new to this...son diagnosed with Aspergers on 1/14/13. He also has SPD and ADHD. What should I be doing first?
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Rebekah - posted on 01/17/2013
Great... Glad you are meeting with the school! Its a cooperative effort. Plus, your school may have OT available that he could access (depends on the district and the needs that are defined).
I hear you about starting every morning having to harp on your kid to get them going...for what its worth, my kid doesn't have Aspergers and we also go through periods where I have to stay on his case for him to get ready for bed, teeth brushed, homework done, etc. Its pretty frustrating.
Anyway, back to you... Have you tried any incentive charts for him that might be motivating? Along with the visual cues, they could be in a chart or list format, so that after he does his list, he gets a sticker. The sticker alone might be motivating, or when he accumulates three stickers (or five or whatever number you decide--just nothing too long) he can earn a treat or activity he really enjoys. Doesn't have to be sweets...it could be 15 extra minutes of computer time, or outdoor time, or whatever he really likes. Having a chart and being able to see all the stickers he's accumulated will also help give him a feeling of success with his efforts.
Another thought is to try to make his routines fun, by putting them to music or song to help his memory and cue the routine and keep him on track. I made up a goofy toothbrushing song just to get my kid to brush his teeth. We've now transitioned to the toothbrush dance. Making it fun can take the heat out of the power struggle to get it done.
Is he motivated by his siblings? When he sees them brush teeth, get dressed, etc, does he want to be like them? Sometimes kids can motivate each other better than mom. I'm sure there are other moms with good ideas for you too... there might be a forum for mom's with kids with Aspergers? I'm sure there are... Keep up the good work! It sounds like you are working hard to do your best by him.
Destiney M - posted on 01/17/2013
I just made the chart and cue cards for the bathroom last night! I also put one in his room reminding him what must be done before he can have his game time. Which is a big motivator. But if he gets his color changed at school he loses his 30 min of game time for that evening. Game time, computer time, extra TV time before bed, and a piece of candy are all up for grabs. But he is very excited and ''stuck'' on the chart right now. He repeats over and over again and constantly asking to fill in a star and get his reward. He wants to touch it, hold it. I keep telling him he gets his reward in the evening and that the goal is to get all his stars. But once he gets to 3 (a candy) he can't let it go. I've got 3 I need candy on repeat!! Over and over so I'm hoping that part settles down a bit! Thank you for all of your great advice! He doesn't care to follow his brother and sister for daily living activities. Sometimes he will seek out his brother (9) when he wants to tell him something or show him something. But he is generally content to sit doing whatever he is doing while the rest of us hustle and bustle around him.
Destiney M - posted on 01/17/2013
Thank you, he is 7 turning 8 next month. He sees a therapist. But not an ot one. We live in NC in a small town near the coast so there is a bit of a wait list. I meet with his school next Wednesday to discuss ''special services needed'' I made sure to take them a copy of report the very next day. We already had the weighted blanket and fidgets etc. That were recommended and I already made visual cue cards for morning and evening routine that I had to really repeat and almost scold, to get him to do. I read kids like him can be extra sensitive to stuff like that, and I realized I spend most of his morning talking firmly to him so he will manage to eat get dressed brush his teeth wash his face and get his book bag on in the allotted time. Who wants to start out their day like that Monday through Friday? I want to know other things that help make him feel more confident and less like he is "failing'' at tasks that come easy for his siblings.
Rebekah - posted on 01/16/2013
How old is he? Whoever diagnosed him should be able to give you some direction as far as what interventions would help him the most right now. If not, consult with a child psychologist who has experience with this condition and get a specific treatment plan going. Depending on where you live, there are therapeutic groups out there that target social skills for kids with Aspergers and/or ADHD, since both can struggle in that area. A group like that might work on reading social cues, developing empathy, and learning social norms. If a group like that isn't available in your area, then it may be wise to hook up with a behavior specialist that can help evaluate his needs, work with him, and coach you on how to help manage your son's difficulties.
Is he receiving any services now, with the the diagnoses that he has? If he is getting any Occupational Therapy for the SPD, you can also consult with them to see if their services can include any of the need areas pertaining to the Asperger issues.
If you haven't consulted with his school, it would be wise to meet with them, talk about behaviors and needs and see if he needs an IEP (individualized program...any special modifications) that will help him be successful in school.
Finally, I'd suggest reading as much as you can about Aspergers so that you can be well-informed and advocate for your child. Best of luck to you!
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