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Name: Lekatane
[ Original Post ]
Hi there -- I am brand new to this forum. My son was diagnosed with ASD in May 2011; we live overseas at the moment and will be returning to Canada, where we will persue a team diagnosis rather than a private one, to get a more specific diagnosis (he very likely will be diagnosed PDD-NOS).

I parent him full time while my husband works. My husband provides all the support he can, and takes our son when he gets home from work so I can have a break. I am still on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown however, at least that's how it feels.

I am assauged with guilt as I am constantly losing my temper with my son. Sometimes I am already close to losing my temper as soon as I wake up in the morning!! It's like I start the day with no fuse left.

I wasn't always like this -- I used to be a very calm and reasonable person, and now I am tired and cross all the time.

Anyhow -- my biggest problems at the moment is keeping my son stimulated/occupied. I should first say that he would watch cartoons all day long if we let him. We do watch a lot of cartoons together as they seem to really calm him down and keep him focused. However, I know that besides that, they are not doing him any good.

We have toys, but he can't or won't play with any of them. My husband and I try to do a lot of modelling play with the toys, lots of make-believe etc., but it just seems to aggravate my son and annoy him. We can do puzzles together and sometimes he can even do puzzles by himself, but during puzzles he is prone to his very autistic behaviours -- pacing, flapping, excitement "fits" (where his whole body grows rigid for a moment and he does a big forced smile), "downward dog" yoga position, etc.

Lately I just give up and become very frustrated whenever I try a new activity with him. We've tried colouring together, doing play dough, cooking together -- it all seems so impossible and he just doesn't enjoy any of it. I would love to be in a position where we can play together and right now, it seems like that will never ever happen (I know ASD kids aren't so good w/the imaginative/spontanous play).

We are trapped indoors very often due to the wretched weather where we live, and I am at a loss -- what can I do to help him have fun and connect with me during the day, besides watching cartoons??

PS. His taste in cartoons is also very different from other kids his age -- he prefers things that are exciting and even a bit scary -- i.e. Scooby Doo, Batman -- rather than typical kid cartoons like Thomas and Dora.
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Name: Edwardliu | Date: Oct 12th, 2011 12:25 PM
Does he speak any word now? And how old is he? 

Name: Lekatane | Date: Oct 12th, 2011 2:26 PM
He will be four at the end of the month. He has many words but his language is very limited -- we can't have conversations yet. He can answer questions with no but hasn't learned to say yes yet. 

Name: Edwardliu | Date: Oct 13th, 2011 11:04 AM
I suggest first gluten free and diary free for him. Then find DAN doctor for him. Specially ask for M-B12 injection.
Cartoon TV can be as reward. Usually he only can have his TV after he plays something you want .
Play something he likes. For example play dough, you teach him to make car, Scooby Doo, Batman. Try to let him make a small part of it. Like the eyes, mouth. Coloring you can print out something he likes the best and then do it together. Www.reading eggs.com is very good game to learn and play. Www.ixl.com is good site to learn math.
If he likes puzzle , I guess he like Lego too. Just buy something and he could do by himself. Also something he needs your help. And you can teach him.
Also iPad can download a lot of free story and game for him to learn and play.
You can let him to do some real cooking together. Such as bake a cake, wash some vegetable, fruit, cook the rice.
Let him help you do some house work. Change the toilet paper. Put the cloth in the wash machine. After bath, put dirty cloth in the basket. Sweep the garden backyard. Plant a seed and watch the seed grow. Send the finished plate in the sink. Mop the floor, vaccum. Even he can't do it, he will get the idea. Help you button the cloth.
Also bounce the ball, show his finger (1,2, ...10)
Peekaboo, what is the time, Mr wolf.
Pick up leaves and glue it, finger print, make a kite, draw his favor cartoon.
Body play. Such as row the boat, open shut and so on.
Tell him story. Make it simple. Make sure at least two books a day.
Book such as I spy may be he will like it.
Touch play. Such as something soft, hard, heavy,light, cold, hot.
Measure play. Put block in the cup, mug, jug.
When you bath him, put toy in the tub and try sink and float.
You can demo him a lot using toy to teach big small, in out, tall short, wide narrow, full empty from ixl.
The idea is whatever house work you do, you let him take part in. He always make a mess. But be patient, he will do that well one day. Always praise him even he do something wrong.
If it is possible, try to get a little children to play with him. If you can't find it, puppy will be his good friends.
Also when he is excited, hand flapping is accepted. You can't limit it by not playing his favor puzzle.
Try to race him at home. Do ready,set go for him. Once he think you are his best friends. Then you can demo him what ever you want him to play, he must do it well. 

Name: Jackysmom | Date: Oct 30th, 2011 8:40 PM
Do you happen to have an iPad? I've read several articles about how amazing some of their apps can be for children with autism. Here are a few links that can be helpful:

http://carlieshero.com/forum/autism
-products/60-minutes-presentation-on-ipads-help
ing-children-with-autism/

http://carlieshero
.com/forum/autism-products/iphone-app-for-autis
m/


http://carlieshero.com/forum/in-the-news/doze
ns-of-children-with-autism-receive-ipads/

Hope
this is helpful! 

Name: Grandma Karen | Date: Jan 14th, 2013 2:54 PM
Lekatane,
Your son sounds like my grandson at that age. I raised my grandson until he was almost 12 yrs. old. He has been in a group home for 2 1/2 months now. I retired from a successful grief counseling position after my husband died of chronic leukemia to continue raising my grandson alone. My grandson has some serious behavioral problems that got worse after my husband;s death. I knew that they were caused by his emotions and developmental stage, but I became stressed, yelled alot and guenuinely began to hate myself. I did have anervous breakdown. I was trying to do much more than I was capable both physically and emotionally. You can,t help your son if you are stressed and unhappy. Please feel free to Email me at [email protected]
Grandma Karen 

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