My son tends to get frustrated with computer games. He has gotten angry and frustrated with Webkinz games, but now it's gotten even worse with the Wii. Sometimes he makes Miis using instructions from the Internet, and this can take a while and it's very calm. But when he's playing several kinds of games (the Wii Carnival games are his bete noire now), he gets increasingly frustrated. It's even worse when he's playing with his (older) sister and loses. So, for the second time in about 2 weeks, I just unplugged the Wii and took it away. He's in his room getting some control over himself.
He's been having a lot of trouble all week. In school, he's had trouble with two auxiliary teachers (phys ed and library). He normally thrives in library, but this week he crawled under a table and was making the other kids laugh and couldn't stop what he was doing when rebuked. I'm not sure what's going on in phys ed, but he has had negative comments on his report card before (doesn't listen, doesn't take turns). The thing I hate about AS is that I don't have a frickin' clue what to do. I sense that there is some sort of sensory overload issue happening both in phys ed and with the Wii. At the library, I am clueless. His teacher said he seemed to be getting something positive out of making the other kids laugh, and he couldn't extricate himself from that loop.
On Wednesday evening, my husband and I went to a panel discussion sponsored by AANE. The panel featured a neuro/behavioral pediatrician, an educational lawyer/special ed advocate, a social worker with the Groden Center, and a school psychologist. It was all very interesting, but I find myself just needing to know What To Do. I don't have enough of a toolbox. I feel the way I did when E was diagnoses with asthma. It took over a year for us to be able to manage his asthma effectively.
I think this week's problems may be related to one or more of these factors:
1. He's not getting enough sleep. We are having a lot of trouble getting these kids to bed early. This is partially due to our own hours. We don't eat dinner till 6 or 7, and then the kids want some play time after dinner.
2. He's eating poorly at school and at home. He has been eating hot lunch at school, but on days he doesn't have hot lunch, he insists on eating Lunchables. He won't eat anything else, and I'm about 70% sure he doesn't eat the actual meat and cheese in the Lunchable, only the jello and cookie. We have always had a lot of trouble with managing the kids' food intake. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to get E to ask for some specific food. He says "I'm hungry" and will never ask for a specific food. It drives us insane, but it seems to be part of some sort of communication issue. He is indirect about just about everything.
3. The Wii. Sensory overload can lead to all sorts of emotional imbalances.
We've been seeing Dr. Lovecky, but I think I need to be more forthcoming or direct about what I feel like we need. I need him to be able to ask for what he wants, directly. I need for him to be able to eat yogurt at school (he refuses; he will eat yogurt at home, but not at school). I need for him to be able to control his frustration when he's playing Wii. I need for him to be able to do his evening bedtime routine without too much prompting. I need him to not let his sister provoke him into getting mad.
And I'd like to be able to walk into the school, run into his teacher, and not have to hear about the latest problems. :(