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autistic 12 yr old DS - schedules and changes to this

6 replies

slightlyslumamama · 28/01/2023 10:45

Just after some advice really - DS is 12 and has aspergers (also ADHD and tourettes) so after a day at school he is tired and needs to chill. To make sure he is involved in how house is run, he has a few chores after school but I have scheduled these into timeslots (and same with homework).He really needs things to be done in the same order and doesn't cope well with not being able to finish a game/what he has started and requests to stop now and come and do chore. I have avoided doing this but my husband (DS's stepdad) will ask him to do things now and will not accept the reply, I am just finishing this and will do it at 4.15 (also DS struggles if scheduled tasks are not in times ending with 5 or 0, for example he would struggle to feed the birds (his job) at 4.12 but would be OK doing this at 4.15.
His stepdad doesn't get this and I am of the thought that does a few minutes really matter? It's not a refusal or rudeness, he will do the requested job but just not "now".
What do others do please? Am I just setting him up for failure or is this OK? ie. should I go through the trauma every time, what if he doesn't desensitise to this. Has always been the case btw. Hope I am making sense!

OP posts:

SageYourResoluteOracle · 28/01/2023 12:35

This is meant as kindly as possible but your husband needs to educate himself and wise up to the fact that this isn’t about ‘keeping control’ of a child or losing face. You need to advocate for your son. He’s not being awkward or insolent: he literally cannot help needing to work in this way.


SageYourResoluteOracle · 28/01/2023 12:39

Oh- you asked what others do. With my stepson I do a now and next and he’ll now ask any questions about what’s expected of him or what to expect. With my daughter, she likes to choose the order in which she does things. Either way is fine: one must choose the hill that we die upon as parents but also acknowledge our children’s needs. It’s interesting as DP (also Neurodiverse) has needed to be slightly trained in this way of thinking.


slightlyslumamama · 28/01/2023 17:25

Thank you yes I do now, next, then and he has to deal with changes at school (mainstream) but as you will know, changes with teachers cause massive anxiety. I just don’t want (or think it necessary) to change what we do at home as frankly I feel he has enough to deal with at school!

yes I do feel that DH needs to step up and be more understanding- no need to stress DS unless necessary (emergency changes).

I’m also not of the view that we should “desensitise” - for example I don’t blame him for his v sensitive hearing or taste and do not think he can or should just get over it.
With confidence he adapts better and with time that’s fine but I really don’t want to push it

thank you for your replies and I love your phrase “we must choose the hill we die upon”! I’m not dying on any hills for this!

my son is awesome and overcomes so much every day

sounds as if your family do the same!

OP posts:

WeirdPookah · 29/01/2023 10:00

I feel that our homes should be our safe place.

Being able to have the routines we need, food, quiet... all the whatevers that make life more bearable, we have to have them at home.

This makes being able to face the times out of our control outside the home more bearable. We face them with a "full tank" of energy to deal with crap, rather than having it un-necessarily run down at home.

You are right about the not needing to de-sensitise him. Home is a safe place.
Home is a place to recharge from a world not designed to accommodate Autistic people.
Home is where things should be as we need them.

Not sure anybody likes being told to stop right now what they are doing. I always give my children a warning when things have to end.


Daftasabroom · 29/01/2023 10:49

I agree with pp. I have DS20 for reference. A couple of thoughts:

Is it really important that DS does chores? The stress AS kids is enough without the extra.

Give it time 12 is still young, my DS now just gets on with things without being asked. Your DS will get there, just via his path in his own time. My DS growing up has been like a series of switches. No, no, no, no, switch, sure no problem.


slightlyslumamama · 29/01/2023 16:52

Thank you for replies. Yes I do think he needs to do chores but I am happy that he does them within an agreed timeframe. (We are talking simple things like bringing in a basket of logs/feed the birds/dishwasher.

I am relieved that others agree that removing the stress to help him function is the right thing to do. Yes also to the thoughts that this should be a reduced stress environment. Just pointless making it a horrible place for him to be and that he doesn’t need to change on this front. If it was a genuine emergency he would react accordingly

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