Still never really solved this problem. How much do we let go and how much do we put our foot down with?
Sometimes we find it difficult to work out what behaviour is him being awkward and him having issues. We KNOW that not all his behaviour is OCD/aspergerts at the moment.
If you remember he has these bathroom rituals to dow ith his OCD. Involved completely spraying the bathroom with spray disinfectant and using lots of hand gel. Trouble is its not just before use.
After use, he likes to spray disinfectant onto the toliet, floor etc and leave it wet. For some reason thats his thing. Also, in the past he smears hand gel on the surfaces of things too. Public toilets hes worse - and in the past had literally plastered every inch of the floor with toilet paper.
We've tried to explain to him that OK we understand but he does need to leave the toilet in a decent state for others to use. At home you literally have to spend 10 minutes cleaning before you can use the toilet.
Should we let this go because its his thing or telling him no way?
I am struggling with the same confusion as you. ie whether to let things go or challenge my son. I wish I knew the answer. I feel they have been handed a bad card in life and as a parent I dont want to add to his stress,but maybe I am adding stress for his future when Im not around to ignore bad habits.
SO CONFUSED. Sorry I couldnt give you any advice other than share the same boat.
Two kids on the spectrum, both now in 20s (male & female). In my experience, if I applied pressure in one direction, that pressure usually came out in another direction or area. So you'd shut one door only to find another one opens, IYKWIM.
Is the reason he cleans afterwards so that it is germ free for the rest of you? In case anything 'bad' might happen to the family as a result of not going through the ritual of cleaning?
Well reason he leaves the place "wet" is because thats the way to clean it. If he wipes it off then hes contaminated it again by wiping it off.
But no he doesnt think of others - its just how he sees things should be cleaned.
Of course, this has caused a fair few problems in the past when hes used public toilets. Because he sees them as "dirty" he goes overboard. Not quite sure why he leaves these wet though because its not as if hes going to go back.
He blocked a toliet on a plane once. Basicaly stuffed loads of toilet roll down, laid it all over the floor etc. We knew it was him but he denied it. Of course, the plane crew weren't happy but didnt know who'd done it. Of course, I guess they'd take this sort of thing seriously - toilets out of action on a plane is quite serious I guess.
So you can see why we can't allow this sort of thing to continue especially in situations like these. Bit of anti-bac spray left on a public toilet seat not the end of the world - person can wipe it (better than pee!).
Are they your only options? There are generally more than two options to solving a situation. You say you don’t know if it’s him being awkward and him having issues ~ can these be separated? I’m not sure he can switch his autism off and on no matter how he’s behaving, even if he’s masking, the autism is still there, it’s a part of who he is. And if he is being awkward, what then? Do you have rules about being awkward? And if he is being awkward and he therefore breaks the not being awkward rule, can he put forward mitigating circumstances to say that yes he was being awkward but it was the underlying autism that contributed to him feeling overwhelmed or whatever it was that lead him to be awkward.
What is his need to clean places? You never mentioned what it was. You said that it is a habit which has been categorised as OCD but what is his actual need to do it? Maybe you could have some discussions around it that involves his need, that way he will be able to understand and relate to what you’re saying. If I was told, even now, and even as a kid, that I had to leave the bathroom in a decent state for other to use, I would simply flood it and use as much bleach etc as I could so I could leave it in a decent state for others to use. Have you discussed with him and got his views on what a decent state is? If his understanding of what a decent state is, is different to yours, then you’re in trouble, because he will continue to literally follow your rule and leave it in what he believes is a decent state.
He leaves it wet because he’s following to the letter what you told him to do. You told him to leave it decent for other people to use and that’s what he has done. If that was my idea of what a decent bathroom is like, you could tell me until you were blue in the face that I was wrong, and then tell me some more but I would never believe you. If it carried on, it would go one of two or both ways. I would either rebel against the total injustice of what was happening, being accused of being wrong when I know what a decent bathroom looks like, or I would turn inwards on myself, I would start telling myself that I’m wrong and your right. This would start a cycle of me thinking you were always right but because I have a strong sense of right and wrong I would crucify you when you did something wrong. I would be merciless and it would look like really bad behaviour but inside I would be crying, saying how could you do this to me, I trusted you to be right and now you are wrong and now I feel all lost and alone in the world because I can’t trust myself and I can’t trust you, how could you do this to me, what did I do that was so bad that you would betray me like this. I would be devastated. My life would be crumbling before my very eyes and there would be nothing I could do to stop it because I would have no trust in anybody. It’s devastating. When you see the world differently to nt’s, as autistic people do, to try to tell them that you’re right and they’re wrong is devastating and has terrible outcomes. It sounds like you’re confusing him. Telling him to do one thing then wondering why he does it, like it’s wrong, when he thinks it’s right. He hasn’t got the words or the proficient skills in the fine art of communication to tell you how he’s feeling, what’s going on in his head and if you want him to understand you, you need to be clear, direct and consistent and make sure you are both sharing the same understanding of the situation. I’m barely ever on the same page as nt’s so no wonder our conversations and interactions didn’t go as any of us planned. We were talking different languages, but autistic people don’t know that, it’s a common trait, we think that everybody thinks like us. We don’t think that way to p**s people off, no more than you think the way you do to deliberately p**s us off, but that’s how it feels.
Surely he is thinking of others, he's leaving it wet so that he doesn't contaminate it by wiping it dry, so that it is been free for the next person to use? I might be missing something, but that sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
That’s how I see it, the boy is following the instructions to the letter as us aspires tend to do.
Hi BR - well we've tried to explain to him the state it needs to be left in - i.e. as he found it.
I think the reason he leaves it wet is because he sees it as cleaner if he doesnt contaminate it by wiping. Not sure I understand this because next person is just going to wipe it anyway. He says he is not concerned about anyone else but feels he has to do it this way.
I know what you are saying though. At home not much of a big deal but in public it could be of course.