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Just don't know how to handle this!

(11 Posts)
onthepier Fri 25-Jul-08 09:29:50

I have two children, and the youngest (aged 5), is autistic.

I find if I take the children out by myself we have a lovely day, whether we're at the park, zoo, having lunch out, etc. However, as the school holidays approach we often have arrangements with other people, going out with friends + their children.

My daughter is very sociable + loves to have people joining us which we do a lot. The problem is my son. If we're with other people he'll play me up all day. If we're eating out he wants me to read out the whole menu, order for him but not tell him what I've ordered. Then when the food comes he goes into hysterics saying it's not what he wants, (whatever I choose although he'll never say what he wants!) He normally eats it eventually when he's calmed down.

If we're travelling by public transport he has hysterical tantrums about where he wants to sit on the bus/train, and can't seem to cope if I'm chatting to my friends. He wants my full attention at all times.

Needless to say this can be very stressful. I sometimes consider just doing everything on our own which isn't fair on my daughter as she loves to be with her friends.

Occasionally I've arranged for someone to have him so my daughter + I can enjoy the day, but part of me thinks he needs to get used to enjoying time spent in a group, so we normally take him.

Like I say, he's lovely when we're by ourselves or out with my dh weekends, and at school, (he's at mainstream), he's very sociable + actually no problem to the teachers.

I do get a lot of looks in my direction, it's hard for other people to understand!

my3beauties Fri 25-Jul-08 09:38:02

Sounds like a realy difficult situation cause your pulled in 2 directions. I would say try not to feel guilty and arrange for him to stay with someone. That way your not disstressing him, yourself or your dd. Along side this i would make special arrangements for dd to go with someone then take ds out, it could make them both feel special in their own way. I should imagine its hard and i really simpathise with you. The stares can be realy hurtful at times. i hope this helps

onthepier Fri 25-Jul-08 10:44:41

Thanks My3beauties. Am going to try to plan things so both dc's are kept happy! I have one friend who I will avoid meeting up with with both children, as she tends to look quite smug when my son plays up, I think she feels this makes her own children look perfect!

amber32002 Fri 25-Jul-08 15:46:39

I'll try to guess how to explain it from his point of view, if it helps.

Practical exercise: Get dressed in something that is far too tight and really restricts your movement. Any pair of jeans two sizes too small and a shirt two sizes too small will do. Focus on how uncomfortable it is. This is how clothing often feels to us, whether it's the right size or not. Now turn on a radio or tele in the room and set the volume to extra-loud. Try getting a cardboard tube, closing one eye, and with the other eye, looking down the tube. This is now your view of the world. Now spray the room with really, really strong perfume. Now trying having a conversation with a group of unfamiliar people. How difficult is it? Imagine how difficult it is when all you can see down that cardboard tube is somewhere entirely new. You don't know where the obstacles are. You're trying to find out who you can focus on so you feel even a little bit safe, you can't concentrate on making any decisions as 100% of your brain is fried, and then strange food appears that smells strange and looks strange.... and people are talking somewhere away from where you can see, and it's All TOO MUCH and you want to panic and go home or hide under the table or lash out at anyone who touches you (you just can't work out who it is that's doing it).

That's about the same as being on the autistic spectrum and going somewhere new with people you don't know. Not exactly the same, but it's close.

With people you do know, there's less pressure to work out what they're going to say and do and expect of you, and it is easier. With new people to cope with as well, we're tipped into chaos.

Will he benefit from socialising like this? Eventually. Perhaps not right now. I think he's trying to say "help!".

Seuss Fri 25-Jul-08 17:08:49

Do you have a park/play area you go to regularly and friends your ds knows well? That way at least there will be some familiar bits to latch on to.

Don't do day-trips with the smug friend - she'll just make all of you feel a hundred times worse!

I have three dcs and they really like doing things on their own with me - as long as I make sure they all get their turn!

onthepier Sat 26-Jul-08 17:02:31

Thanks Amber32002, I do realise things are difficult for him, and am trying to only do things that he's comfortable with for now!

Tclanger Sat 26-Jul-08 18:51:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nikos Sat 26-Jul-08 21:21:52

Amber - I've said it before and I'll say it again, would you please write a book. You've just helped me understabd ds's behaviour today.

Tclanger Sun 27-Jul-08 10:59:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amber32002 Sun 27-Jul-08 12:18:58

I'm writing it smile

Tclanger Sun 27-Jul-08 13:14:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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