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AS and lack of empathy, how can i help dd1?

(5 Posts)
Marne Thu 27-Aug-09 21:27:57

Today dd1 had a friend over to play, this is her best friend from school, she's a lovely little girl but she is the opposite of dd1 (she's very quite, has poor speech, is great at sport but struggles with school), dd1 is very bossy, never stops talking and trips over her own feet.

Anyway they played really well together, mainly because dd1 bosses her around and she does what ever dd1 asks her to do, after a while i got fed up with hearing dd1 upstairs saying 'do this x, do that, not like that x, like this etc) so i went up and had a word with dd1 about taking turns, all seemed well until dd1 shouted down to me 'x is upset, i said sorry but she's still upset'.

I went upstairs and spoke to x and she told me dd1 was being bossy and wouldn't let her touch her playmobil, dd1 told me she didn't want x putting the bits in the wrong place, i explained to dd1 that x might want to put the pieces somewhere else and that she didn't know where dd1 wanted them to go. With this dd1 starts to cry, i take x own stairs to let dd1 cool off,cue a huge screaming melt down from dd1.

After a few minutes i go and check on dd1 who is still upset, i calm her down and i give her 2 choices a) come down stairs and do a puzzle with x and dd2 or b) stay upstairs on her own. She says 'i don't know what to do, i want x to play upstairs. I explain that x is upset and is playing down stairs etc..

So i ask her 'what do you think would be the kind thing to do?', she says 'but i want to be happy' (shows no sign or caring about what x might be feeling) so i try and explain again that x has come to play and now she's upset and might not want to come over again but dd1 still says 'i want to be happy and i want x to play upstairs' hmm

How can i get her to understand that other people have feelings other than her? I know it is a part of her AS but we have managed to sort out a lot of her other problems, i would like to help her with this one as i'm worried that she will end up with no friends.

Any advice greatfully received grin

I managed to get her down stairs to play nicely but only by bribing her with an i-cream.

Marne Thu 27-Aug-09 21:36:03

Sorry for the long post, will check back tomorrow xx

lingle Thu 27-Aug-09 22:04:10

Hi Marne,

You might find the Hanen "Talkability" book useful. There's a chapter on increasing your child's flexibility when playing, and also a chapter on how your child gradually learns "Theory of Mind".

Needless to say it all involves yet more hard work from the parents - I think the main idea is that you role-play play situations and continually demand slightly more flexibility than the child is prepared to give.

claw3 Fri 28-Aug-09 09:15:14

Morning Marne, my 5 year old is exactly the same, its his way or no way, so i will be watching with interest.

I always ask him 'how would you feel if x did whatever to do' and give him options ie happy or sad.

mumslife Fri 28-Aug-09 17:06:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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