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[personal profile] rayjwinteraven
I'm just one person, and I have just my perspective, with the family I have and the reading I've done. So, if my view differs from yours, it's probably a difference in experience and exposure. That said, here's my thoughts.


I started skimming <http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/the-unvarnished-reality-of-autism/> and I had to stop. I just had to.

They were taught to physically restrain their child - in something akin to a human straight-jacket, she said - because of his tantrums. He's a control freak, she said, and demands that everyone yield to what HE wants. Swearing like a sailor by age 3.

I don't understand. I heard my son say 'fuck' when he was very little, and I fought to not swear in front of him, or at all if possible. He swears in his room, or when he's fiercely angry or disappointed (rather like us, actually). Where did that other boy learn all these neat new words? Why were they produced where he could learn and copy them? One cannot blame Aspergers for forcing him to learn that language, really.

My son did have some fairly scary explosions, when I'd pick him up from a school we moved away from as soon as we possibly could. It was bad enough I pulled him out of school. Hearing of a grade 6 student allowed off school property at recess for his smoke break - well, that's not the kind of place where a boy with sensory issues will get on well, it's not a place for a sensitive boy - it's not a place for most kids, I figure. We changed the environment as much as we could, and you know, the extreme reactions stopped. So did the throwing up on the way to school, incidentally. When he did his tantrums, I did what I could to get him home safely, and let him have the time to get through it in as safe and sensory-neutral location as I could manage. Restraining him probably would have gotten me bitten and smashed with his head - sensory, remember? He doesn't do touch so well.

As for the control freak - We've been told that our son rules the household. That is, we were told that until the diagnosis was produced. Sensory issues, anxiety, learning disabilities, ACKNOWLEDGED sensitivities - none of us do particularly well when sitting on thumbtacks, so if one's blue jeans feel just like that, how the hell are we to expect the wearer to be even-tempered? Switch to clothes that don't hurt, switch to lights that don't hurt, switch to softer music that doesn't lead directly to charging-up, carefully instruct one's kid when you see the signs of charging up, help them learn what to do - don't pounce on the child and pin him down without easing the stress, right? We accommodate my son's needs, and my daughter's needs, and MY needs, and my HUSBAND's needs - oh dear, I'm dominating the household! Fie, Fie!

Gah.

When you understand that a lot of my boy's Aspergers symptoms has to do with being too vulnerable to environmental stimulus, and to lacking some sort of human instinct to just *know* a lot of our social nuances, I think that it makes sense that we ease the environment to support him and teach him to notice his internal environment and develop more appropriate responses. You don't take a walker away from an man with Parkinson's just because it offends your sensibilities, and maybe gets snarled on your 4" plush carpeting. You don't stick a Glade plug-in air freshener into every available outlet in a home with an asthmatic.

I have more to do, in teaching some of those social nuances. Showering is more valuable than my boy thinks, particularly as he gets older. Personal space is a difficult concept to learn, I know, but we have to try. Tuning out all sounds when it's just too busy to pick out individual words needs to be followed up with finding out what points of importance were said. I'm not trying to say that the whole world has to bend over backwards to help my son; but we do need to find ways to help him shift himself to deal with the real world, and a lot of that means noticing what is not working, and lessen it when possible.

Wrestling a vulnerable child and placing some very cruel labels upon him will not help. I understand *wanting* to... Gods help me, I understand. I don't toss the kids out the windows, either. I don't get to really relax until everyone is truly sound asleep, and yes, it takes its toll. I think it's very important, though, to choose the fight. Is it worth calling a child manipulative, when maybe they're trying all they can to have a safe place where THEY can relax? Is it worth keeping the glasses where a child in fury can grab it and throw it, or maybe one could get some plastic cups. Less pretty, but is it REALLY worth fighting about?

I have a son, and a daughter. They are not 'the typical child.' Have you met one? Every one I've met has had strengths and hindrances, milestones met or missed or exceeded. I suck at math; 8's in particular just don't seem to work for me. Figuring out how many of ten animals are cats and how many are dogs if the cats get 5 treats, the dogs get 6 treats, and you have to dole out 56 treats; that's easy. I should be grateful it's not 8 animals. :P So I won't be a mathematician... I can live with that. It's not my strong point. Everyone has what works and what doesn't. Why can't kids be treated as individuals, why can't they be supported where they need help, and guided to excel where they surely will?

Raising a child is not convenient - so be it, praise the Gods!

Date: 2009-07-24 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] germanmouse.livejournal.com
((((Sylrayj)))) I bow to your strength. :-)

Date: 2009-07-26 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sylrayj.livejournal.com
Not having enough strength on my own to carry all of these burdens, I've looked far and wide for better, more effective ways to do the job. :) And with Aspergers, that seems to be the key - strength doesn't go far, but delicacy can do it. :)

Thank you so much for your faith in me. *HUG*

Date: 2009-07-24 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binsk.livejournal.com
When you understand that a lot of my boy's Aspergers symptoms has to do with being too vulnerable to environmental stimulus, and to lacking some sort of human instinct to just *know* a lot of our social nuances, I think that it makes sense that we ease the environment to support him and teach him to notice his internal environment and develop more appropriate responses.

And when he's old enough to understand, he'll need to integrate and accept that others will not know (or perhaps even care) to provide him the same latitude, and it will be up to him to set his own limits and compensating controls. It's a hard lesson, but in my experience it's necessary. So much of what you detail above resonates with my own experiences, thought I suspect my own challenges were less acute.

Date: 2009-07-26 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sylrayj.livejournal.com
I'm hoping he'll sometime learn that it's worth the effort to bother, instead of just shunning everyone. Right now, he's positive that he's a loner (even though he's thrilled with his WoW guild) and doesn't actually need anyone. I really hope he finds someone to be worth the effort...

Thank you, hon. I'm going to save this, and keep watch for when he's ready to try again.

Date: 2009-07-27 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binsk.livejournal.com
It'll be interesting to see to what degree he becomes interested. I find for myself, I need precious few people around me as friends in the flesh, and for me the Internet the contact I need while also providing the distance I need to keep my balance. Family... is tough for me some days, as I'm sure it's tough on them when I can't deal with them. He'll have to find his own balance and struggle to maintain it. He's not alone, even if he feels that way.

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