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Play is impossible - DS so controlling.(6 Posts)
DS is 6 and diagnosed HFA and he generally manages amazingly well but he is hugely controlling. I'm struggling during this long summer holiday. I'm a lone parent and he's an only child.
We tried to play tennis in the park today at his request, but if it didn't go exactly as he wanted it (I'm not that skilled that I can land the ball on a postage stamp) he couldn't handle it and a mini meltdown ensued.
I couldn't cope with the constant, loud telling off from him in front of an audience in the park, so I told him game was off and we tried a game of catch with those sticky things instead. Same story, and when the ball hit his cheek by mistake (not hard, just my dodgy aim again) he started yelling and screaming as if I'd fired a cannonball hard at him on purpose. He did calm down after a cuddle, but I decided to abandon that game too.
I'm finding his reaction difficult to manage and I'm thinking that games are going to be off-limits. He's the same with board games, role-play, everything really has to be done exactly as he prescribes.
I understand it's part of his autism, but god it's exhausting.
He's an amazing little lad - kind, thoughtful, smart, funny and all round beautiful and I feel really guilty about my exasperation.
Is there anything anyone can suggest to help him loosen his need for control and how I might manage it and my reaction to it a bit better?
You have my massive sympathy. My DS (10) with HFA is exactly the same. I'm a LP too.
I find things like taking him to beach are better as he'll dig in sand for hours and I can read a book whilst intermittedly having to fight flames when other children want to 'help him' and don't do it 'his way'.
Thanks youarekiddingme. It is relentless isn't it!
We're off to the beach in a couple of weeks so I will see if your strategy works with my DS. Will take buckets and spades rather than bats and balls!
I should be more patient, but sometimes I just feel exhausted by it.
I would still take bats and balls, frisbee etc to the beach. We do these activities in between him digging and building. It gives us a chance to practice the skills of joint games etc but the digging gives a calming activity after.
I tend to also answer him and model not getting cross when things don't go the way he wants.
For example - playing with frisbee I get a lot of "you threw it really hard" "it's gone over my head" " I can't catch it as its gone too far over". He has a lot of statement language rather than conversational.
So I reply with "it did go over your head, you did a great job of trying to catch it" and "I was quite surprised I could throw it so hard, why don't you see how hard you can throw it".
With the need for it to land in that exact spot I again turn it into again. So I say - great idea I'll try and get the ball to bounce there and here's my spot for you to aim the ball at when hitting it back. Then again model the positive reaction to him missing. "Oh good try" "so close" "better luck next time"
It's yet to sink him to him and he cannot transfer these skills whilst playing with others as hasn't yet mastered conversational skills. But there have been improvements and occasionally I see him stop, think and ask someone a question.
I really sympathise with this! My DD is 5.5 and I have just these scenarios. She has a younger sister and shouts at her if she can't do things exactly the way she wants, or changes the game we are playing by being imaginative or going off at a tangent, DD can't cope with it. I find it utterly exhausting and frustrating. It feels like everything in our house is run on her terms. Some days it's easier to cope with than others!