Monday, February 06, 2006

Help, Please?

Hello my favorite network of wonderful people. I was wondering if you could be of assistance to me. Yes, back to Ex. I am trying to figure out the most simplest dumbed - down way of explaining Aspergers, Sensory processing issues, etc...and all of the reasons that kids on the spectrum act the way they do - or according to Ex, why the lying, why the tantrums, why the defiance, why the obsession with video games. I have explained it in English, in relatively simple terms. Everyone, but Ex, that is not familiar with Aspergers or ASDs got it. I need to dumb it down BIG to the level of a big goof, drunk, who only thinks ONE WAY is the right way and one opinion is the right opinion. To give you an idea, he could hear from each one of you individually, regardless of your level of expertise or experience with ASD and tell you that you're wrong because it's not what his "guys" say ("guys" being whatever "experts" he consults). Anyway, what I'm picturing is a version of ASD, etc similar to the "...For Dummies" series of books. Can anyone help? Thanks, Loves!


kyra said...

jeez, let's see. basically, it's an 'information processing disorder' but that's TOO COMPLICATED FOR HIM (belch), so.... how about telling him it's like your son is trying to hear what he says through a whole lot of noise, as if your ex was trying to hear you from across the room while major construction was going on and hundreds of people trekked through with saws and lumber and jack hammers. he has to find a simple way to clear out the noise to give your son the best chance of 'getting' the message, whatever the message is.

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

I actually have a book, I'm assuming he reads? lol It's called The Everything Parents Guide to Children with Autism by Adelle Jameson Tilton. It's the same lady that writes all the very easy, but helpful books about pregnancy and children. I'm not sure if that will help, because small boy has Aspergers, but it's a quick read with useful information. OR the children's book entitled Apspergers
huh? by Rosina Schnurr if it needs to be simple and clear. Good luck. Sometimes people just can't change or see things other than how they see it. Too bad, small boy seems like a really cool kid.

Take care,

Astryngia said...

Oh, mommyguilt, I had this dreadful urge to tell him : He's just like YOU!

I'm guessing that's an insult to your boy but I'm also guessing it's a showstopper if you end the conversation on that note and he has to think about it for a bit.

But other than that, you won't get the idea through - he can't change, won't exactly the same way his son can't (surely?!).

Sweet and to the point.

The other thing is...stop trying to put it in 'other words' - become like a record that's got stuck, find a simple phrase or two and just keep repeating them. As simple as 'he's got Aspergers syndrome and that's what they do' 'it's neurological, not psychological'.

Don't get waylaid. Know that you are right and his 'guys' aren't. Then you don't need to explain. Never apologise, never explain!!! ;-)

Good luck!

mommyguilt said...

WOW - you guys are awesome.

Kyra, I LOVE that analogy. Although, for him, I think I would phrase it like this, "You're watching the Superbowl and there was a review of the play. The ruling has come down to the field and the ref is announcing it, but everyone in the room with you is making too much noise about who's going to get the next round of beers that you can't hear the call".

Kristin- Thanks tons for the reference to the books! I will pick up the Everything guide...I have the Schnurr book. Actually what I did with that was for SmallBoy - I took the pages and put them in page covers, put them on a D ring, and he carries it around with him. I made a copy for his father and within it, made notes and references to the way SmallBoy acts. Haven't given it to him yet, cuz I'm still looking for ways to even dumb THAT down. Yeah, I'm serious. He'll find one thing that he doesn't understand, misinterpret THAT and then HE'll perseverate on I'm making it disgustingly simple.

Astryngia - oh girl, you SO nailed it on the head! If, in fact, it is proven that genetics plays a role in Asperger's ( a larger role than that for which it is credited),that would mean that HE was (insert big gasp here) NOT NORMAL!!!!!!!!! OH GOD!!!!!!!!!! NOT THAT!!!!!!!!!!

Ladies, I knew you would come to my aid. You're all truly wondeful!


marti said...

On its way to you via U.S. mail is the story we wrote for Child to read to the 4th grade classes. My recommendation is that you write one for SmallBoy, with the intent to read it to his age group, and then share that with Ex. SmallBoy will be able to personalize it with what corresponds to HIM. No need to fill Ex with all the characteristics of all the other Aspies out there. Sounds like he has the attention span of a stump. Write a children's book. Kinda the same principle as adults understanding church better since there's a children's sermon. It's on it's way, and you should have it by the end of the week.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Marti!

You are absolutely fantastic! Glad I found you, and glad we're kinda-sorta related! I'll post on SmallBoy's OT eval shortly - Ex, new wife and new baby were there....Oh yes, fun for all!

gretchen said...

I liked the analogy mom-nos gave about an allergic reaction a few weeks ago...

And I love Marti's idea of having Smallboy write a story for his class. That's really brilliant. Because there is such a range of characteristics on this spectrum, you will need to make specific Smallboy examples.

Unfortunately, some people are too close to the person to see ASDs for what they are. My mom was the same way, but in reverse, if you see what I mean? She was totally in denial that Henry had any "problem". And she's a school psychologist!

Doesn't ex watch the news or read any magazines??!! It's been in the news for a couple years now!! Ugh.

Actually, my boss just told me about a recent episode of Boston Legal that featured an attorney with Aspergers. I think that show taught him a lot more about autism disorders than all our years of working together! You never know how the message is going to get through... Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You are a remarkable woman.

mommyguilt said...

Gretchen - No, I don't think Ex is paying attention to the world around him. The sky could fall and he'd be busy looking to find out if it fell on the liquor store. I've given him ample opportunities to learn about AS, but he chooses only to go to "his guys" because like me, the ex wife, anyone else I recommend, lies. Honestly, he would have said that I paid off the producers of Boston Legal to run that episode that way...Seriously. He's a butt monkey, but it seems as though, some of this is really coming from the New Wife and her intense, terribly anal, needs for things to be sanitary. Really it's insane.

But thanks, you are truly fabulous yourself! Big kisses to H & T!!!!

Cheryl said...

Try the kid's only got one head, and the bit that likes logic and science and how things work and talking like a lawyer in precise terms is sooo big (because he's a genius) that there isn't much room left for a bit of brain to understand social stuff like hints or an angry face or less than precise language.
Tell him to imagine he's spawned Data off Star Trek?
Sorry I can't dumb it down any more than that.
Empathy. xxxx

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Cheryl! That's awesome. That might leave some kind of an impression IF Ex can actually visualize a brain...cuz I don't think he knows what one looks like. Seriously, though, that's a wonderful idea. Overstuffed suitcase analogy! Fabulous fabulous fabulous!

Moi ;) said...

Give him the O.A.S.I.S. book by Barbara Kirby.

It's big enough and fat enough and probably has too many words for him to sit down and read in a half hour. ;D So he won't bother, and then he'll defer to you when you say "well, didn't you read that in your O.A.S.I.S. book?"

Astryngia said...

I just had a worrying thought...scapegoating. If his wife is like you say, then they can avoid the arguments between THEM (which surely must/would arise if he is as you say he is) by dumping it ALL on smallboy. Convenient. Damaging if smallboy is sensitive to what's going on around him.

mommyguilt said...

Did I mention how much I love having the wealth of knowledge provided by all of you phenomenal women?