Obsessive Behavoirs and Anxiety

Obsessive Behavoirs and Anxiety

Postby Anita » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:39 pm

My son is 16-year-old. We went through a huge experience - from almost non-verbal /about 200 words vocabulary/ , whirling, jumping at the age of 6 and until 16-year-old, which is now, when he is twice champion of private Chess School in our area, plays three musical instruments, knows the amount of all protons and electrons of all the elements of Mendeleev table. He is genius. But he still needs help. And he changes through the time.
I attended Option institute's start-up program at 2006. I also studied floor time method. I steel use it a lot. He still like my /his/ toys, animated dog , frog and tod, who can open their mouth and speak / with my voice/ about Magic School bus trip to the space with Ms.Frizzle, about planets and stars, etc. This is the best way for my sun to study Science in his 9th grad. Also we watched many Nova, National Geographic movies.
In my method I animate a lot, create on the spot lots' of stories and tell him with my toy's voice.
This way he learned many things.

He has difficulties to read, to focus. He has fine motor problems, and he doesn't like to write.
So, we do learning visually, or in animated form, or we discuss a lot.
Yes, we went through the auditory-processing treatment by Tomatis and Berard method, and he doesn't interrupt anymore other people, if he wants to join conversation, and he'll not speak "In parallel" one at the time with other person or people, he'll wait. This is a great result. He can communicate much better.

But we have now anxiety problems. His motor planning and schedule planning became much weaker, than few years ago.
If we'll not push him to do faster, or to do, he'll eat for 1-2 hours, prepare for bed for ever. In the morning it takes 1,5 hours to prepare and to bring him to school, which is 10 minutes drive from home.
He'll forget to undress after he comes from school, walk aimlessly around the house, doing nothing. Then I push him to eat dinner. It takes 1-2 hours to eat. Then he needs to brush his teeth, to take a shower and go to bed, which will take for ever, if we don't check him every minutes. He'll tell "Yes, OK, I'll do it", but then he's stuck again and again.
The worst is, that he picks his skin with his nails, makes it to bleed already for one year. When the scabs heal, he removes them, and scrubs them, and injures himself again and again, from time to time.
We have a doctor, who works with him - doing relaxing meditation with him, working with his hands, trying to convince him, that his hands are wonderful and beautiful, etc. He does honey massage of his hands, and the skin is really looks much nicer now. Also my son needs to take care, massage with honey his skin by himself, too. Doctor explained us, that my son needs to actively take care of his hands himself.

I understand, he has anxiety.
I know, he is maybe missing serotonin in his brain. But I'll never give him drugs. I bought GABA - which supplies neurotransmitters with serotonin, and vitamin B-complex and B12, B6, C and few others.
I made a huge have metal detox treatment with our homeopatist, and many metals came out from my son's body, throughout the period from 2006 to now.

I know, I need to be patient.
But how should I work on his schedule. My animation helps him to focus on science, but not on the schedule.
Please, help me with advice. How to work with my son on changing from one activity to another - so one day he'll do it all by himself: getting up, dressing, eating, preparing to school and go to the car in the morning and coming home, eating, doing some homework /with me or by himself/, preparing for bed and going to sleep in the evening?

I'd appreciate every advice. I know, it can take 3-4 years, but I'd like to understand long term strategy and how to deal with it every day?
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:45 pm

Re: Obsessive Behavoirs and Anxiety

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:51 pm

Hi Anita,

I'm Becky and I am a Son-Rise Program Teacher here at The Autism Treatment Center or America. You have been doing such a wonderful job of helping your son up until now and it's really inspiring to hear how far he has come thanks to your hard work!

I would recommend that you work one to one with him on the self-help skills that you are wanting to teach him in a non-distracting environment, much like you do when you work on academics with him.

It sounds like he has a wonderful capacity to learn and is very motivated for the puppets and the animated voices that you use when you are teaching him, that will be key to helping him with these skills.

First try putting on a puppet show for him where he gets to sit back and relax while you entertain him with the puppets by acting out the routines of getting up, getting dressed, getting ready for bed, etc. Make one of the puppets take a long time and show him the consequences of what happens when they are slow (e.g. the bus leaves without them, their friends get bored and leave, they feel tired the next day, etc). Then make one of the other puppets do it in a quick, efficient way, and make a case for why that is the successful way of doing it (e.g. you have more time to play cool games and learn new things, your friends will find you reliable and want to hang out with you, you will be able to get a job and earn money, etc).

Build the game up gradually each time you work with him. Next time create a race where you race the puppets to see who can get each skill done the fastest. Hold a competition and time each puppet to show him how the game is played. Make it fun and exciting using fun voices and lots of animation.

Once he gets the idea, play the same game with you and him as you role-play each skill and time each other to see who can do it the fastest. Use fun props such as a timer and a score board for the game. The winner of the game gets something that is very motivating from him (e.g. a science magazine or a cool picture of the solar system).

Many children on the Autism spectrum are motivated by printed schedules, experiment with printing one out that has the times on it for each activity and display it on the wall for him to see. if he knows what he will be doing next, it will be predictable for him and give him a sense of control.

Click on the following links from our blog as well for some other helpful strategies that relate.

http://blog.autismtreatmentcenter.org/2 ... is-key.php

http://blog.autismtreatmentcenter.org/2 ... ushing.php

It sounds like he has really worked at taking care of his hands and that is fabulous so keep going.

We wish you all the best!

From Becky
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

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