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whats happening?(16 Posts)
Before I start to explain ,please understand I intend no malice,im genuinely wanting to understand whats happening.
There is a young lad who is pally with my youngest ds - theres a few years age difference but this boy has adhd and autism (his mum says) this lad whilst hes at my house acts quite happily I sometimes have to say look at me im talking to you (in a nice way) and he does - he is quite young for his age.
The thing thats puzzling me is that just lately ive noticed when i see him with his parents or his older siblings he walks with his head down and kind of shuffles and to all intents resembles rainman - yet within a few mins of being with us he looks ahead talks clearly although very repetetive but definitely nothing as extreme.
My partner commented on this today and it puzzles me that he appears v vulnerable when with his family yet here surrounded by other children he is much more confident,joining in,joking and taking part.
Is this an aquired behaviour? is he doing this to 'fit in' with the others? is he able to do this? or is he predisposed to see himself as the weakling with his family?
please help me understand and excuse my ignorance.
ds who has asperger's seems perfectly normal a lot of the time when with friends, but his behaviour can be pretty strange sometimes. I think the explanation is that he can make an effort to fit in, to concentrate on his behaviour, appearance and attitide for short periods of time. When he is at home, the concentration slips as does the behaviour.
When he is stressed his behaviour deteriorates markedly, and can be very bizarre.
The result is that many people don't believe he has AS. They think we are over-protective parents and that we use AS as an excuse for bad behaviour.
You sound as though you don't believe his diagnosis (you say "his mum says"). Children do not get a diagnosis without a lot of investigation. It will not be helpful to your son's friend or his parents to doubt his diagnosis just because he can behave more "normally when he is with you. It is probable that when he is with his family he can relax and behave in a way which is normal for him, and when he is with you he can change his behaviour for short bursts iykwim.
By the way, I am glad your son can play with this boy - my worst times with ds have been when parents have not allowed him to play with their children because of his diagnosis.
Thanks maryz- I dont disbelieve his diagnosis at all -im not a doctor I wouldnt/couldnt argue and I certainly dont know enough about autism to pass a judgement,what I perhaps worded wrongly was that his mum just says autism-full stop,I am a friend of hers but having heard oither people describe their dc they say 'thats the adder in him' 'thats his aspie coming out'.
This particular child wasnt diagnosed until quite late.
I have been reading up as much as I can and I would just like to make it easier for him to play here at ease.
With my son, it's like being a high-wire performance artist. He can walk the wire, smile and keep his balance and wave to the audience for a period of time.
When he comes home after school, he's very 'aspie' for the first hour or two, stress release. If he's allowed to be, it charges his batteries for the next performance.
When your inlaws come to visit, many rush around and put on the best show of cleanliness, domestic harmony and cooking that you can.
When they've gone, you nip out to the takeaway and sit in your jammies watching junk on the telly. Only for a while, but you need the downtime.
Your boy's friend doesn't have to try so hard with his family, they know him. he obviously values the friendship hugely to be making the effort to fit in and be NT in appearance.
His mum seems to think that with me he knows exactly where he stands (i understand to a limit his difficulties but im very clear about what I expect from him with regards to tidying up the toys,I will say calm down and tell me slowly etc) and there have been times ive been called to help when hes had a strop at home - i just find it really interesting how he can 'keep balanced' in my home.
There is no question of him being treated 'different' in my home nor would my dc query his needs as my dc are very aware of other peoples needs and indeed it was my youngest dc that asked me to find help for ways he could help his friend.
The relationship/friendship they share although rather odd regarding age, works well bcos my dc doesnt argue and test this child he will either change the subject or say hes going home - the child enjoys being with my dc bcos to him hes just xxxx.
thankyou both for helping me make sense of what I knew could be quite a sensitive question,id be really grateful of any advice you can offer.
Does it help with the age thing to know that many Aspies function with an emotional age around 2/3 of their chronological age?
So my son is around 10 in his ability to cope with friendships and people, despite being almost 15.
Consistency will help him, a rule always being a rule and reinforced with a calm voice rather than getting cross and loud.
And if he makes a mistake that really annoys you, try and work towards helping him fix it please. Real friends are as rare as *insert whatever cliche you like* for ASD children
that age difference is spot on absolutely!!
When he has done things that 'annoy' me i say to him - i dont like it when you do that it makes me feel sad -remember when you felt sad because your xyz got broke? thats how i feel,i will also say to him you have done that beautifully im really very happy with you.
Sometimes when hes playing with the other kids its harder to see if hes happy or sad so we have a code thumb up if hes ok thumbs down if hes not.
You sound as if you really know what you are doing.
Im trying but i did find it really difficult to note such a distinct difference in his behaviour,it was in my mind he was unhappy but i think he was just being his real self after listening to your advice.
Again, a lot of Aspies, mine included, often don't do 'normal' facial expressions.One of the things that has prevented him being picked on by the hyena-types who victimise others at school is that he frequently looks menacing.
Glowering, serious, unsmiling and scary. That's often his face in neutral.
He remembers to smile more often now, or to explain that he's concentrating or thinking when people ask him if he's alright, but it is a conscious application of social skills rather than instinctive smiling.
You sound like you are managing it very well. I would also say my 15 year old has the emotional response of a 10 year old - my 11 year old would be years ahead of him in empathy, etc, but he has learned ahead of himself because of understanding ds1.
ds used to get punished a lot at school for glaring. This was his standard response when he didn't know whether or not he should smile. He didn't really understand that smiling meant someone was happy until he was about 10! Goblinchild your last post sounds exactly like ds1.
sixweekfreak, I manage to deal with my son very effectively for short periods of time. I stay calm, talk to him directly, tell him how he should react, etc. Then I get tired, lose my patience, and things go bellyup, so his behaviour can often be worse at home!
I also meant to say, sometimes I just say "autistic" when describing ds, because it is so much simpler than going into a long explanation of behaviours with people who really aren't very interested! I do try and explain more fully to people who have direct contact with him but it can be a hard thing to explain.
In the States, they refer to Asperger's as High Functioning Autism (HFA)
I have come over from the Darkside, been chatting to Vic, we have hatched a cunning plan. see vics banking thread on the am I being unreasonable bit,
Sorry to but into the thread but I have been goblin stalking all evening and they are fiendishly hard to catch
Seems September is going to be just as wet as August.
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