Showing All Sides of Asperger’s
[Warning this post may offend others to read at own discretion]
I’ve been debating for days on whether to post this or not, and I know it will offend people which it is not intended to do. But when I started this blog I swore I would be honest and show all sides of Aspergers, no holds barred. I believe I have done up until now.
I asked Dannie if it was ok in her mind to write this one and she is quite happy and oblivious to any harm from it. So here it goes…
I suppose to me one of the hardest things to deal with when dealing with Aspergers is the constant innocent comments that offend others and gets blurted out at the most inconvenient times. I have had many ‘Encounters’ – shall we say – with others over Dannie’s innocently said but brutal comments about others.
It’s a hard subject to talk freely about because parents and others are so embarrassed by their child’s comments that they would rather forget them and I don’t know maybe pretend it was never said. It certainly isn’t discussed freely. Sorry, I’m babbling, back to the point. Well, those of you who have Aspergers in the family will be aware of words, sayings, and songs which get repeated over and over sometimes for months until the next word or phrase comes along. Well at the moment Dannie’s song choice which she is repeating over and over is a few lines from the song banana boat, you know the one, Day-O, Day-O, Daylight come and we wanna go home. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, WRONG, as we all have done at some point or other Dannie has got the words wrong and when she sings the next verse she sings, wait for it, I apologize in advance, Come, Mr. Taliban, Tally your Bananas. As you can imagine such a thing being sung outside, at full pelt, would and does NOT go down well.
I have had to ban Dannie from singing it and she really doesn’t understand why. Even banning her from singing it is hard to keep up as it just blurts out, out of the blue and she said she can’t help it as the song is stuck in her head. She got so upset I had to try and explain. The best way I found to explain it was that it was like sneezing, you can’t stop it from happening it just happens, and sometimes due to the Aspergers, I explained that sometimes she verbally sneezes, but the verbal words can offend others, another example would be when a friend asked her does her bum look big in an outfit, Dannie’s answer was ” Depends, if you are comparing it to a rhino then no.” needless to say they fell out. That judgment we have that stops us from saying what we think.
Asperger’s people have a lack, but why should we judge them for saying what we all think but are too polite or afraid to say? Should we really be scolding our kids for being honest and saying exactly what they see? I’m in two minds, but I have asked Dannie that if she feels she is about to verbally sneeze her song, she has to cover her mouth and try her best to refrain. Not because I take offense of her innocent song choice, but purely for the sake of others, is that truly fair?
11 thoughts on “Showing All Sides of Asperger’s”
I just have to say that I have a daughter with Aspergers, and I will tell you my experince. Yes, my daughter says things in public all the time that make me want to crawl in a hole and die!! She is very honest in her truths. I learned very quickly that if she says something that is not acceptable, the bigger deal that I make of it the more she says it, it turns into a game for her and a attention seeking behavior. The first thing I try to do is only take her around people who know that she has aspergers, the next thing is I wait until we are out of that sistuation and are at home and then I try to come up with a social story that she can releate to, like if some says something that has hurt her feelings in the past and try to get her to releate to it in that way. Honestly sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt!! As far as the judging goes, no I don’t think anyone should judge any child and in my opinion most of the time when people hear a not so favorable comment they aren’t judging the kids anyway they are juding the parents!! Not that they should be judged either but sadly thats just the way we are as humans !
@Reader – Speaking from someone who has gotten bullied, I wouldn’t know. The point of telling the teacher is to make him stop and think of his actions, but some kids are too damn persistent for that. So, that question is just up in the air. What can be done? What must a kid do when telling a teacher on the bully doesn’t work, either when they aren’t around or when parents do all they could? This is where kid-on-kid violence mostly brews.
So, I really don’t know the answer to all that. One should just be mindful of what they say. Simple.
@[email protected] – And what, if anything, do you think the adults in charge of that school should do about bullying behavior like that of the older boy in the hypothetical example?
I agree with much of what has been said here. How much does Dannie understand when you try to explain why the word isn’t the right one? Is she able to accept a different word? Seems logical to continue trying to teach/educate when and why things aren’t appropriate, even if she doesn’t seem to understand right away. And shame on those who fault children for innocent fumbles. They should be more accepting and try to understand the reasons why children do what they do.
Yes, if possible, she needs to understand how she feels/would feel if someone did something to her that was hurtful or inappropriate because it will happen at some point in her life. She needs to understand that respect for others is right, at least to the degree that she can. Sounds like you have been trying to do this. Your “sneeze” comparison is excellent. A lot of non Asperger’s people need to learn that one!
Personally explaining how Asperger’s causes sometimes inappropriate behavior, in some situations at least, is probably a good approach, but people being the people they are, not everyone will accept that. And I doubt whether I would feel comfortable doing that myself. So, personal choice and comfort level on that one.
Here is part of the reason I feel it’s important to continue the teaching/educating approach. I have never been diagnosed as having Aspergers–not so much was known back in the 50’s. But the more I have read and learned now that I’m older makes me think I may have it. I have always had difficulty with saying what was on my mind, always been awkward socially and the repetition of words, songs, etc.. There were a couple things that really irked me when I was growing up. My parents were not comfortable with children asking why? which I was good at doing. Their approach was pretty much “because I said so.” That was what they knew of parenting, not that they didn’t love us. I just always wanted to know the why, the reasoning behind things and I assume they felt their authority was being questioned. I think it’s important to help children understand the why of behavior as well as just being obedient.
The other thing that troubled me was feeling like I was supposed to know things about which I had no clue. I don’t know whether I just didn’t grasp things, or whether it was assumed that I had picked things up by association or osmosis. I wish my parents had kept repeating things until they felt like I and my siblings really understood. My point here is that I believe the time comes when some understanding begins to come if the repetition and teaching has continued although it may take longer for a child with Asperger’s or other challenges. There were plenty of times when the “light” finally came on for me, too many times dues to some awkward fumble on my part. If you continue to teach, the day may come when Dannie will grasp more of these things that seem so far away now.
It sounds to me like you are really trying to be the best parent you can and I think that’s wonderful. I know it’s easy to talk rather than doing, but I think you are on the right track and should keep moving forward. God bless you and all your efforts to help your sweet daughter.
@roshniaamom – I wondered the same thing. I don’t know how her reaction might be though?
Are comments like she made with her friend common amongst people with asperger’s? I wonder because I know at least one person who says things like this and is also very socially inappropriate in some other ways, but he doesn’t realize it at all and is also otherwise very sweet.. Just wanted to ask, I don’t know much about asperger’s at all.
Also, in response to the first question in the last paragraph: no, I don;t think we should judge people who speak their minds if they have asperger’s.. I don’t think it’s right for people who are capable of holding back to blurt it out though. There’s usually always a nicer way to say things(unless you have a mental disability of some sort that prevents you from doing that). If my friend asks if her butt looks big in something and it does, I will go look for another pair of pants for her and tell her the other pair just wasn’t flattering.. But because I’d want someone to do that for me I guess, without telling me “yeah, you’re butt looks huge.” Though we do have it coming to us if we ask questions like that.lol
As for the story, as someone with Aspergers, I understand what you mean, but perhaps, you shouldn’t have banned it due to that. After all, she was probably too young to know what the Taliban is. The best approach was to either correct her or tell her exactly why what she is singing is wrong. Anyone can penalize someone for doing something like that, but getting in a frenzy due to it is just going to make it harmful to them because it is stuck in her head.
At least it is better than her singing anything on the radio.
I understand if she sings it all the time, but if that is the case, why not play a whole different song to her or educate her more on music. Something that can help her and you along.
@Reader – Then, she can always say what women in that situation would say. Anytime you say what you think, one has to be prepared for the consequence because the thing about Asperger’s people is that I highly doubt that they’ll say just anything; only things that really need to be said in their minds. So, if someone told her they wanted to fuck her behind the dumpster, odds are she might say, “is that where you get your ability to hit on a woman? Because it stinks like hell.” or “surely, my boyfriend can come up with a “better place to do such a thing.” That is if she is old enough to say such a thing anyway.
Aspergers’ people shouldn’t be penalized for what they say, as long as what they say isn’t a complete detriment to their social “health” or, perhaps, anyone else’s. Whether she responds with wit or with a subtle disgust, not every Asperger’s person says what they want. We mostly just say what needs to be said in their minds.
I’ve found that preemptively telling people I have no social skills and will, likely in the next hour, offend them horribly and accidentally goes a long way towards fixing the damage caused by my, er, verbal sneezes. The best part is if they know it was an accident they’ll correct me right away and I can start noticing trends in what should and shouldn’t be said.
” I’m in two minds, but I have asked Dannie that if she feels she is about to verbally sneeze her song, she has to cover her mouth and try her best to refrain. Not because I take offence of her innocent song choice, but purely for the sake of others, is that truly fair?”
Yes it is, and you are wise! 😀
I especially like your comparison to sneezes. People with illnesses or allergies can’t help those and you still don’t have to like it if I sneeze on you, instead of into a tissue, when I can’t help but sneeze.
“Aspergers people have a lack, but why should we judge them for saying what we all think but are to polite or afraid to say? Should we really be scolding our kids for being honest and saying exactly what they see? “
Suppose other people do that to her.
Suppose that in the future she attends a high school (instead of being homeschooled for those years). Should the adults in charge of that school really discipline an older boy if, instead of being too polite or afraid to say so, on the first day of school he tells your daughter that he thinks she’s so pretty that he wants to fuck her behind the dumpster after school?
I know I may sound very simplistic, but is it possible to tell her that the correct words are Tallyman, and not Taliban?