werefox61 (werefox61) wrote in asd_families,

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Help and advice request

I have 2 kids ages 10 and 6 with asperger's. It is mild and probably 50% of kids like mine may be undiagnosed because it's so mild (I've been told). But they are very sensitive. I met a friend through my son's preschool social worker. She has 2 kids with autism. Yesterday we had her and her daughter over and we had an unfortunate incident.

Her daughter is 17 but she tells me that "Sally" has the mental status of a 10 year old. My daughter is 10 so they seem to have some things in common. Sally got a game and wanted to play with my daughter Holly. Her mom, myself and my son who is 6 were in the living room playing with the wii. We have a "great room" so the dining room table is really in the same room as the living room. My son still has accidents in his pants when he gets distracted. He was doing "the potty dance" and holding his penis. I asked him if he had to pee. He said No. I said "you are holding your penis, just go to the potty"
Sally went ballistic. She started yelling don't say that word. That's a gross word. That's a dirty word. My son started crying and fell to the floor.(He's very sensitive to yelling) His dad took him into the bathroom and took care of his need to urinate. He came back out. Sally had calmed down but continued to mutter "Good one Heidi"(that's me) "What a disgusting thing to say" "that's such a disgusting part of the body, to just talk about it" "Now she's ruined my whole week" "I'll never get it out of my head" "how could she say such a thing"
After 20 minutes or so she stopped. About 10 min later she said "I'm sorry but I just can't stand such disgusting language." That was an apology. She and my daughter went to her room to listen to music.
That evening my son was upset. He said he wished he didn’t have a penis because it’s such a bad thing. He wishes he was a girl. We told him it’s not true, that it’s a bad body part. We stressed that the penis is part of the human body. We have always used correct names for body parts with our kids. We have also tried to raise them with a healthy attitude about their bodies and sexuality. I have always been open and honest about the facts of life. Their bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. Sex is not dirty when shared between a loving couple, it is something that can be beautiful. I add married when talking to my daughter because of her age… When she’s older (maybe in her 20’s) I’ll allow for being unmarried and in love. I really haven’t talked about much with my son except body part identity, where babies come from, and do you have any questions?
We calmed him down. I asked my daughter how she felt about it. She said “I feel sorry for Sally because she has fewer friends than even I do. But I worry I might say something wrong and upset her.”
My daughter, I think, understands (she is sometimes a very mature 10). She has a kind heart and tries to help others sometimes at her expense (in 1st grade inviting the playground bully to her birthday party because he doesn’t have any friends). My son says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
The mom is my friend. I enjoy her company. I don’t know what to say to her. I don’t have many friends myself. I’m retired on disability. I don’t drive. She says Sally used to hit people in these kinds of situations, so she’s doing better. I feel bad for her. She is as isolated as I am even though she drives. She has to care for her kids all day. She home schools both her autistic kids. I feel like “There but for the grace of God, go I”.
What do people think? Am I being a bad person to worry about exposing my kids to someone who verbally explodes when they may not be able to handle it? My son is so sensitive sometimes. He once drew on a paper and the marker bled through onto the table. My husband said off-handedly “You know sharpies bleed through the paper you should be using your own markers.” He said he was never ever, ever going to draw again (he loves to draw). He didn’t draw for several days. I’d ask him to draw me a picture, he said he couldn’t ‘cause he was never going to draw again. I got him new markers. Nope. I finally got him to print something. I said it was almost like drawing. I could see the relief when he started drawing again. I was relieved too. I could see he was hurting but didn’t know how to get in. That’s the way with him sometimes.
Or am I a bad person to think of discriminating against someone who can’t control themselves? If she’s not really harming anyone physically, and my daughter wants her over, should I say sure?
Any advice is appreciated.

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Well, there are two situations here. The girl explodes, and honestly, so does your son, just in a different way.

The two can't handle each other. Your daughter might be able to, though. What will do you in other situations that your son cannot handle? Will he have final say on who can and cannot come in the house? Can he learn the skills to deal with these things in the future? It's going to be very important.

I don't think that you are a bad person for considering foremost the care and mental wellbeing of your children. This i think is a tough situation.
I might advise arranging these visits in such a way as the more sensitive child is elsewhere during the visit, be it in his own room or out with one of the parents in say a local park where it is less of a potential sensory strain.