The other day one of my children was confounding me – which is not difficult to do. Though I am considered academically gifted, every day life is surprisingly challenging (it surprises me, even!). I brought the issue up with my husband, who is a quite gifted problem solver, it is what he does all day at his job and he loves it.
His wonderful advice was that I need to make sure that the child respects me. OK, I said, so what should I do to get that to happen, and how do I know when it has happened? My dear sweet husband looked at me with a very annoyed expression and said, “So you expect me to tell you exactly what to do?”
My internal reaction was, “Duh! Why do you think I asked for your help in the first place? If I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, I would be doing it.”
What I said was, “I am not trying to be difficult or lazy. I honestly have no idea how to use such a general piece of help. How do I know when this child is actually respecting me?”
This is a perfect example of how people with Asperger’s Syndrome are not easily able to figure out specific steps from general information, and vice versa. I sure wished I could!!
While attending the Minnesota Autism conference last weekend I learned that kids are given fidgets to keep their hands busy so that they don’t constantly pick at their noses. The nose picking was described as a just a habit.
I found that strange. Don’t most people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder have allergies? I can tell you right now that my nose is driving me crazy, and I taking a break from typing every minute or so to rub at it and itch it. It is not running, but it is a bit stuffy, all due to the wonderful pollen bursting from the lovely plants that are breaking free from the grip of winter.
So if your child has a “meaningless habit of picking/rubbing/scratching at” his or her nose, you might want to check into allergies. Because of the strong effects of allergy meds, I would not recomend using them, unless your child seems distressed. But do realize that habit may ver likely have a valid reason.
While working around the house Monday afternoon, I turned on the TV, which happened to be tuned to Tyra Banks. Not being a particularly fashion conscious individual, I had not thought I would enjoy this show when it first aired several years ago, but I have found that she covers some pretty interesting topics some days, so I decided to see what she was talking about.
Her topic was how parents can build self-esteem in their children. Hmm, I wasn’t sure that I was going to agree with the findings she presented, but it couldn’t hurt to check it out. Who knows, I might be surprised.
So I sat and watched the first several minutes while finishing up my lunch. Then I left the TV on as I went about my business, catching bits and pieces throughout the show.
I didn’t come away with any great parenting tips, but what the expert said at the end of the show really struck me.
The expert gave a list of warning signs that you should look for to see if your child has low self-esteem.
1. Fearful of trying new things
2. Socially isolated
3. Easily frustrated
4. Acts as though nothing bothers them
5. Easily swayed by the opinions of others
What I found fascinating about this list is that all but the last point are common traits of people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, I don’t generally suffer from low self-esteem. I have those other traits for very different reasons. I think that is true for others with Asperger’s, as well.
I’ll talk about each of those traits in my upcoming blogs. Talk to you soon!