Hitting to control

Hitting to control

Postby EDH » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:50 pm

I am working with my son who is 8 with Asperger's. Right now I am the only member of the team and we are off and on in the playroom, usually 2 hours a day. So, with that said, I know I would like to be in the playroom more of the day and that will help this situation.

My son doesn't like things to be thrown away. Certain things are ok, but most things not. He gets very controlling, especially at other people's houses. So, today, by accident, he found a broken plastic egg in the trash and started yelling at me and my husband. Feeling frustrated, I moved the trash to where he couldn't see it and he hit me, saying "This is what you get for throwing toys away!". So, it seems he is trying to punish me for doing something he didn't like. But we don't do this with him! He got so irate with me that I cracked, and started yelling at him (which doesn't model what I am trying to teach). Then I went in my room and waited for us both to calm down.

This scenario doesn't happen very often, maybe 2 times per week, but when it does it is very draining for me and him. I don't want to feel like I can't throw anything away or that I have to hide it just to avoid his strong reaction. Feeling frustrated......

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Re: Hitting to control

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:52 pm

Hi Eryn,

You are doing 2 hours per day with your son in the playroom! Good for you, that is so wonderful! Yes, I agree that having in the playroom more will be a great longer term goal which could really help this situation. The essence of it is that our children crave control and search for predictability in any way they can get it. Therefore, I would use plenty of explanations whenever you are going to throw anything away and a with a little bit of preparation and taking more time on it, you will help become predictable and manageable for your son.

For example, if you see a broken toy around the house, first mention it (e.g. "Oh, it looks like that egg is broken") and leave it where it is for a day. Perhaps the next day you can tell him what will happen (e.g. "I think I'm going to throw that egg away tomorrow because it's broken"), then when you finally go to throw it away the next day havie him be a part of it (e.g. "You go and get the trash can and I'll throw it in") so he feels in control. If he helps and is open to you doing this, give him a celebration and tell him how wonderful he is! Ultimately, if he says "No" at any time that he doesn't want it thrown away, then I would honor that and keep working in the playroom, with a focus on giving control and working on flexibility goals.

If you feel the situation is more of an issue at other people's houses then limit your trips there right now and keep him in your house as much as possible. he will have much more control in your home than in others.

Focusing on your own attitude at this time will be key. If for example it's too late and he sees something that has been thrown away without him knowing, instead of feeling frustrated, fill yourself with calm, comfortable and relaxed thoughts, knowing that he is doing the best he can to gain control in a world that's out of control and you just being the calm in his storm will help him calm down and also model how people are attractive and easy to connect with.

All the best!

Warm regards,

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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Hitting to control

Postby EDH » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:39 pm

Thanks so much Becky. I appreciate the ideas. I think that the preparation will help him to be less reactive and also I will have time to get calm about any potential reaction. And, yay, I have one volunteer so we will be getting more playroom time to work on flexibility and giving control.

Thanks again,
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:23 pm

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