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Ds1 Asd obsessed with the computer

(20 Posts)
BeauticianNotMagician Mon 07-Sep-09 19:29:37

I know this may not sound like a major problem compared to what others have to cope with but it is really getting me down.Ds1 has only just been diagnosed with autism.He doesnt really play much with his toys but is completely obssessed with the wii.He would play it all day if i let him as computers seem to be the one thing that make him smile.When i try to get him to come off the wii he does but has a major tantrum and the only thing he talks about is the wii.He will ask me constantly if he can go on it until i actually turn it on so if we are out it is so annoying.

What do i do.Do i take it away completely or is that not a good idea.Does anyone have any other toy suggestions as like i said he isnt really interested in most of his other toys.

BeauticianNotMagician Mon 07-Sep-09 19:54:15


ommmward Mon 07-Sep-09 20:02:23

I think that if the Wii sparks his interest, it is worth helping him to really suck the marrow out of the experience. Watch him playing it - see how active and engaged he is - and then see if you can find ways of integrating that into the skills you are hoping he'll develop - 2 player games? I've seen all sorts of Wii games though I don't own one - there are some cool music ones with handbells and Wii fit is hardly a couch potato experience.

Talking about the games when he's not playing them? Great! A topic of coversation. Go with it! How about getting action figures connected to the games to use in symbolic play?

I've seen autistic children for whom a Wii is a wonderful means of connection with other people in multi-player games, helped by the lack of eye contact expected.

logi Mon 07-Sep-09 20:04:15

My ds is mad about wii,nintendo ds and my laptop but he loves to play board games,even when he plays computer games he either wants us to play with him or watch and he keeps looking at our face to check we are still looking at him,he is just setting up a game as im doing this (its his last game of the night).I wouldnt take it away if i was you,just try to see if you can get him into something else...easier said than done i know

BeauticianNotMagician Mon 07-Sep-09 20:19:09

It is good that he at least speaks to me about something but at the moment he is just obssessed with one game lego star wars.As he has just been diagnosed my head is kind of swimming with things i should and shouldnt be doing.
Logi thats what my ds1 does he checks to see if im watching.Bless i do like it because he seems so happy but then seems even more down than usual when its turned off.

ommmward Mon 07-Sep-09 20:30:49

get some relevant lego. then he's got models to play with.

watch him. Ask him questions. It's all communication, right?

mysonben Mon 07-Sep-09 20:35:08

My ds is obssessed with the tv, his disney dvds, and watching youtube videos of trains and of thomas the tank engine.
He likes the wii too but atm enjoys other watching other people playing.
It can be hard to keep him off the tv,...and i often feel i should be taking him out more for fresh air instaead of allowing him into his obsessions.

It is hard trying to find a heathly middle ground.

BeauticianNotMagician Mon 07-Sep-09 20:47:59

Thank you mysonben i think thats what i need to hear that other parents let their children sit at the tv,computer etc as i just feel like im being a bad parent but like you have said ommmward if thats encouraging any kind of communication then its good right?

grumpyoldeeyore Mon 07-Sep-09 21:32:27

Yep my son has been into youtube nursery rhymes, cbeebies and poisson rouge since age 2. I feel guilty all day long. We're going to start (finally) some ABA therapy soon and as part of that the computer is going to become a big reinforcer. So I am going to get symbols and a timetable and do a non preferred activity - then reinforce with computer - then activity - then computer etc. I will let him have some free play on it but the therapist suggested blocking some websites which are his favourites and saving them for his therapy sessions. I have no guarantee it will work but fingers crossed. The aim is to build up the other activities and reduce the computer. Actually I am terrified I have no idea how to engage him for more than 1 minute and the sessions are 2.5 hours. The activities will be very short to start eg matching / requesting some items. However I have met mums with older children and they usually said that although these obsessions make you feel guilty they didn't seem to do any harm and they did move on eventually.

wasuup3000 Mon 07-Sep-09 21:36:11

I have also had a major screaming the house down tantrum due to this tonight. I think he has just managed to sob himself off to sleep now after having to be carried to bed.

BeauticianNotMagician Mon 07-Sep-09 22:01:13

Grumpyoldeeyore what is ABA therapy?I have looked at other threads talking about this but there are so many different things to look at its a little confusing.

Ah Wasuup3000 i know how you feel it is horrible isnt it.I feel guilty because he has the tantrum and im saying no you cant go back on the game and then i feel guilty thinking i shouldnt have let him on it to begin with.At the moment though i feel guilty all day every day and its all i can think about.sad

wasuup3000 Mon 07-Sep-09 22:11:01

Yup.....It's going to have to be a no on school nights, no matter how much he nags!!

Marne Tue 08-Sep-09 10:53:50

Hi, dd1 (Aspergers) had the same problem with the computer, we reduced her time spent on it down by saying she could only play on it at weekends. She was getting so addicted to it and then she started having night-mares about the computer braking so we had no choice but to reduce the use. She now plays lego or playmobil instead and rarely goes on the pc.

colditz Tue 08-Sep-09 12:22:35

I use my computer as currency with ds1 ("difficulties suggesting ASD").

As in, he has 'jobs' around the house. Yes, he has difficulties but he is a family member and I expect him to help. He is expected to tidy the living room every evening. When he has tidied the living room, he gets 30 minutes computer time. If the living room is not tidied to my (fairly lax, frankly) standard, computertime does not happen. If he pisses about, he is cutting into his computer time which starts at 7.30 until 8. He has from 7 to pick up the toys and tidy the sofaa. not unreasonable and it really works as a motivator.

Seuss Tue 08-Sep-09 13:40:44

My ds loves the Lego Starwars game and the Lego Indiana Jones game on the PC - he also likes Lego though so we have the lego sets too which he does turn to sometimes. He likes drawing too and draws pictures of the games.

I've found plus points to his computer addiction - He taught himself to read with those read-along games and plays multi-player games very nicely with his younger brother. I know what you mean about feeling guilty, but if he loves it I'd go with it and see what you can 'use' it to achieve. My DH is just the same - never actually turns the PC off - but he has done ok out of it work-wise!

BeauticianNotMagician Tue 08-Sep-09 17:48:12

Seuss i didnt know about Lego indiana Jones i will have to get that as i want him to have some variety if he is going to go on it rather than the same game on repeat.He completes them so well i havent a clue myself.What read along games do you mean?

I now at least have a list of things to add to the christmas list.grin

Seuss Tue 08-Sep-09 21:17:18

He has the Indiana Jones game on the PC and seems to like it as much as the Batman one - I don't really mind them as at least they involve some thought process, unlike fighty games! Plus they do the lego sets to match, ds likes the little figures. We got hold of some 'Living Books' games for the PC when ds was small, there was Arthur and Green Eggs and Ham, they narrated and had the words for the story but there were loads of things you could click on. Don't know if they still do them though. A bit like those Leapfrog machines but PC based - have you tried one of those Leapfrog things?

Just remembered another game that's a hit with my kids 'Spore Galactic Adventures' - you design your own creature and start your own village and stuff. Quite hard but then they seem to grasp these things so quickly!

wraith Tue 22-Sep-09 21:49:23

aspergers/ hfa and computers really go hand in hand, they tend to gravitate toward things with fixed rules/systems,

its a good thing as long as it doesnt overtake other aspects

troutpout Wed 23-Sep-09 09:08:26

I use all of ds's obsessions as a means of getting him to do the things he doesn't want to do (homework/family trips to places he isn't interested in/exercise etc,etc).
So yes...he is allowed to do his 'thing'...but not to an extent which means he can shut out the rest of the world and only if other things are done too.

troutpout Wed 23-Sep-09 09:09:33

i would never take his things away however...he would be devastated and completely lost

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