*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Personal Body Space

This is something you'll see regularly of Chaz (on right).  He's touching all the time.  As soon as he wakes up in the morning actually.  He can get the other kids upset in two seconds flat because he'll follow them around and be touching them all the time.  His siblings are used to it but when he does it to his church friends, they don't have the patience for it.  They don't understand him and they just tend to stay away.  Chaz has perfect speech and doesn't talk different from other kids.  He is higher on the spectrum.  This is what really comes out is the touching stuff.  Also, Chaz acts much younger for his age at times.  Sometimes he's my 9 year old boy and other times he's more like a 4 year old.  When he gets upset especially.  I try so much to have grace.  You know what I mean?  You want to realize they are different but then you want to treat them the same as the other kids.  Hold them to the same standard to one sense but then I have to have more grace on him than I would my other kids.  It seems like such a fine balance at times.  When is he being "Aspergers" and when is he being "defiant?"  That's something I struggle with daily.  Even this morning, within one minute of waking up, Chaz was going around harrassing his siblings and the kids were already crying and upset.  I had to make him lay back down for awhile and since he got back up, he's acting more calm.  Not that he slept when he was in timeout but just helping him to relax a little. 

I included two books I thought might help that I want to order myself.  One is for older kids especially. The second is called "Me, Myself, and My Brother With Aspergers."


Rebekah said...

JJ has a similar problem, he is very touchy feely, but only with me and its more of an intrusive, sit on top of me or lay on me type of touching, hugs are rare and kisses are non existant. He is 12 and weighs 115 lbs and he likes to sit on my lap! You can imagine how fun that is, but its the only type of physical contact he even allows anyone other than the required hug he gives his dad at bedtime, so I tend to let it happen even though its frustrating for him to just plop down on my lap when Im reading or doing something else. He doesnt touch his sister at all ever unless he is angry and hits her or pushes her or something like that, never nice touching of anyone but me....but I can understand how the opposite (touching all the time) is extremely frustrating too because I see how it is irritating to me and I can only imagine if he did it to other kids how they would feel.

I struggle with knowing what is Asperger's and what is defiant and "normal" child behavior and how to deal with each appropriately and my husband doesnt even accept that JJ has Asperger's at all (he doesnt accept ADHD as a diagnosis either, and me and both kids have it!!) so he is no help whatsoever in terms of effective discipline because he thinks JJ is just a manipulative mean child who doesnt care about anyone....and that breaks my heart, because he is exactly the opposite in my opinion.

Anyways, I just wanted to say, I know how you feel and it stinks and give you a ((((Hug))))

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Wow, Rebekah! I can't believe you found me on facebook. So amazing! I'm trying to build a network of support on here so we can all talk about what we are dealing with and what is working for us.

Thankfully my husband understand ADHD because he grew up with ADD himself! That would be hard to have someone that doesn't believe in it at all. What would I do if I didn't know I had ADHD and with the struggles I have, that would be depressing? It helps very much to know what is going on because then we can find what helps! John from "Look Me In The Eye" talks about how hard it was growing up with no diagnoses because he got no help.

So glad you found me, Rebekah. I am hoping to find an Autism/Asperger blogroll somewhere so I can find more. :)

Marti has said...

I also struggle with the touching and my Matt who is dx'd with HFA and ADHD touches everyone - I do my best as a single mom to teach him but to no avail. His twin brother David has a lot of difficulty dealing with Matt's autism and most of David's issues are evolved around Matt's behavior. I have tried to both explain to David and even ordered books for him and I to read together but I just can't get thru to him (David) how to accept Matt. Any ideas are helpful.

Terra Howard said...

I so understand where you're coming from. I have this inner struggle daily. Reid is very touchy feely w/ me, his dad & brothers. He's bigger than me & he will come charging in a room & give a HUGE bear hug. :D With his brothers he's learned to be "gentle". It's so funny to see the title..personal space. On another note, some things I try to ask myself in the moment of a tantrum or stubborn issue are: Is Reid aware of the negative consequences? Is he tired, overstimulated or nervous? Is this a "deal breaker"? I know when I threaten to take away his most coveted item & his behavior DOESN'T change, it's time to hit the reset button. Our favorite technique.

faithfulma said...

Wow, I'm just glad I fould your page! My 12 yo as son is the oldest. Its all the time with the touching his younger brothers..7&5 MAKES ME CRAZY. I have to always stop what I'm doing to see Y someone is screaming...and its my AS son bugging them. Its like he can't help him self. My biggest issure is him pulling the others boys pants down ...I know he is just being silly and its funny and all...but he is getting bigging and it looks bad. Like you said he acts much younger..but he is 5'9 and over 100lb.
Guess I feel better reading your post and seeing it seems to be an Aspergers thing..Now what to do about it.
I'll look you up on fb. glad to meet you.

faithfulma said...

My bad, I ment he is 5'3"

ClassyMomma said...

I can relate. My daughter is 15 and I recently ended our night time ritual of a kiss and hug because she was so overbearing with it all. I still hug and kiss her, but it's not always on her time table. She also tries to touch people at church that she feels safe with and will play with their hair! I'm going to start working on getting a diagnosis. Your blog is awesome - thanks for taking the time to share!

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