Autism and Aspergers
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Tablet , I pad, phone . TV

healeywilliam24healeywilliam24 Member Posts: 23 Listener
edited April 23 in Autism and Aspergers
My son william is 4 and has autism , he is obsessed with technology he constantly has to have some form of it and uses more than one at once 2  , when we try to take it off him he hurts himself not always but we do struggle and I'm scared he's gonna really hurt himself... we do have set times he uses them to and he does play nicely but his main focus is technology.. do I just let him have them cause its what he enjoys doing? Do I try and limit it more everyday? He's good when he's out and about doesn't have it . Any advice please worried hes always gonna be this obsessed ? 
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  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, to start of with I expect some people are going to disagree with me, but it is not a bad obsession to have. Autistic people can do very well with technology and make great programmers, or in roles with lots of computer use and can develop very good careers in computing.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much time does he spend with technology?

    A couple of things come to mind, autistic children, and many adults, do well with structure and routine. Though with things they are obsessed about it can be difficult to break their attention. So one thing to consider is what will he do when his time is up for the technology stuff? Where possible mark the end of his technology access to something else he might enjoy. This could be a healthy snack or drink, or just doing something else he enjoys. 

    With my daughter we signed up with an education site that did hundreds of worksheet print outs which she could choose what she wanted. So her time after she had finished on the computer was spent she would work on a worksheet or two. Not sure if that will be possible with the devices you mention.

    With the TV she enjoyed the typical children programs, but also the nature programs and some others. It would depend a lot on what your sons other interests are.

    One rule I had was no technology at least an hour before bed and she was a lot older before we allowed it in her bedroom. That last hour was usually doing something together as a family, like playing a game or doing something else together. Bedtime routine was always story time, when I would read to her, when I wasn't at work. Later on it was getting her to read part of a book to me. 

    Please don't give in to him and let him have it when he wants, trust me you will regret it later when he is older. Also over time he will learn some coping methods to control his frustrations. 

    One thing you do mention is that he tries to hurt himself sometimes when you try to take what he is playing with away from him. May I ask what he does? 

    Sorry, I have not seen your other posts so not sure how much you understand autism. Especially when they are younger autistic children can have issues around control, and behaviour patterns like stimming and hurting themselves is one way of trying to gain control. When I was younger I used to thump walls until my fingers and knuckles were bleeding, it was just a way for me to get control. My current boss knows when I am getting frustrated and starting to lose it when I start scratching my head. And while I am in my 50s she was the first manager I have had who immediately got what was going on. With my daughter when she was starting to show signs of losing control I would send her to her bedroom. It wasn't until she was much older when we discussed it she got annoyed with me about it. She loved her room as it was where most of her favourite things were, and couldn't believe this was the punishment I gave her. As I pointed out it was not punishment, it was time out for her to stop things escalating. Her room was her sanctuary where she felt safe and was able to distract herself. She wasn't impressed after years of thinking how stupid I was to find out she had been manipulated. It also helped her to learn to control her own behaviour, as she got older she would just say I'm going to my room and leave before things went too far. However the fact that she learned to take herself to her bedroom before having a meltdown also demonstrated that she was learning some self control skills. 

    Not sure if it has been mentioned to you, but it can be useful to keep a diary for when these sort of behaviours happen. In the case of when it is taking your sons technology off him when he doesn't display this type of behaviour. Try and include things like what he was doing just prior to you taking it away and what you wanted him to do next. It will help you see any patterns of what sets him off and also what is different when it doesn't. It would also help doctors and other professionals  to understand what is going on as well.

    The other suggestion I would have is to keep an eye on his diet. My daughter was a very fussy eater, in her teens I decided to buy her multivitamins, a lot like chewy sweets. I never mentioned to anyone that we were given them to her but after a couple of weeks I got called into the school and asked if something had happened as they had noted a marked improvement in her behaviour.  The only change had been the multivitamins. It was useful not mentioning it to the school, as it meant I knew the improvement in her behaviour was not just wishful thinking on our part. 

    Sorry that was a lot longer than I intended.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • healeywilliam24healeywilliam24 Member Posts: 23 Listener
    When he's at playschool he has technology in the morning and after school but always none after dinner . We then get lots of play with spinning and me spinning him and he likes to be picked up and thrown around .. its harder in the school holidays and with the current situation we couldn't do much but now its getting better we can hopefully do more things .. when I do take it away on a good day we get some play but his focus is to get it back so I find we get more from him when he chooses to leave it and come and play .. he hits him self in the head and bites him self , headbanging when he not ready to let it go.. he also bites me and scratches me .. I feel sometimes Its the easy option to let him have it , he has time out in his bedroom when he bites me and calms down . We do try very option to distract him he loves being outside too so now the weather nicer it definitely be better now to get him out and about 
  • healeywilliam24healeywilliam24 Member Posts: 23 Listener
    I'm also only just starting to learn more about autism I know little , I wouldn't say I was struggling but as he gets older its getting harder  . Playschool is so good for him . He's a very big boy nearly over half my size and very strong .
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,033

    Scope community team

    It seems as though you've given him a good routine @healeywilliam24, which is really important. It's also good to hear that he's enjoying playschool. Does he get the support he needs there?

    I remember you mentioning the headbanging etc. before, and you saying that the paediatrician didn't make any suggestions regarding that. Perhaps this article could help you to understand it further?

    Did you manage to check out the services that Caz pointed you towards in your other thread? They could be of help, and it's important you look after yourself as well as your son.


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  • healeywilliam24healeywilliam24 Member Posts: 23 Listener
    Yes we have a good routine which seems to work . Yeah he has lots of support at his playschools he does split placement at the moment at the special eduction school and main stream playschool .. he gets on really well at both .. yes I've been looking at the threads and different suggestions and articles on here definitely has helped a little and learning more everyday which is good . Thankyou for all support 
  • SpecGZero81SpecGZero81 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    I was obsessed with technology from about the age of 5.

    It started with scientific calculators and digital watches and then progressed to video games and computing.

    Worked in IT support for about 20 years and have always been fiddling with techstuff.

    Even the music I exclusively listen to is electronic (non-vocal Trance and Progressive House); I've also made some for fun.

    Also an element of Sci-Fi TV and movies that I'm fascinated by are the futuristic computer interfaces.

    lol, I'm such a nerd [and proud].
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