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ASD and sibling issues around play

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#1 Charli73

Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:39 PM

Hi all,

so DS8 has ASD/ADHD/ODD and spends a lot of time playing with his NT sibling DD7 and she adores him....

When they aren’t playing together they are spending all day talking about what game they will play when they get home and play together very happily for hours on Minecraft, Lego, drawing etc But...

DD often asks DS if he will play and he says yes then after a few minutes or sometimes not at all he will say “I don’t want to play that anymore” or after a couple of minutes announce “ I’m bored I don’t want to play that anymore ” and this leaves DD in tears..

DD has voiced that she is sick of him changing his mind and he claims “it’s just how my brain works” which I think he is using now as an excuse and I normally make him figure out a solution that they’ve both happy with, normally him playing whatever game he said he would play with DD as I’m over policing this as it happens at least once or twice a day and depending on my mood I choose my battles or I don’t..

I will speak to our psychologist for a social story when we see her next but does anyone have any similar scenarios they have a solution for?

any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks in advance. :)

Edited by Charli73, 18 January 2020 - 06:40 PM.

#2 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

I wonder if he is saying yes when he doesn’t want to, and then feels trapped. Perhaps your DD could give him a few minutes to think about it. I use a timer at home to give us some thinking time.

#3 Charli73

Posted 18 January 2020 - 10:15 PM

He is very excited about what he had agreed to play but then says he’s just changed his mind or gets bored.

Everyone has the right to change their mind but when he is consistently upsetting his sister where do you draw the line at forcing him to follow through with his promise of playing the game he said he would? Very tricky, and not sure as a parent which line to take. I’m just trying to be fair and make sure they both are happy with the outcome.

#4 José

Posted 19 January 2020 - 04:37 AM

This does sound tricky.

A social story probably does sound useful, help him learn the impact this has on others.
Would it be helpful to use a timer during play? E.g. if you agree to play Lego with your sister it is expected you will for at least c.c minutes and set timer.

Are you familiar with Ross Greene's approach (author of explosive child?)? I'd be tempted to try it here.  Get the kids involved in developing a solution.

#5 AsperHacker

Posted 19 January 2020 - 05:16 AM

Ask him to help with a solution. It IS the way his brain works, it's not an excuse. But, consideration for his sister is important so what can be done when he loses interest but his sister still wants to play? They're both valid needs and will require compromise on both sides.

Are there certain games where it's ok to change his mind straight away? Are there certain games that have a specific start and end point and getting to the end point should be the aim? Can your daughter be flexible sometimes too and they can agree to play a different game? They're going to need to learn to work it out together - scaffold them rather than policing the situation.

Forcing your kid to play something he doesn't want to play to prevent someone else getting upset isn't going to work in the long term and it's not going to teach him to consider others. It'll just teach him to ignore his own feelings.

Edited by AsperHacker, 19 January 2020 - 05:18 AM.

#6 IamtheMumma

Posted 19 January 2020 - 06:56 AM

That is consistent with ADHD. My DS is the same. He'll want to do one thing and within a couple of minutes he'll be asking to do another. When he's medicated, this behaviour disappears. It is very probable your DS has been doing his best to focus all day and then by the time they get home, he's lost the energy to focus.

Perhaps encourage them to play together in the mornings on the weekend and see if that makes a difference.

Edit - had a second thought. Is the game different from how he pictured it? With 2E, he may be struggling to focus but also not be reading DD's cues in how the game is being played. With my ASD child, she dictated how the game went. Her siblings would go off script and that would cause fights because DD didn't want the game played this way, it had to be how she'd scripted it. Her siblings would end up walking away which made her upset. It was a balance between acknowledging hurt feelings but also trying to explain frustration, expressed as anger, and compromise.

Edited by IamtheMumma, 19 January 2020 - 07:02 AM.

#7 Charli73

Posted 19 January 2020 - 08:31 AM

He is 2e and yes AH it is a fine line but it’s ‘mostly’ around games where they are building or creating a house or castle together in say Lego or in Minecraft together, so no actual defined end to play.

we do have a time timer here so I might get it out and say if he says no give him a time he needs to play?

I agree that they both need to be involved in coming up with a solution and his psychologist is very good at doing this with him, she also lets us bring family in so we might have a session with her on how they come to a solution.

I have asked them both to be a little bit flexible (no rock brains here) and be part of the solution.. thinking about it now it’s mostly in the afternoon when he changes his mind so it’s very possible his meds are wearing off, that’s something I will keep track of too.

I have the explosive child, I’m about to start it.

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