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How can I cope, its getting harder for us both. Sp Needs kids

My boys are autistic, with Aspie and General Anxiety Disorder. They are 11, in Jr High but act and behave at 3rd grade level. Scholastically they are at 8th level and beyond.

I'm having a hard time coping with them in public and hoping they don't have another meltdown today. We've gotten where we just hide in the house on weekends or do stuff when they are at school.

This can't continue. We feel like we are prisoners of our kid's disorder. They are too physically big to react the way they do to things (violence). Any suggestions?

They are not into sports or outdoor activities at all. The only thing that keeps them focused and give us a mental break is video games and playing on a computer for their hour.


Asked by Zoeyis at 9:26 AM on Nov. 14, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 31 (46,808 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Consistent rules, consistent boundaries, consistent expectations, consistent punishments and consistent behavioral modification. If they are allowed to behave as if they are 9, then they "are" in fact 9 - and will not be able to progress far in life. As they are academically doing well, they clearly can learn - and they will need to learn proper behavior and how to self-regulate. Learning self regulation is difficult for children with Asperger's, but not impossible. It must be treated with much importance, all the time. Proper behavior is absolutely essential to being able to progress in life.

    Answer by lovesergei at 9:30 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • ITA with the poster above me - and I'd add that by using video games to "get a break", you might be doing them - and yourself - a disservice. Children who already have behavior and attention difficulties (which you referred to when you stated 'keeps them focused') often fare much better when they do NOT spend time with video games. Video games actually feed into the urgency, the anxious feelings, as they can be time pressured to hurry and do a task before something happens! and video games actually feed into the attention problems, as there is so much going on at once the child doesn't become adept at focusing on the main idea. It can be hard for kids with mental diagnoses to filter out irrelevant sounds and occurances, that's why it can be hard for them to behave in public and concentrate in school - and video games don't help to teach a person who needs to learn focus and self regulation to accomplish those tasks.

    Answer by justnancyb at 9:35 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • My ds is hfa. He is 9 and we have been working with him with behavior charts. It can seem cumbersome, as we have charts and rrwards for the different behaviors he has. Some deal with obsessions, some deal with a negative behavior and others deal with things we want him to do (self help, self monitoring). And looking at our door with all the charts stuck to it with magnets is quite a sight! lol My ds's speech therapist helps us to adjust things to fit my ds's behaviors/obsessions/goals. My ds also does very well academically, but behaves as he is much younger. If you don't have therapists out side of school, maybe the teachers and therapists at school could help you with setting rewards and consequences for their behaviors. It's made a big difference, and most of his meltdowns are predictable now.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 10:13 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • my son has autism so i can commiserate. if your sons are still in "autism therapy" ( thats what i call it for lack of a better phrase), then i would ask the therapist for suggestions

    Answer by pookipoo at 9:53 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • My son is 12 and living with autism as well. He sounds alot like your boys~ only interested in computers, video games, no outdoor activities, etc. We tend to talk about when we go out he needs to remember to behave more maturely. Sometimes it doesn't work, but we just cue him to use "quiet voice,quiet hands, and dry eyes". Usually we have to repeat this, but he does eventually calm down. I don't know if this will help you, but please know that you are not alone and I will keep you in my prayers.

    Answer by Robsmommy at 12:47 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • As you've recognized that the use of videogames might be counterproductive, perhaps it's time to replace them with something else. I don't really go with the "there's nothing else to do" theory - I get that with the videogames available to the, they might not bother finding something else to do. But there are books, movies, board games, drawing/painting, model building, etc... and for 2 young people that are described as intelligent? Perhaps it's time to let that intelligence show instead of sticking it behind videogames. Surely 2 young people that are "intelligent" can find something to do, even if it's reading their favorite book series or watching great documentaries with historical reference to a time they're interested in or sketching pictures to hang in their rooms.

    Answer by jinxandjoy at 12:48 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • Please find a behavioral therapist to help you

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:54 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • Justnancy... ITA with u and would love other options, however, we live in the sticks. They got no friends. Without that distraction, they get obnoxious and basically drive us nuts bouncing off the walls and talking nonstop about things we have no interest in. We're only human ;-) can only take so much. The computer is only an hour or 2 anyways.

    Our area is sparce of things to do at best. So even if they stop playing video games, there isn't much else to do. Thats partly why I'm online myslef. there really isn't much else to do on a boring Sunday when money's tight and there's nothing that needs to be done right now or nowhere I really need to be. Not trying to make excuses, we're just at the end of ideas and options. We'e tried introdusing them to other things and distracting them with activities to no avail, it always goes back to the 2-3 things they always hyperfocus on that month.

    Comment by Zoeyis (original poster) at 9:41 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • to add: the only outside thing they like to do is the library and thats the only thing we've been able to get them to do.

    Comment by Zoeyis (original poster) at 9:43 AM on Nov. 14, 2010