It’s been a huge learning curve rethinking my son’s life through the eyes of a PDA diagnosis. He has not been diagnosed with PDA, but ticks every box. Oliver has never quite fitted the Aspergers child mould and never really changed his behaviour with any of the typical strategies.
I have decided from two weeks ago to not ask anything of my son, aside from the bear minimum. School isn’t working out for Oliver, and his days are numbered. I have been asked to come in as his ‘TA’ because no one else can mange him and the staff feel threatened by him. I think I’m almost there as protection in case he kicks off. Last week on dress up day one child in his class asked, ‘what have you dressed up as Oliver?’. Oliver ignored him; he was in his usual uniform. I went to answer the child as he didn’t ask in a mean way…he was just curious. I started to say ‘Oliver doesn’t like dressing up…’ but Oliver was already trying to cover my mouth to stop me from talking, in a very determined manner. It worked. It was them reported to the teacher that Oliver hit me in the mouth. I had to quickly dispel that. He was in school on a knife-edge anyhow. We are desperately trying to find a better resourced school for Oliver, hopefully to start in May.
I remember regularly trying to reward Oliver with computer time. If he didn’t behave he wouldn’t get the computer. Inevitably Oliver didn’t behave. The consequence being…he didn’t get the computer. His mood would then turn, and Oliver would throw furniture around, kick me, hit me and scream and shout. His brother and sister would disappear for fear of being attacked. He didn’t see any point of ‘being good’ because he wasn’t allowed his computer so he continued to disrupt everything and everyone. I hid his computer, I hid my computer, I hid anything that would, come back at me with, ‘…if I can’t have my computer, then you can’t have your phone, or laptop!’. He would argue for ages, and not leave me alone. I hid in the toilet. The only room in the house with a lock. Oliver got a coin and tried to unlock the door from the outside. There’s no let up.
The computer was the only thing that Oliver was concerned about. No television, not a problem. In fact there wasn’t anything else. Oliver didn’t have any friends to speak of. He didn’t want to go out and play. It was just his laptop. My only leverage.
Oh the drama we’ve had with that laptop. Taking Oliver’s computer away was like pulling his fingernails out. Impossible. However if you don’t mind a bit of pain…it was doable, but emotionally, mentally and physically draining. Eventually I realised it wasn’t EVER worth the battle.