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Old 10-30-2006, 07:31 PM   #1
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Question 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

Wondering if anyone has a similiar situation as mine. I have a PDD NOS (mild autistic 12 year old girl whom gets A and B's in school. Whom has eye contact and is some what social when I am not around. My recent problem is that I am trying to instruct her in helping around the house on weekends only with chores. I also have another daughter 11 years old (o.k.) and she too has her chores. But when I tell my autistic daughter to do hers it's like....You hate me! (All this because I tell her to do her chores) She told her school counselor that I hated her that no one loves her.

I asked the school counselor did you ask her why she speaks like that....she says its because I abuse her in to doing household chores....Has anyone on this forum come across a situation like this.

I tell her that I am not abusing her that its called discipline that her younger (11 year old) sister is also expected to do it. Or it's just that she doesn't want to understand because then she would have to get up and do it. I also have a 10 month old baby girl...I told my 12 year old autistic daughter to look at the baby while in her playpen and ALL I get is complaints and screaming. Then she'll get up and goes straight to her room and locks herself in, leaving the baby alone....I spoke to the school psychologist about this and she too tried to explain it to my daughter (whom by the way doesn't know that she is autistic) as I always tell her that she is super smart and everyone at school knows how I feel about labels placed on children. They have respected my wishes and my daughter doesn't know anything except she knows that she is special. She has a school monitor (autistic unit supervisor) who comes in to her classes on a daily basis and just asks her if she needs help or anything...my daughter spoke to her this morning and said that she would appreciate it if she could not monitor her anymore as she wants to be just like other students....My daughter said to her I don't understand why you come and check on me and not the other students? HELP! any suggestions?

 
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

Well, about the chores, just about any kid will try this gig, 'you hate me, etc.' but our kids can get stuck in a rut. Weekly family meetings to chat about things like growing up, responsibility, chores can help -- a meeting that is NOT a lecture, but a discussion -- elicit from your kids what they think growing up is all about, perhaps with a few questions along the way to help round out the discussion.

Another great activity is to read stories aloud with your child. Often teen heroes, heroines have incidental responsibilities -- though the overall story plot & excitement may lie elsewhere. A good children's or young adult librarian can point you toward some titles that may be of interest to your kids (whether they love horses, mysteries, humorous, or family stories). And, while, yes, your DD could read these on her own, there is no substitute for spending 1/2 hr. per day reading aloud & talking together. All readers can take a turn reading the story to the others. I have found with my son that indirect methods of instruction have been most helpful. So, we have read many stories,and listened to many books/stories on tape together over the years.

W/my PDD-NOS son (16 yo) it has been very helpful to have defined chores. Over time he has developed skills to do these well. While NT kids may want to have "their chore" changed weekly, my son likes to keep the same chores. Every yr. we add another one, so that responsibilities increase with age. This is very logical preparation for adulthood -- and of course, that is part of what we are trying to teach.

At-will chores (come when I call & do what I say) can elicit power struggles in a lot of kids. It may be easiest to start 'choring' with one set weekly task. Or a small daily task.

Remember the honey -- lots of praise for a job (even a simple one) well done. Link the responsible behavior shown to life skill & success. An occasional surprise mini treat or reward for doing a chore (activity or snack) is also a good way to build co-operation. Your DD may be stunned the day you give the younger child a treat for a job well-done -- without offering to her, if she has not co-operated w/her work. In many families, allowance is linked to doing chores.

You may want to consider that a more physical, concrete chore, like learning how to strip beds, or how to scrub a sink, or how to take out & reline garbage cans, -- may be more acceptable to your DD than watching the baby. The concrete chores a) have a defined limit and b) give an objective result and c) may contribute to a sense of accomplishment when done. It may well be that babysitting is better left for a yr. or two until more maturity kicks in.

Quote:
They have respected my wishes and my daughter doesn't know anything except she knows that she is special.
IMO it's a mistake to 'keep secrets' from older HF kids. Your DD is obviously figuring things out. She's at the stage where you're not gonna be able to go behind her back for long. You need to be gentle -- but forthright -- about the dx. Always be hopeful -- that many aspects of her dx have been outgrown, many more will be with time, but that there may always be some unique tendencies, along with perhaps unique gifts. And of course, always reinforce the fact that the sum of a person is always much more than any one label. Just like "being a girl" or "being a red-head" or "being athletic" describes only one small aspect of a person, so does the "being PDD-NOS" label.

If your DD is starting to take matters into her own hands with the supervision at school, perhaps that would make a good starting point for discussion. Ask your DD why she thinks she has the monitor, and go on from there. You want to engage her in working with you on her treatment plan. If she wishes to have less monitoring, or less obtrusive monitoring, that is maybe something that can be worked out. By working with her to consider & implement her wishes (when reasonable), you will regain her trust. If there are things that she must do to reduce frequency of monitoring, then by being direct about that she may make accelerated progress. Wanting to be like the other kids at age 12 is a very powerful motivator.

As our kids head towards adolescence, their personal power becomes more & more of a determining factor in their overall life success. As a parent, doing what you can to facilitate that, is a great gift to them.

Best wishes.

 
Old 10-31-2006, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

I never really had specific "chores" per se. I am the kind of person who sees what needs to be done and does it. For me, having to actually be "told" to do something consitutes a form of failure to me. I was not, and am not, a "goody two shoes" by any means. I am just someone who prefers to just do what has to be done. I feel that if I leave things too long, I get too far behind, and that is stressful. I like to get little things out of the way before I go to work, so they don't prey on my mind.

 
Old 10-31-2006, 09:06 PM   #4
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Re: 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

travellink- One problem might be if you are just randomly asking your daughter to do things, without giving her some sort of warning. I know that this gets me very fired up because it's "change" in some aspect. Maybe try saying, "Could you go watch the baby in ten minutes?" rather than saying, "Go watch the baby." I need time to "mentally prepare," if you will, either that or to finish what I'm doing. I hate being uprooted from something unexpectedly, and when my mom gives me instructions to do something "right now," I lash out. I also agree with elmhar that your daughter needs to know about her diagnosis soon. I wish I had had a diagnosis that young. It would've explained so much...

9CatMom- I need to be told what to do, in explicit and defined terms. I don't deal well with ambiguity. If I don't have clear-cut instructions or if I'm not sure on how to do something, I'll get frozen. I have great difficulty in transtioning between tasks, which also makes me get frozen. I'll just stare off into space, unable to move, not knowing what I'm supposed to do. It helps to have somebody get me back on track. My mom used to do this when I was a kid, and she still does it now when I'm home from college. It helps. I get off-track very, very easily, whether it's from getting frozen between tasks or getting distracted from a task. I can start rambling about something or reading something and forget about the task at hand. I find it interesting that you don't like to put things off. I must procrastinate. I need deadlines, though, or nothing would ever get done. If something is due by eleven on Friday, I might not do it until eight in the morning on Friday, but I know when it has to get done, so it will. But if it can just be "turned in any time," then it might not get done for weeks...
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

Gatsby,

I freeze up too. I get nervous doing little things other people seem to do so easily. It makes me feel stupid and that something is really wrong with me. I notice my differences during these times.

 
Old 11-01-2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: 12 year old girl (autistic PDD NOS)

9CatMom- That's why doing labs are horrible for me. I'm always afraid of doing something wrong, and I feel so dumb when everybody can do the things with ease. Luckily, it hasn't been too bad this year because I told my lab professor about my problems. So did the woman in charge of "learning accommodations." This has allowed for much more patience and understanding, as well as help. They know I'm "special needs," so I can be guided more. First year I ever had that...
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