is time to leave...

my name is barry. i am 56 yeas old. i am at the end of my tether and enough is enough. my son is 17 in march and was diagnosed with autism last summer. we had to go private because the school was more than useless. up until my son was 8 he was (what we believe) a "normal" child. no adverse signs. progressively over the last 9 years he has got worse and worse. totally disruptive behavior at school and more and more destructive. he now clashes with his mom (my partner)  as i'm new to this could anyone advise/direct me in the right direction. nothing is ever his fault and the way his mom speaks to him winds him up. i could go on for hours. do we have to wrap him up in cotton wool?  i love him to bits but cannot go on like this.

Top Replies

Parents

  • Much as  has already stated I am going to go a bit further in stating that the problems you describe are as much about your son being on the spectrum; as they are about him having had to share in and enforce the sociologically typical behaviour patterns of an excessively competitive tribalistic society ~ which essentially amounts to the programmed and scripted unconscious, sub-conscious and pre-conscious ideology of "My Way or No Way!"

    With your headline being "is time to leave . . . " it exemplifies the "My Way Or No Way!" ideology which mostly everyone in society (to various degrees) mimmicks and models from their parents, guardians and piers socially at home, school and so on and so fourth, during their child-hood, adult-hood and elder-hood.

    Your son like many on the spectrum has mimicked and modeled likewise but more though perseverantly on account of his diagnosed neurological and physiological differences, and in not having been specifically as such facilitated for during the majority of his life ~ on account of being atypical or divergent rather than "normal" ~ thus arose the difficulties that you, your partner and your son are still equally empowered to deal with, from here on in.

    Firstly it is important to keep very much in mind that emotional intelligence in autistic people is usually equivalent to half that of their physical age, making us young at heart which may not be appreciated during childhood regarding developmental milestone failures, but very much can be appreciated during adult-hood and elder-hood regarding creative or productive endeavors, providing our inner child or creativity has not been irreducibly incapacitated or irrevocably inhibited.

    So with your son being 17 in March his emotional development could well be equivalent to about that of an eight year old, and given the change in character that you reported as occurring at the age of eight (as being a psychological split consisting of a mental fragmentation and an emotional disassociation), it is likely to involve also the emotional development of a four year old, on account of either a traumatic shock, or a sequential culmination of them. Bullying at school will more usually be the case as such in causative terms, but birth trauma and or parental separation anxieties from having been left in the guardianship of people who were at first unfamiliar and did not provide adequate or any protection over the long or short term will also be the case.

    The condition of Complex Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (C-PTSD) as mentioned by , is described as follows:


    Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. [According to] Wikipedia.


    Only C-PTSD is not in my experience or opinion something that can readily be described as being a 'response' to a prolonged interpersonal trauma, but is more as such a reaction to it, and anything that resembles the experience of that interpersonal trauma can trigger a flashback where the actual traumatic warp and weft of the experiences are relived partially or wholly in the mind, or partially and wholly through the body-mind relationship, which can involve little or no sense of the current time frame.

    Now most untrained people can be behaviorally triggered in mentally, emotionally and physically charged ways, involving particular pitches, tones and volumes of voice along with specific expressions, words, names, gestures and behaviors. In order to circumvent or better mitigate triggered patterns of aggressive behavior, this mindfulness meditation and practice is often suggested by those who find it as such useful:


    ABSTRACT
    .
    Some individuals with autism engage in physical aggression to an extent that interferes with not only their quality of life, but also that of their parents and siblings. Behavioural and psychopharmacological treatments have been the mainstay of treatments for aggression in children and adolescents with autism. We evaluated the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based procedure, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, in helping three adolescents to manage their physical aggression. This procedure required the adolescents to rapidly shift the focus of their attention from the aggression-triggering event to a neutral place on their body, the soles of their feet. Incidents of aggression across the three adolescents ranged from a mean of 14–20 per week during baseline, 4–6 per week during mindfulness training, including zero rates during the last 4 weeks of intervention. Aggression occurred a rate of about 1 per year during a 3-year follow-up. Our results suggest adolescents with autism can learn, and effectively use, a mindfulness-based procedure to self-manage their physical aggression over several years.
    .
    © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    .

    .
    Prior to the intervention, the mother of each adolescent met with the senior author for a day during which they were taught the procedural steps of Meditation on the Soles of the Feet (Singh et al., 2003), and the steps for training their child with autism. The mothers were also instructed to practice the procedure themselves for a month prior to teaching it to their child.
    .

    .
    Table 1
    .
    Training steps for Meditation on the Soles of the Feet procedure.
    .
    1.) If you are standing, stand in a natural rather than an aggressive posture, with the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
    .
    2.) If you are sitting, sit comfortably with the soles of your feet on the floor.
    .
    3.) Breath naturally, and do nothing.
    .
    4.) Cast your mind back to an incident that made you very angry. Stay with the anger.
    .
    5.) You are feeling angry, and angry thoughts are flowing through your mind. Let them flow naturally, without restriction. Stay with the anger. Your body may show signs of anger (e.g., rapid breathing).
    .
    6.) Now, shift all your attention fully to the soles of your feet.
    .
    7.) Slowly, move your toes, feel your shoes covering your feet, feel the texture of your socks, the curve of your arch, and the heels of your feet against the back of your shoes. If you do not have shoes on, feel the floor or carpet with the soles of your feet.
    .
    8.) keep breathing naturally and focus on the soles of your feet until you feel calm.
    .
    9.) Practice this mindfulness exercise until you can use it wherever your are and whenever an incident occurs that might otherwise lead to you being verbally or physically aggressive.
    .
    10.) Remember that once you are calm, you can walk away from the incident or situation with a smile on your face because you controlled your anger. Alternatively, if you need to, you can respond to the incident or situation with a calm and clear mind without verbal threats or physical aggression.
    .

    .
    Intervention
    .
    Following baseline, the adolescents were individually taught the mindfulness procedure by their mothers. Initial training was conducted during a daily 30-min training session for 5 consecutive days. During these sessions, the adolescents were seated comfortably in a soft chair, with their feet flat on the floor, and hands resting gently on their thighs. They were instructed to close their eyes to increase concentration and narrow their focus to the present moment. Then their mother provided the instructions in a calm and soft voice, taking them through the steps outlined in Table 1. This involved teaching the adolescents to shift their attention from the emotion (e.g., anger, fear, frustration) or other triggers that normally preceded the aggressive behaviour to a neutral object—the soles of their feet. They were encouraged to practice the procedure at other times, at least twice a day, with the help of their mothers, as necessary. This practice did not require the presence of any trigger for their aggressive behaviour, but they were encouraged to use the procedure especially when such a trigger to their aggressive behaviour was present. Once the adolescents had learned the basics of the Meditation on the Soles of the Feet procedure, they were given an audiotape of the instructions (recorded on their iPods) to use for self-practice. During the mindfulness training phase that followed the week of intensive training by their mothers, each adolescent was required to practice the technique at least twice a day with their mother and to use it whenever an incident occurred that could elicit aggressive behaviour. Formal training was terminated when each adolescent did not engage in aggressive behavior for four consecutive weeks.
    .

    .
    Follow-up
    .
    Following termination of formal training, each adolescent was periodically reminded by his parents and siblings to continue practicing Meditation on the Soles of the Feet in an effort to maintain meditation stabilization, which is a state where the ‘‘mind engages the object of observation of its own accord’’ (Gyatso, 1999, p. 59). They were given no further instruction. Given our extensive experience teaching and using this procedure, we anticipated the participants would become so attuned to their environment and their interactions that the mere occurrence of an unpleasant situation with their parents or siblings would automatically evoke mindfulness, rather than aggression or some other maladaptive behaviour. Follow-up data were collected for 3 years following termination of the intervention to assess maintenance of treatment gains.
    .

    Also, just as there are "How To and When" manuals for the development of Neurologically Typical children and their life course into and through adult-hood, there is one for the Neurologically Divergent called 'The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome', by Tony Attwood, which costs just short of £20 new, or free by way of the following PDF link:


    http://www.autismforthvalley.co.uk/files/5314/4595/7798/Attwood-Tony-The-Complete-Guide-to-Aspergers-Syndrome.pdf


Reply

  • Much as  has already stated I am going to go a bit further in stating that the problems you describe are as much about your son being on the spectrum; as they are about him having had to share in and enforce the sociologically typical behaviour patterns of an excessively competitive tribalistic society ~ which essentially amounts to the programmed and scripted unconscious, sub-conscious and pre-conscious ideology of "My Way or No Way!"

    With your headline being "is time to leave . . . " it exemplifies the "My Way Or No Way!" ideology which mostly everyone in society (to various degrees) mimmicks and models from their parents, guardians and piers socially at home, school and so on and so fourth, during their child-hood, adult-hood and elder-hood.

    Your son like many on the spectrum has mimicked and modeled likewise but more though perseverantly on account of his diagnosed neurological and physiological differences, and in not having been specifically as such facilitated for during the majority of his life ~ on account of being atypical or divergent rather than "normal" ~ thus arose the difficulties that you, your partner and your son are still equally empowered to deal with, from here on in.

    Firstly it is important to keep very much in mind that emotional intelligence in autistic people is usually equivalent to half that of their physical age, making us young at heart which may not be appreciated during childhood regarding developmental milestone failures, but very much can be appreciated during adult-hood and elder-hood regarding creative or productive endeavors, providing our inner child or creativity has not been irreducibly incapacitated or irrevocably inhibited.

    So with your son being 17 in March his emotional development could well be equivalent to about that of an eight year old, and given the change in character that you reported as occurring at the age of eight (as being a psychological split consisting of a mental fragmentation and an emotional disassociation), it is likely to involve also the emotional development of a four year old, on account of either a traumatic shock, or a sequential culmination of them. Bullying at school will more usually be the case as such in causative terms, but birth trauma and or parental separation anxieties from having been left in the guardianship of people who were at first unfamiliar and did not provide adequate or any protection over the long or short term will also be the case.

    The condition of Complex Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (C-PTSD) as mentioned by , is described as follows:


    Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. [According to] Wikipedia.


    Only C-PTSD is not in my experience or opinion something that can readily be described as being a 'response' to a prolonged interpersonal trauma, but is more as such a reaction to it, and anything that resembles the experience of that interpersonal trauma can trigger a flashback where the actual traumatic warp and weft of the experiences are relived partially or wholly in the mind, or partially and wholly through the body-mind relationship, which can involve little or no sense of the current time frame.

    Now most untrained people can be behaviorally triggered in mentally, emotionally and physically charged ways, involving particular pitches, tones and volumes of voice along with specific expressions, words, names, gestures and behaviors. In order to circumvent or better mitigate triggered patterns of aggressive behavior, this mindfulness meditation and practice is often suggested by those who find it as such useful:


    ABSTRACT
    .
    Some individuals with autism engage in physical aggression to an extent that interferes with not only their quality of life, but also that of their parents and siblings. Behavioural and psychopharmacological treatments have been the mainstay of treatments for aggression in children and adolescents with autism. We evaluated the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based procedure, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, in helping three adolescents to manage their physical aggression. This procedure required the adolescents to rapidly shift the focus of their attention from the aggression-triggering event to a neutral place on their body, the soles of their feet. Incidents of aggression across the three adolescents ranged from a mean of 14–20 per week during baseline, 4–6 per week during mindfulness training, including zero rates during the last 4 weeks of intervention. Aggression occurred a rate of about 1 per year during a 3-year follow-up. Our results suggest adolescents with autism can learn, and effectively use, a mindfulness-based procedure to self-manage their physical aggression over several years.
    .
    © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    .

    .
    Prior to the intervention, the mother of each adolescent met with the senior author for a day during which they were taught the procedural steps of Meditation on the Soles of the Feet (Singh et al., 2003), and the steps for training their child with autism. The mothers were also instructed to practice the procedure themselves for a month prior to teaching it to their child.
    .

    .
    Table 1
    .
    Training steps for Meditation on the Soles of the Feet procedure.
    .
    1.) If you are standing, stand in a natural rather than an aggressive posture, with the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
    .
    2.) If you are sitting, sit comfortably with the soles of your feet on the floor.
    .
    3.) Breath naturally, and do nothing.
    .
    4.) Cast your mind back to an incident that made you very angry. Stay with the anger.
    .
    5.) You are feeling angry, and angry thoughts are flowing through your mind. Let them flow naturally, without restriction. Stay with the anger. Your body may show signs of anger (e.g., rapid breathing).
    .
    6.) Now, shift all your attention fully to the soles of your feet.
    .
    7.) Slowly, move your toes, feel your shoes covering your feet, feel the texture of your socks, the curve of your arch, and the heels of your feet against the back of your shoes. If you do not have shoes on, feel the floor or carpet with the soles of your feet.
    .
    8.) keep breathing naturally and focus on the soles of your feet until you feel calm.
    .
    9.) Practice this mindfulness exercise until you can use it wherever your are and whenever an incident occurs that might otherwise lead to you being verbally or physically aggressive.
    .
    10.) Remember that once you are calm, you can walk away from the incident or situation with a smile on your face because you controlled your anger. Alternatively, if you need to, you can respond to the incident or situation with a calm and clear mind without verbal threats or physical aggression.
    .

    .
    Intervention
    .
    Following baseline, the adolescents were individually taught the mindfulness procedure by their mothers. Initial training was conducted during a daily 30-min training session for 5 consecutive days. During these sessions, the adolescents were seated comfortably in a soft chair, with their feet flat on the floor, and hands resting gently on their thighs. They were instructed to close their eyes to increase concentration and narrow their focus to the present moment. Then their mother provided the instructions in a calm and soft voice, taking them through the steps outlined in Table 1. This involved teaching the adolescents to shift their attention from the emotion (e.g., anger, fear, frustration) or other triggers that normally preceded the aggressive behaviour to a neutral object—the soles of their feet. They were encouraged to practice the procedure at other times, at least twice a day, with the help of their mothers, as necessary. This practice did not require the presence of any trigger for their aggressive behaviour, but they were encouraged to use the procedure especially when such a trigger to their aggressive behaviour was present. Once the adolescents had learned the basics of the Meditation on the Soles of the Feet procedure, they were given an audiotape of the instructions (recorded on their iPods) to use for self-practice. During the mindfulness training phase that followed the week of intensive training by their mothers, each adolescent was required to practice the technique at least twice a day with their mother and to use it whenever an incident occurred that could elicit aggressive behaviour. Formal training was terminated when each adolescent did not engage in aggressive behavior for four consecutive weeks.
    .

    .
    Follow-up
    .
    Following termination of formal training, each adolescent was periodically reminded by his parents and siblings to continue practicing Meditation on the Soles of the Feet in an effort to maintain meditation stabilization, which is a state where the ‘‘mind engages the object of observation of its own accord’’ (Gyatso, 1999, p. 59). They were given no further instruction. Given our extensive experience teaching and using this procedure, we anticipated the participants would become so attuned to their environment and their interactions that the mere occurrence of an unpleasant situation with their parents or siblings would automatically evoke mindfulness, rather than aggression or some other maladaptive behaviour. Follow-up data were collected for 3 years following termination of the intervention to assess maintenance of treatment gains.
    .

    Also, just as there are "How To and When" manuals for the development of Neurologically Typical children and their life course into and through adult-hood, there is one for the Neurologically Divergent called 'The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome', by Tony Attwood, which costs just short of £20 new, or free by way of the following PDF link:


    http://www.autismforthvalley.co.uk/files/5314/4595/7798/Attwood-Tony-The-Complete-Guide-to-Aspergers-Syndrome.pdf


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