and die Hes started getting better (10) whispers it me now
It's very common I think. Just one example of many from this weekend Ds 12yrs 'your top is funny' me 'its new do you like it?' Ds 'no it looks different its like pyjama top!'
You are sure to get an honest answer though
I am reading with interest. DS ignores verbal stuff often, but is very recptive to thumbs up and high fives...something forthe future.
Fabulous stuff, thanks Goblin.
O wow. This thread is amazing. I need to write this all down... Goblin, you are awesome.
My ds2 was dx in Feb. He's 7.
He doesn't tend to be too tactless out in the world - he's more likely to knock someone over by barrelling into them on the pavement rather than comment on their size - but he is very direct in other ways. I saw the ad for Race for Life on tv the other day and out of nowhere was hit with a wave of grief about my dad. DS2 said, 'I don't know why you're crying about him. He died three years ago'. He also fetches the photo of dad at my mum's and says, 'You really miss this man, don't you.' He also says he wishes my dad weren't dead 'because he was very funny' so he's not being callous. Just frank.
We have a lot of work to do on the presents. He usually says, 'I would have liked this to be Lego instead.'
Oh, and I'm not smarter than the average bear, I've just been doing this a bit longer than many.
I use money, especially when we are drawing the line between acceptable behaviour and Aspie traits.
Taking your uniform off when you come through the door and wearing your pjs, Aspie sensory issues.
Bundling up your smelly socks and throwing them at your sister to make her squark...PITA brother and a 20p fine.
You reward and sanction with what is meaningful to them.
I could ban him from football for a month and he'd be delighted. If I want to punish him, I'd have to take away something he valued.
Money is a clear and understandable reward. And useful for fines!
You are a smart lady. I suspect more to tell us, there is. <crap Yoda impersonation>.
I use high fives a LOT, as verbal praise seems to be not so meaningful.
Nah, we made it up as we went along.
They have to fit the individual.
It's fascinating how Pavlovian his response is to one of my signals though.
He used to be a runner, and sometimes I could keep up and sometimes not.
I used to let him loose on the South Downs, and when I wanted him back, I'd whistle and open my arms wide, then slowly start to close them. He'd race to get back before the hug closed, and try and knock me over.
Recall to a signal.
If I do it now, he says he finds it almost impossible to resist, Although now he picks me up and swings me instead of knocking me over. But he can't ignore it.
Am tearing up at this incredibly practical advice that could be sooooo transformative for us. Thank you, Goblin. You are honking for me and I appreciate it!
Positive signals also welcome, and if you got it from a book just point me in the right direction.
Sorry if this is hijacking. But I suspect it isn't.
DS relies on his mates a lot more now. He's also an art student, so he can get away with being eccentric as part of the act. Except it isn't an act for him.
Once you get aware of what you can do that might make other's uncomfortable, you do learn ways of self checking, but also with friends you get them to check for you and give you reminders too. So generally it becomes a lot easier to manage when you get older.
Although when you do drop a clanger, people tend to be much more shocked.
There are positive signals too, forgot about them.
Now I come to think of it, one of the most useful things that has enabled him is that we've always been open about the DX, he's not ashamed to be an Aspie and to find things confusing sometimes, in the same way he'll mention it if he's doing something others find tricky.
He'll say 'Why is that funny' and listen to the answer, or ask for clarification, 'my brain's not wired to think like that'
For example, if you lose something, he's fantastic at scanning and spotting the difference. His teacher lost an earring in a crowded art room, he found it and when she said thank you, he shrugged and said 'Aspie eyes' with a grin.
Flat horizontal hand at neck height, dropped down 6" = cool it, you are heading into a meltdown, disengage.
Right hand as if you are turning a knob down= turn down the volume
Forefinger extended vertically, wait, it's not your turn to speak yet.
That Jack Sparrow hand gesture where he ripples his fingers in the moonlight= you're stimming
Pushing sleeves up, whether I have any or not=offer to help
Raised eyebrows= what did you forget? Usually thank you, excuse me etc
Eye catch and a forefinger beckon=come here ASAP there's something important happening.
there are others...
Ah! And what do you actually do? Thumbs up/down?
They work up to a point, if he's focused and not stressed, just reminders really.
they started off as much bigger movements and I used them at home consistently, then over the years they have refined until they are quite subtle.
He's done a lot of socialising at college, and he's got some good mates that tend to explain rather than strop. Some of his best RL and online friendships are with other nationalities who ask questions about UK culture, and don't find it odd when he crosses a line. They don't ignore it, they explain.
Goblin tell me more about your signals!
And I'm trying to drum into my son 'If in doubt, say x.' but haven't quite found a solution.
Mine's 18, he understood about not making random comments or asking questions of people when he was around 12.
Took him a lot longer to think about his responses to questions people had asked him, that was around 15.
If he's not sure and I'm in earshot, he looks at me to see what to do (NV signals are our speciality, it's OK, no, don't talk, keep going all is well, don't panic, I;m on my way...) If I'm not there, he'll smile and not talk, or change the subject if he can.
<slowly nods head> yesss, my Ds AS is very much the same it's becoming more and more frequent...or rather more noticeable because as mentioned above other Dc learn to use their inner voices, sadly he also tends to become louder at times like this . I have quiet chats with him afterwards and you can see him mulling it over in his mind .....then following a little debate about what was said he will realise it was tactless, but it still happens again so I am working on this . I don't get embarrassed any more TBH I just find myself automatically apologising on my Ds's behalf.
There have been many times that the pondering why questions come out of the blue when he has been to school and straight away I can imagine that he has been tactless in a situation
and no doubt disciplined for it .
I must say that I have read somewhere that at a certain age a Dc with AS may just 'click' about these things when the mind catches up with NT Dc??
In banking on only having another 3 years of it from DS1...
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