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F*****g Pokemon - AS obsession - i CAN'T take anymore!!!!!

(13 Posts)
Chocol8 Fri 17-Jun-05 22:09:49

Tonight I was witness to the third major meltdown in the last fortnight due to Pokemon on my ds's gameboy!

We were at my sister's and said we were going out and to save his game and switch off. He just stood there and switched it off without saving!

He then went in to meltdown as apparently he had caught a pokemon and then lost it due to not saving (this is all complete gobbledigook to me btw). He was screaming, wailing, banging his head off the floor, collapsing in a pile, unable to stand up, crying etc. My sister and her family were completely shocked - and this was a small meltdown compared to the last two. It lasted quite some time!

What can I do? I keep telling him it is only a game, and he can try again to catch another pokemon, but no, he is inconsolable.

The gameboy (thanks to my big bruv...arghh) has taken over his every thought and is all consuming like his previous obsession, Thomas. It is just that - an obsession (like spending my money), but how can I get him to see that it is just a game and not real life?

Any help or suggestions gratefully accepted, as I feel like chucking it in the bin right now (the game, not my ds).

hercules Fri 17-Jun-05 22:14:57

Chuck it out!!! I dont understand why you havent already done so.

misdee Fri 17-Jun-05 22:23:24

chuck it out or put it away.

Chocol8 Fri 17-Jun-05 22:32:22

The only thing it is good for is bribery - it is the only thing he cares about missing out on. I can "bribe" him with it sometimes - he only gets 15 minutes at any one time though.

It is extremely useful when i'm at the osteo - it keeps him quiet and he's not running around the room like an oversized puppy.

KarenThirl Sat 18-Jun-05 07:12:05

Use it as an incentive, as you've said. J likes to play computer games a lot but he has to earn the right. If he's misbehaving or refuses to eat etc he's warned that it'll result in no computer and most of the time he'll comply. Similarly if he comes off the game when asked and without a fuss he gets a token in his jar.

I understand your attitude that 'it's just a game' but then I'm an adult like you. To him it's far more important than that and it might help if you can look at it from his level. Use the obsession (whatever it might be at a given time) to get him to cooperate with whatever it is you want him to do. Eg: J's back into Harry Potter so we used that this week for his swimming practice. I got him to race every character in Hogwarts across the pool and (of course) he won every time and worked really hard. Without that he'd spend the whole hour jumping off the side and shouting Geronimo, which is fun but not exactly constructive!

Incidentally, I've just removed J's collection of Beanos because they encourage him to be rude to us. He's got a real thing about rude words and insults at the moment and it's becoming more extreme, and every time he picks up the Beano he starts calling us Poo-Face or something. Sometimes, if you can't find a way of using the obsession positively, it does have to go.

Chocol8 Sat 18-Jun-05 09:03:41

Thanks Karen - yes, I do try to use it constructively, but I tend to feel it is just good old bribery at the end of the day. (I love the swimming idea btw) and end up feeling guilty.

He will have a meltdown and then not be able to play with it for a while - which he does accept, usually but then it will happen again and again. These outbursts are just so massive, he has a big mark on his forehead where he smacked his head off the floor, but is TERRIFIED that his dad will find out. He begged me last night not to tell him, but this is becoming serious. Do I tell him on the quiet, or not?

TheRealMrsF Sat 18-Jun-05 10:59:47

Stongly DO NOT agree about CHUCKING ANYTHING AWAY THAT AN AUTISTIC CHILD IS OBSESSIVE ABOUT!!

leigh IS IDENTICAL ABOUT THIS...AND Iwill post later when leigh is not sat here moaning cos i've typed more than the 1 sentance i promised!!!!

hercules Sat 18-Jun-05 11:08:55

oops sorry. Didnt realise he was autistic . Derr, posted in special needs


Just ignore me!

KarenThirl Sat 18-Jun-05 11:21:58

C8, I'd tell Dad. I think he has a right to know what's going on with his son but he shouldn't act on it, just be informed. Why is ds so afraid of dad finding out anyway?

I must admit, I've had times when I've regretted saying that J can't play on the computer because I've deprived myself of some peace and quiet, but sometimes you've just gotta be tough.

TheRealMrsF Sat 18-Jun-05 13:05:03

You are forgiven Hercules!!!

Karen- agree with you- but find i then have to 'swap' the activity that is causing grief with something else ...equally acceptable....which is not always easy!

If any of your 'games addicts' need help with CHEATS etc...Tom can help...Things like INFINITE Life Points...Infinite Health...can make all the difference to a child who meltdowns when they 'get killed' etc in a game.So just ask your kid what he needs...and leave tom to find the answer! Leigh also gets hysterical when the games 'freeze'...

Must admit that i seems odd to me how our boys can be so passionate about something that causes them so much distress.

Chocol8 Sat 18-Jun-05 21:49:13

I'll bear that in mind MrsF, re: Tom, thank you.

Ds doesn't want his dad to find out (only sees him for 5 hours a week) as he says if he knew what what his behaviour is like, he wouldn't love him anymore and want to see him.

Ds admitted to his dad's girlfriend in the car what he'd done last night, and according to him, she replied "oh!". He knows that I love him unconditionally, whatever he does, but is not sure of his dad's love.

He was allowed to play with his game for 10 minutes tonight, but will keep it to only one play per day for a while.

TheRealMrsF Sat 18-Jun-05 23:58:23

The other thing to think about (as i do with leigh) is how to handle the meltdown itself.

I tend to use the strategies used alot for anger management that being:

1) Acknowledge and validate his distress...verbalise what he may be demonsrating with behaviour...eg; "YOU must feel TERRIBLE"...."You must feel SOOOO CROSS" etc.
I also tell him how i hate to see him so sad etc.

2)Then i LINK his physical feelings and behaviour to his emotions...eg "You are getting all hot and sweaty because you are feeling so angry" or "You are stamping and shouting because the game has frozen" (reason i do this is that often ASD kids do not link the feelings to the emotions)

3)Then i try change the activity...easier said than done...but as long as i make no threats to take the game away etc...i can gradually bring him down...divert him to something else...maybe a t.v show i can 'convieniently' put on....not actually telling him that i am changing the activity...maybe i can 'con' him and suggest i clean the game...or recharge the batteries etc...ANYTHING as long as i DON't start shouting at himabout how I FEEL...ie "SICK and TIRED of him getting so distressed over a stupid game"

That's how i have to deal with leigh...it works most of the time...and the contrast is clear everytime my husband resolves it "HIS WAY" and it results in the meltdown increasing.

Key points here is that to our sons this obsession is all encompassing...and unfortunately can mean that we end up being dragged into it to...we are always looking for the 'latest pokemon this or that'...or in my case ...ME...sitting at the internet searching for the cheat code on google that will resolve the current catastrophy etc.....

For us it is never just a case of restricting the activity ...something has to replace it...so this is where you can be crafty and maybe buy him a strategy guide (PRIMA ones are excellent)...so maybe when he needs to be away fromthe game he can study the 'walkthrough and cheat/hints' etc....if you need one ...let me know...i can search locally etc for you...i do it all the time for my 2 addicts.

What i also feel for you CHOCs is how you mentioned he gave up Tom the Tank for this....and that is EXACTLY like leigh...and it's kind of extreme opposites...TOM Tank is so 'cute and innocent'.... and POKEMON is so 'BOYISH'...does that make sense...I am still in mourning for the 'loss' of his love of TOM Tank!!!!

So see if he can have his interest widened...ie get pokemon colouring pages off the internet if he likes colouring....is he into the trading cards??? Stickers??? (don't want to 'dump' on you again...but we have some surplus to requirements 'pokemon' stuff!!!

Chocol8 Sun 19-Jun-05 08:55:13

Oh MrsF - bless you - trust you to come up trumps yet again, what you wrote makes complete sense. I have to go out now, but will reply in more length later, thanks again. x

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