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When other children wind yours up(7 Posts)
How do you deal with it? What do you say to your child?
DS is nearly 7. Was referred to CAMHs and OT towards the end of the last school year for sensory processing and social communication issues, and we have our first appointments for both next month. He's a lovely, bright, friendly little chap but has always been extremely highly strung, and we're struggling to help him understand that he can't control other people's behaviour but he can control how he reacts.
Today was a perfect example. He loves building, engineering and Lego, and this morning he and DH built a functioning lock (as in canal lock) out of Lego, and wanted to take it to a park with a sand pit and water pump to test it out. So off we went, and he had a lovely few hours playing with it and his little Lego boat. Then a boy of about DS's age arrived, announced that he didn't like what DS was doing and stamped on the sand dam DS had built, destroying it and flooding the Lego lock. DS immeadiately started howling, and while DH and I were trying to calm him the boy started dismantling the Lego. DS was totally inconsolable; sobbing and screaming for ages. The boy didn't seem to care, and the woman he was with (presumably his mother) kept looking over at DS, shaking her head and rolling her eyes.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened. But how do we deal with it? How can we make DS understand that some people will behave in ways he doesn't like, and help him to control his emotions in these situations?
Sorry if I'm a bit rambley. DS is fast asleep and for him it's long forgotten, but I still feel upset on his behalf. I feel like life is going to be hard for him as the world is full of arseholes and his emotions are so big and raw.
ds1 is at a specialist school where they all wind each other up at times. The school tackles it by giving a ridiculous amounts of house-points (housepoints mean money at the end of term!) for those who ignore the behaviour and do not join in. His tolerance has increased with this approach. So basically I am saying use rewards when he manages to deal with the upset in a calm manner and you should see an improvement. It is a slow process though.
School also used to practice "I feel ...." statements with them so they could learn to express their emotions in an acceptable manner which also helped. You kind of forget with children with HFA that whilst they can talk eloquently often on factual topics they often lack the vocabulary or skills to talk about their feelings.
I don't understand why you and dh stood by and didn't intervene when the boy was trashing your ds's game.
We didn't intervene because our attention at that moment was on our younger child and by the time we realised what was happening the dam was destroyed and DS had already lost it. DH pulled the Lego out of the other boy's hands while I carried hysterical DS away, but I don't know if DH said anything. By then I was focused on trying to sooth DS.
Your child wasn't being "wound up" he was being bullied. He has every right to act the way he did.
I think a lot of NT 7 year olds would get upset in that situation. I'd be annoyed if some stranger just came up and smashed something I love.
I would have told the other mother my child has autism - sometimes it shames other people, who are being judgement, into acting more kindly.
Any child, SEN or not, will get upset if anyone trashes their game... so your statement "But how do we deal with it? How can we make DS understand that some people will behave in ways he doesn't like, and help him to control his emotions in these situations?". Doesn't make much sense unless you meant something different.
If I was in your position, I would of told the boy off..or give a stern " No, you do not do that". But then again, I am someone who would happily tell off a child who is wronging DS.
Sometimes, as parents, we need to model to our kids how they should react in certain situations. As an example, DS attends a club and a boy kept on calling him names, in front of my presence. I told the boy "No, you do not call DS names" and then I proceeded to tell the manager of the club and he spoke to the parents and the boy vice versa.
When DS and I went back to the club. Unknown to me, the same boy was calling DS names again and all of a sudden, out of earshot, I heard DS say " No, you do not call me names".
I'm not sure if this approach is right. However, I was brought up to be a people pleaser and to ignore someone if they said something horrid to me (I'm sure my parents had good intentions). However, this backfired massively in my teens and had trouble asserting myself whilst growing up.
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