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Is this mean of me?

My Autistic sons, among other things, hyper focus one one topic or tell a made-up story and it goes on and on plus they add things, and I feel bad telling them to stop.

They need to be able to talk and someone to listen, as such I let em ramble on. But I'm not interested all the time in the topic, so I glaze over 90% of the time. I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing during the 45-minute long story, so I popped on some headphones and turn em just high enough that I could still hear em talking but not quite hear the details, so I knew when to say "uh-huh" and "cool".

Is that terrible?


Asked by Zoeyis at 10:33 AM on Nov. 27, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 31 (46,808 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I've had a lot of interaction with autistic kids, and other special needs children over the years (spent many years volunteering in a SN HS classroom, my friend was their teacher)... I know exactly what you're talking about, and it will literally drive you insane if you don't do something to combat it.
    As much as these women say that you're wrong, if they've never encountered this behavior (let alone lived with it!) they have NO room to speak. Its fine to say "I would never do that". But until you've dealt with it, you never can say... Its just like new parents saying "I'll never"- then sleep deprivation kicks in.

    As long as you show them love, that is all that really matters.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 11:22 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • As long as u could still had interaction w/,i dont see anything wrong. U have to save UR SANITY TOO!!!

    Answer by lilbee814 at 11:00 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I know it is hard to focus on a story about "Ben10, in our case" for 45 minutes, but I think that what you did was wrong.

    Answer by dancinintherain at 10:44 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • That's a funny way. My kids aren't autistic but my 4yo gets on with her stories and it's always when I'm trying to do something else so I tend to tune her out and just do the "uh-huh"s every few seconds. She hasn't seemed to catch on yet. She gets bored because her older siblings are in school and it's just me, her and the baby at home but I can NOT spend my whole day playing with her (for one, I have other things to do and, two, I just don't want to...4yo interests bore me). My 4yo drives me nuts sometimes.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:10 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I wouldn't do that even to my non-autistic DD. It gives the impression that you don't care to hear them talk. If it bothers you that bad, get on the eyes may be busy but at least your ears are free rather than covered up with headphones.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:36 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • i dont really understand where your coming from as i dont have children with autism but i have to assume you have tried other ways of dealing with it and honestly yes it does seem kind of mean but at the same time if they seem to be unbothered by you putting headphones on then maybe you do need to do what helps you stay calm and not go crazy becuz your right there is no since in yelling at your kids daily for something that they simply arnt going to stop doing anytime soon. good luck and dont let others get you down hopefully soon you can find a better solution.

    Answer by Jaxsmommy09 at 11:01 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I dont know. I cant see myself doing that to my kids--but well my kids are not autistic and dont go on and on about things. So I dont know if I would say it is mean or not.

    Answer by WhitleyLyles at 11:15 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • As a mom of an autistic child I know where you are coming from. As for the headphones, I really don't think the kids pay that much attention to them or realize why you have them on, and as long as you keep adding to the conversation ( cool, yep, wow, really, and then what happened) you are not being mean.

    Answer by MizLee at 2:06 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • If he doesn't realize it then I guess its fine.

    Answer by TaraK. at 5:10 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Oh I should update: I was already on the computer when they start in. They don't care if someone is already in the middle of something. And for whatever reason they don't understand social cues and don't get phased by the headphones being on. Its really odd, but as long as they aren't offended, I use what resources I have to not go nuts.

    And you're right. I don't care about what the latest Anime thing is or what some cartoon character is doing on next season of whatever. Partly cuz I haven't a clue or interest in the topic. Keep in mind too, they talk about nothing else regardless of how many other things we try to introduce them to. Hyperfocusing is just awful. Its akin to addiction I think.

    Comment by Zoeyis (original poster) at 10:40 AM on Nov. 27, 2010