My personal problems are yours too!

Social skills is the main area of concern right now with Orangeboy.  It really has been for awhile.  His personal care skills are pretty good (he can dress himself and sometimes remembers to wipe his nose), his speech is much more intelligible and fluid than it used to be (but he still sounds a bit like Elmer Fudd and adds extraneous words like "although" to the end of many sentences), and he is avoiding bullies at school and making straight A's.   He just doesn't have friends and has little interest in having friends.  He is also rather bossy and tends to use a lecturing tone when talking to other kids.

We'll work on all that as we have been by continuing to prompt, go over situations afterwards to clue him in to what was really going on - and what should have happened, and using his siblings as social practice dummies - or something like that.  But I, personally, have an even more pressing social issue to take up with Orangeboy.   I need him to understand "venting".   In other words, sometimes people complain in private and wonder why other people do the rude, stupid, or insensitive things they do; but that is in private and should remain private and not be repeated by young children.  Young children who eavesdrop on parental venting definitely should NOT go to the ventEE and demand an explanation on behalf of the ventOR!

In order to get Orangeboy to understand this I first have to, again, explain the rather complicated, situational notion of "private".   What is private vs. public?  There's the privacy of your home, the presumed privacy of an intimate conversation,  things you do in private,  parts of the body that are privates.... 
Personal details are sometimes kept private but some are just semi-private among family and close friends.
And then there is blogging and Facebook.   It is ever so complicated.  A rational, black and white, don't-confuse-me-with-the-details-while-I'm-busy-confusing-you-with-them kind of guy like Orangeboy gets rather frustrated with this kind of social construction.

So far we have been able to come to the understanding that if he is talking to someone and I suddenly interrupt with a hissing "SHUSH!" that he is to stop talking and reassess. 
Here's an example of how this works:

In the relative privacy of my own kitchen, I may say something like,
"I can't believe that they ate the special allergen-free cake that I made for the boys before they ate the bakery cake.  Now they have all that cake and ice cream leftover and the boys have nothing left they can eat."

Then when Orangeboy next sees "They whom ate the cake" he barks,

Me:  "Sssshuuushhh!"

Him:  "Oh."
Good enough for now.

The Charms and Secrets of Good Conversation

Social Smarts: Manners for Today's Kids

Those are MY Private Parts

1 comment:

  1. Here is another autistic child-teenager who takes threats and warnings just as seriously as Orangeboy does.

    I like this understanding about the Shush.

    And when I read the first paragraph I thought of Wittgenstein. When Ludwig was a little boy, he had a big family - some of whose members probably vented. It is nearly 60 years since my favourite philosopher-linguist died. His "ordinary language philosophy" was extraordinary! And I think Orangeboy and Wittgenstein would agree that there is "no private language".

    (The Wittgenstein sense of public and private would probably have been very different, and it would have changed again as he went to boarding school and then Cambridge University. Read Paul Monk's THE DUTY OF GENIUS if and when you can find it).

    Yay for avoiding bullies in school and getting straight As!

    Love the comedy in here and the recommendations. I would probably check out the first two above.


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