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Autistic parents - Play?

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by Rxcaffeine, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Rxcaffeine

    Rxcaffeine New Member

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    I’m autistic (in my 30’s), and a parent to 2 NT children and a third who is ND but not autistic.

    I struggle intensely with playing with them in ways that make them happy. Most of their ideas of fun play make me really agitated and I try to power through for them but it’s difficult and I need frequent breaks. It’s always very repetitive and loud and it grates on my nerves. They get frustrated when they can’t read the emotions they’re seeking on my face or when they want to touch me lots and I get upset.

    I try to redirect them to play that I understand like legos or puzzles etc but they get bored easily. I feel bad asking them for breaks because I can tell they want to be with me but if I get too frustrated I shut down.

    I also have difficulties with their curiosity habits since one is still very small and he’ll do things like chew paper or pluck apart my Rubik’s cubes. Obviously I intervene but he is still learning.

    Are there other ways to play that are beneficial for kids but won’t make me overloaded? Am I screwing them up socially?
     
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  2. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Hello & welcome.
    Just keep trying different things. Relating to others is always a compromise no matter where on/off the spectrum the people are.
    Not as long as they know that you love them.
    Do you care to elaborate?
     
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  3. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's only recent generations that started playing with their children. There's probably pro's and con's. I don't remember any adult ever playing with me. Probably one of the biggest things that taught me that when you become an adult you put away your toys and tend to responsibilities. We've come from a 'children should be seen and not heard' society to a society that treats children like prince's and princess's, which only teaches them that individually they come first and that's not a good thing once they become young adults. Then you have the entitlement thing going on. You don't have to play with your children. You're busy taking care of them.

    I understand the noise thing, and girls have a higher pitch that grates on mine even more. I have 4 - all grown now and all seem well adjusted with wonderful families of their own. I didn't have time to play with them - I was a working, single mom. They entertained each other and I think they need that to be close as adults. What are their ages? It gets easier in the ways you're talking, harder in other ways. :)
     
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  4. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
  5. Rxcaffeine

    Rxcaffeine New Member

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    She has a mood regulation disorder.
     
  6. Rxcaffeine

    Rxcaffeine New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  7. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How old are they? When my kids were young, I worked about 60 hours a week, as did their father. They had to learn to entertain themselves, and I think it makes kids more self-sufficient and creative. I'd try to compensate for my long work hours by spending time with them on weekends, and they were always reassured that we parents were available at any time if something was bothering them. Parents who hover, smother, and mother their kids to death are NOT helping their children grow up.

    I vividly recall my mother always telling us, if we complained of boredom, to go read a book. It was a mantra in our household. She was too busy to "entertain" us and steered us in a healthy direction to amuse ourselves.

    Maybe you can find an outdoor activity like playing softball or badmitton or soccer in the back yard or a park. Kids' loud noises seem to dissipate more outside than inside the house where the sounds ricochet off the walls!
     
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  8. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    If the rest of your family are neuro typical or neuro typical and some neuro diverse get them involved so they see the normal! world ,play is a tool in the brain to teach you how to cope in later life ,so if you get the family together they’ll learn how to interact in later life.It reminds me of when animals are orphaned at an early age and sadly are taught by humans how to be an elephant The biggest thing the baby wants is its mother strangely the thing I got the most pleasure out of was the things my mother enjoyed doing So I’m almost addicted to animals but I say almost I’m still autistic so it’s very very close bond ,almost being imprinted and the same for sketching and what would be called classical art, but I’m at the age now where I’m feeling the consequences of my decisions.
     
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  9. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forum. The screaming and shouting and repetition unnerves me. I had several younger siblings who continually did that. We did a lot of sports like activities together. Which mitigated the noise levels. Also read to them at bedtime, and they asked some questions, yet it was relatively quiet during those times.

    I babysat through much of my teenage years, and worked at a children's camp as well. The focus was on tiring them out at the camp so that they expended surplus energy, and were better able to pay attention in the skills and arts and crafts and games classes. That may work to a certain extent, because it really is about the energy levels of children.
     
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  10. Rxcaffeine

    Rxcaffeine New Member

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    Thank you all for the suggestions.

    Its been really really cold out where we are. Maybe we are all just feeling the strain of being cooped up indoors. They and their friends are all obsessed with electronics too so it’s hard to find things that keep them equally entertained. I feel a bit obligated to help entertain them when I limit the electronic use.

    I’m sure we will survive. I was just really feeling the stress this morning.
     
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  11. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forums. My parents did not play with me ever, they put me to work, and there was always plenty of work to do..

    It's good that you are doing your best and playing with them. I am on the spectrum and have a child on the spectrum, many times I get so overwhelmed that I have to use earbuds to protect my ears and listen to music. That's a real life saver as my child is very, VERY noisy. Maybe that is something you could try?
     
  12. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Children playing can nudge at our limits occasionally :)

    I think it depends on the child. Their interests, what they get excited about, what tires them out, what they may feel good about afterwards, what they understand, their level of energy and curiosity, are they competitive? etc.


    I found some sort of structure when indoors kept noise and boisterousness low.
    Engaged in activities that had rules or followed a step by step process. Playing within a framework.

    Hunting for objects hidden around the house. (for points or prizes)
    - requires preparation the night before.
    They follow the clues or rhymes you've written.

    Hide and seek.
    (finding each other not objects)

    I spy
    sleeping lions (children are still and quiet giving you a momentary chance to take a minute)
    musical statues
    quizzes - particularly if they were themed around members of your household, for example,
    'What is ...(eldest child's) ... favourite colour? Band? song? sport? game?
    'What colour are ...(middle child's)...eyes? favourite teddy? favourite shoes? toothbrush? food? treat? and so on.

    Making or baking :
    salt dough/cakes/clay/fimo/lunch/helping prep' dinner/paper mache/painting pebbles/pebble pictures.

    Large cardboard boxes were dens, houses, racing cars and rocket ships in our house.

    Mine could suggest, vote and agree on a film to watch. Just one.
    But they had to watch it.
    If they started messing around it went off.

    We did do umbrella and wellie walks in the rain.
    Dome shaped, see through brollies avoided most accidents and collisions.
    They could see where they were going and nobody got stabbed with the spokes.
    We didn't stay out for too long.
    A bit of jumping in puddles and experimenting with the brollies.
     
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  13. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Theme learning activities around the 'cold'

    seasons, temperatures, what effects cold has on nature, animals, objects.
    Who hibernates, who migrates.

    How cold happens in nature.
    How cold happens in the home (fridge/freezer)
    Extremes of cold.
    How Huskies and penguins cope.
    Insulation
    How human body reacts to cold.
    ?

    A means to engage them when you're dog tired yourself.
    Curiosity and problem solving/thinking reduces noise and activity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  14. Rxcaffeine

    Rxcaffeine New Member

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    Thank you for all these suggestions.
     
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