Sunday, November 11, 2012

Focus on the Positive...Please

I decided this blog was important to write for a variety of reason but the most important being that when we are faced with challenges it seems that we are so focused on the negatives that we miss out on the positives.

Having a child on the spectrum means that there are many challenging moments, and if I am not careful I find myself missing out on opportunities to understand and embrace my sons differences. It can seem overwhelming to those who are not educated with Aspergers or Autism but for me, the most overwhelming part is the frustration of people who do not take the time to even try to understand. It is so easy to judge parents of kids on the spectrum for not disciplining their child, what you may not realize is disciplining a Aspie and disciplining a child that is not on the spectrum is not always the same thing.

Here is some awesome information from a blog that i love...

"Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with Aspergers, primarily because they are unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions. Consequently, punitive measures are apt to exacerbate the type of behavior the punishment is intended to reduce, whilst at the same time giving rise to distress in both the youngster and parent.

One of the means to achieve this may be to focus on the positive. Praise for good behavior, and reinforcement by way of something like a Reward Book, can assist. The use of encouraging verbal cues delivered in a calm tone are likely to elicit more beneficial responses than the harsher verbal warnings which might be effective on kids who are not displaying some sort of Asperger characteristic. If necessary, when giving directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched as positives rather than negatives. For example, rather than telling a youngster to stop hitting his brother with the ruler, the youngster should be directed to put the ruler down."
For my son, I have noticed that his one area that can drive people crazy is his logical thinking. For instance, when I asked him to slow down when he is drinking his favorite drinks. He will say "Why, its going to be gone no matter what." Can't argue with that! At times his logical thinking can be mistaken for defiance from those that are not familiar with him, that is what I find so sad. My heart hurts that he is so misunderstood.

I am not here to say that my son is perfect and never has his moments because he does! But, I think it is so important to remember that every situation is different. If you have your guard up and are in constant defense mode around him, odds are you will find everything he says offensive.

The point is, not everything that my son does that is not "normal" is wrong or out of defiance it is simply that he has a difference way of process information than you and I. Taking time to be understanding and loving is so important when dealing with a Aspie. The last thing I ever want to do is make my child feel that he is "broken" or that the way he thinks or feels is "wrong".

I love my son, I will always be his advocate.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dealing With Aggression in a Aspie

This really is a post that I was praying that I would never have to write but it's time. 

In the past week our Aspie has shown increased aggression and anger. So much that I am so overwhelmed that I have considered stopping school so that I may focus more on him. I know this sounds crazy but the guilt that comes along with having a child that struggles with Aspergers is enough to make me want to quit school, work and everything else and focus solely on my child. I know that this is not the right thing to do but the desperation to see my son less aggressive and happier is driving me to consider all of the above.

This past week he became so enraged by me that he started throwing things at me and screaming so loud that it drove me to tears. It was not that he was throwing things at me (although this is completely unacceptable) but more that he was so angry with me without reason. I know that he struggles with this as well because after he has these what I all "meltdowns" he sleeps for hours on end and then appears quietly at the top of the stairs and says he is sorry and then cries.

It breaks my heart and lately I have been feeling so guilty that I cannot help him that I am unclear on what I need to do. I have really been considering taking the summer off and staying home with my children, I think it would be the best thing to do. Our boy really struggles in daycare due to the sensory overload. He comes home and has meltdown after meltdown.  It's just too much.....

He has been showing more and more aggression everyday and now has resorted to threatening me,telling me that he will throw things at me. (At least there is a warning) I struggle with the punishment phase because a child that struggles with Aspergers and it not even clear themselves why they are doing it, how do punish him? I need to find a neutral zone that here is a consequence but not one that isolates him even more.

I am nervous posting this because I always try to put on such a happy face, a face that says "I've got everything under control." Yet I don't and it’s eating me alive. Not knowing what is best for my son makes me feel like the worst mother, I feel that I have failed. I do not know what to do say or think and frankly I am exhausted. 

I pray that God leads me to make the right decision, that he wraps his arms around my son and reminds him how special he is.