Tips to Teach Table Ettiquette to an Aspie

Cyndie - posted on 03/10/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi all - I am new to this site & after reading some of the threads posted here I feel I am in the right place. I am a step mother of a 9 yr old whom I feel has Aspergers. He has yet to be diagnosed but I know he will be. He has 95% of the typical symptoms of an Aspie. There is a whole lot I want to know but I know I need to take things in little by little & not overwhelm my Aspie child. My husband & I took over custody of Mykelti back in Octoer of 2008. He was getting way out of hand for his mother & her folks to take care of plus there were a lot more issues as to why we chose to finally fight to get custody of Mykelti. Since having him, we have to tell him every time we sit down to eat - how to eat. Sometimes we don't know if it is from being an Aspie or just being lazy. He was never taught back while he was living with his mother proper etiquette. He does not hold his utensils correctly, can't even spread butte on toast right or know how to use a knife to cut his chicken or beef, etc. He passes gas while at the table, doesn't pay attention on how he is squeezing out the ketchup & then gets it all over him, he slurps his food into his mouth. The list goes on & on. It irritates his father & I & we do our best to not get angry with him but I wanna know How Do I Talk To Him So He Understands & Retains the Information? Or are we asking for too much?
Thanks - Cyndie

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Rebekah - posted on 03/10/2009

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Hi Cyndie, you are not asking too much to expect some proper table manners, however, it could be out of his control and requires some Occupational Therapy. My son had similiar issues at a much younger age and I found that his fine motor skills are so poor that he lacks the ability to hold utensils properly or pencils for that matter. He is working with an OT and a vision therapist to correct this . As for the burping, passing gas issue this could just be an attention thing or just a learned thing. I would take baby steps, seek out a behaivoral therapist and or occupational therapist and have him evaluated. From there on they can give you tips and tools to change and or modify his behaivor. Don't try and do it alone as you will just end up more frustrated. I wish you well and do keep us updated on your progress. :D

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