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He'd Like 12 hours on the computer.....

(34 Posts)
TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 14:56:49

Feeling crap again...Tom has been on the PC from 7 till about 1pm and if i hadn't get him off he'd be on there solid till at least 10pm......

OK...he has Asperger's Syndrome...and his 'interest' is computers...playstations etc- so if he's not doing 1 he's doing the other.

Sometimes.... i just accept it and potter around doing my own thing...then other days (like today) i feel very concious that he's on it too much (though for him enough is never enough)

Then i think of my NT nephew who at 13 is playing football for the local team or school EVERY day and in the summer is out from 8-8 playing football....and then the kids i see riding bikes for hours on end....and then yet agin i get the feelings that IF i stop him doing what he enjoys...then thats like taking these kids bikes away...or banning football.

basically...AS means my son is happy doing what he enjoys...and surely THAT is what is important....yet i feel i should stop him!

Our PC is in the main living area of the house- so he's not isolate....and him and Leigh frequently exchange dialogues about playstion (Leigh's into that currently) and Computer Music....and i potter around encouraging them to talk to ME!!!!!!!

Please can someone else admit that if not stopped...their child/teenager is doing the same?????

Any parents of 'normal' kids welcome too... maybe some kids just love computers and will be sat at them all day ....

but if you are a parent (and gasping in horror ! at the fact that i allow such behaviour!)of an 'outdoor' child who appears to lead a fulfilled and happy existance doing may things...please understand that for my Autistic son's to do what your child does naturally and effortlessly would require my full on assistance...and i have 3 boys to share my time with....and much as i'd love to engage and interact with them 24/7...i do have myself and my home to think of!!!!

mummytosteven Sat 16-Apr-05 15:09:26

hmmm - having a think about this - as DS is only 1, more a case of me thinking back to when I was that age - I watched vast amounts of TV (and think that wasn't unusual amongst my contemporaries) - I didn't have a home PC, so I don't think what I was doing was really much more edifying or sociable than being on the computer!

My thoughts are:
1) could you try and get him off playstation a bit, and get him to do other things on the computer rather than playstation, as I understand that too much playstation is likely to make kids more aggressive/jittery etc.
2)would it be feasible for him to use the web to "socialise" a bit - if there are fan usenet groups/bulletin boards for his sort of computer music - might help get his confidence up?
3)could you interest him in learning computer programming/web page design or something like that that could come in handy for jobs later on?

sorry if any of my suggestions are cackhanded/inappropriate.

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 15:11:24

Ds1 is obviously a lot younger than Tom but he went through a long obsession with the computer. Sometimes he would be on there from about 3pm-8pm - a very long time for a boy of his age.

We managed to cut it down by a lot but obviously it's easier to do this for a 3yr-old than a 10yr-old. Ds1 was learning a lot from being on the computer but it got to the point where it was just too much. He doesn't have the same level of interest anymore and will even go for a few nights without bothering. When he's on it now it's probably not even an hour and even then it's not continuous. He gets up to do other things and goes back to it.

With a boy of Tom's age though I think it's a very different issue. I guess the things I would take into consideration are:

- Does it interfere with other aspects of his life? Does he, for example, still get his homework done? I also suspect that if you took away the computer Tom would still have no interest in doing other things and, if I'm right, would NOT go out and play etc.

What kinds of things does he do on the computer? IIRC he's very skilled isn't he? He's obviously learned a lot from it.

I think in your position I would go with whatever you personally feel happiest with rather than what you feel pressured into doing.

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 15:40:39

Doh! He's not 10 anymore is he? Sorry, Tom.

KarenThirl Sat 16-Apr-05 16:46:04

I admit to limiting J's time on PC and tv, but then I only have him and it's not the effort it would be if I had more. Doubt I'd be so rigid if he wasn't an only one.

Like you, I hum and hah about whether or not to take him off the pc because he does learn a lot from it, but I get round that by letting him use it in one-hour bursts, then I don't feel so bad about letting him back on later if it's for my benefit rather than for his.

For the record, J plays out in the garden on his own sometimes but a) he's not out long - he has a 'project' to do then comes straight back in, sometimes as little as ten minutes then you can't get him back out at any price, and b) I worry when he's out because he's a climber, likes to get on top of the old playhouse and I'm a bag of nerves that he's going to jump or fall, and he likes to squirt water pistols at next door's washing and throw his toys at their kids. He's completely fenced in but it's still a worry.

What would happen if you asked Tom to come off the PC? Would he go quietly or would it set off a ruckus? Do timers work for him? And does his whole live revolve around it? I'd be concerned if the answer to the last one is yes, but not sure how you'd get around it.

How are you feeling today, otherwise?

misdee Sat 16-Apr-05 17:20:51

the one thing i;d worried about is his eyes, from looking at the screen too long, and RSI in his wrist and hands. make sure he takes regular breaks

mfh Sat 16-Apr-05 18:34:35

^Any parents of 'normal' kids welcome too... maybe some kids just love computers and will be sat at them all day ....^

They do. I have two relatively normal DSs (one with chronic illness, which is why I visit the special needs area of Mumsnet, and the other is what I would describe as "an awkward customer"). The older one (16) is permanently attached to a laptop, progamming, messing about on the internet, messaging friends. We bought a console for the younger one (14) a year ago, as he was the only one in his group of friends without one.

We don't limit computer/console use with either. I wasn't happy about it at first, but it really is what they like doing. They interact with their friends - Xbox live means they can play games with their friends.

When DS2 was much younger he used to get twitches if he played computer games for more than an hour, so we used to limit him then, but now he's fine. When they were little they played outside a lot, but consoles and computers are mostly what their pals do.

We have rules about homework and other jobs getting done first, and I do try and get the computer and console switched off by 9pm to help "settle their brains" for bedtime, but otherwise it's up to them. And the change in behaviour with DS2 since we got the console has been great. He was a school refuser, and basically very unhappy.

I don't know if this helps at all?

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 21:37:10

well....... mixed feelings here....

He is so gifted at using the PC.....he's 11 and been estimated at 16+ ability wise.

He designs web pages,certificates/posters for school events,joins in chat rooms about games he likes...often posting 'cheats' that help others achieve better scores in their games,designs CD covers,fiddles with our PC to get optimum efficiency.....

and so as far as what he actually does on the PC....i am happy....I am proud.

He has worn glasses since age 4 for a 'left' lazy eye/squint..... @ age 5 we were told that his sight then was the best he would have- and need glasses for life...so in a way we are lucky as he has his eyes checked every year...so have disscussed this with the opticians...and they have not noted any deterioration.

Sometimes he even sits there with his yamaha keyboard playing along to the music he has either created or is simply listening to...he even uses something called 'anvil studio'...which kind of lets him play an online piano.... and mix/alter the instruments/tempo/pitch of songs he plays.

where i have concerns i guess, is that sometimes i worry that i should be doing more with him....instead of him 'just sitting there'....though having typed this i realise that he is 'not just sitting there'!

snce he was about 6 he has not 'obsessivly' played any one game/activity on the playstaion or pc....and as long as i warn him he has to stop he will come off easily.

I do sometimes do the '1 hour at a time' thing...but with 3 boys...it is hard to manage all 3 having 1 hour at this,1 hour at that....and if you take into account the advance warning i have to give...then the settling them at new activity etc...well... it gets very time consuming.

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 21:45:40

In that case, MrsF I would probably let him carry on for as long as it's convenient for you. It sounds as though he's doing really well so NO MORE FEELING GUILTY!

PS Even a year later I still find myself giggling when I remember Tom's 'addition' to your e-mail thingy!

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 21:47:11

Oh Yes CT...The Man Of Peace!!!! I still don't know WHY he chose to use that!!!

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 21:49:04

there's even been times when he has been very involved in emailing someone at a Games manufactures etc (like SONY!!! NINTENDO!!!) ...that i have 'secretly' emailed the recepient to explain he has AS and is only 11...and i have had several replies complimenting him on his abilities/knowledge and politeness!!!!

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 21:53:59

Wow! Go Tom!

You could look at it another way, MrsF. If he was a gifted pianist, would you be so worried if he was playing the piano for x hours a day? I bet no-one else would either.

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 21:55:44

that's exactly the point...i think i am worrying 'just because i worry what people would say'..... the fact that i KNOW he will one day be earning heaps doing what he does now...

Tiggiwinkle Sat 16-Apr-05 21:56:31

I really wouldnt worry about it Mrs F-My 5 DSs are all computer mad. My eldest 2 have done degrees in computing-perhaps your boys will make a career out of it too.
The only problem in our house is trying to get on one-we have 3 and they are always in use!

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 21:58:43

tiggy- that is how we are too- except we suffered ''computeritis' and we now only have one....but as far as playstations....gameboys etc...well i shan't admit on here just how much we have accumulated!!!!

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 22:03:14

Sod what other people will think, MrsF (except us of course ).

Nope, there's a world of difference between Tom doing all the things he does on the computer and my 3yr-old ds1 (as he was then) obsessively wanting to be on the computer for hours on end and screaming blue murder everytime it was time to switch it off. Those days were absolute hell for all of us.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 16-Apr-05 22:04:04

MrsF-probably about as many as us! MY DH always complains bitterly when I buy yet another new console as they come out-but guess who sits playing the games and claims to be "just helping them out" when I ask what he is doing?

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 22:06:18

Tiggi - That sounds sooo familiar! Dh and his "I'll just do this bit for you first so that you can see how it's done...." Ds1 is not impressed.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 16-Apr-05 22:08:27

CT My DS5 says "But your rubbish at that game Daddy!"

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 22:12:13

.....and then there's me buying 'retro' consoles off ebay cos tom hates all the new fangled ones!!! THouh he'd still love EVERY type of sytem...but as a newer one came out----he'd prefer playing the 'original'

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 22:19:28

Ooooh I LOVE the retro stuff! I still remember the TV game I had when we were little. The one where you twiddled the knob (ooer!) to make the bat move up and down the screen to hit the ball. Later we had an Atari and a ZX Spectrum. Bliss!

Yep. Ds1 says "Daaaadeeee! You're not supposed to do it like THAT!"

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 22:28:15

CT...you are gonna have to come to our house!!!! It's like a bl**dy games arcade sometimes...3 playstations playing irritating music!!!!

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 22:32:04

Uour 3 boys would be in fits of laughter at my attempts at playing on the Playstation! My cr@pness at games is legendary in our house. I still love playing though!

TheRealMrsF Sat 16-Apr-05 22:35:52

CT...NO.....I am Queen of CR@PNESS!!!!!

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 22:39:44

I still remember a time when ds1 was about 2.5yrs old and I was having a sneaky turn on his computer game (one of dh's). I was so awful that I had to ask ds1 for HELP!! It was before he'd started to talk and I swear he gave me the most withering look!

Dh has just read this over my shoulder and is laughing at the memory!

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