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Disorganisation, Will It Ever End!


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#1 queen claudia

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:05 PM

Le is 14 (15 in October) he has always been incredibly disorganised obviously to do with his ASD.

 

I also realise that I have probably contributed to this by always having to 'preempt' everything so that he basically doesn't have to think for himself. I did this for his benefit so that he wasn't without something he needed as I felt he had enough to deal with at that time being in a mainstream school and all the horrors you have to deal with there as I'm sure many of you know so I don't have to go into detail.

 

Now he is in a fantastic independent school so I don't have that excuse anymore but OMG he is still so disorganised!

 

He is in Explorer Scouts now and whenever there is a meeting when he has to take something with him or a hike (like this evening) I pretty much expect him to lose something.

 

Tonight he came home without his rucksack which contained a lot of expensive items many of which I am constantly having to replace time and time again.

 

I know he has ASD but I am pretty much convinced that it is not just down to that. He basically doesn't care enough and I know that I am probably inadvertently to blame for this as I do not let him think for himself enough and dare I say it have probably spoilt him rotten trying to somehow compensate for the crappy time he spent in mainstream school.

 

I wanted to ask if this rings any bells with anyone else and how can I get him to be more organised. To be honest getting him to even care to be more organised is the first step!

 

It's really difficult as the school he goes too is excellent but very academic. It is a long journey home and he doesn't get home until 5.20pm then has at least 40 mins homework every evening. 

 

Because of this I don't want to add more pressure such as 'hang your clothes up, tidy your homework away, etc etc' when he is exhausted after a long day at school and having to face homework on top of that.

 

How do I get him to organise himself and get me to get him to organise himself?!


Edited by queen claudia, 20 September 2018 - 10:06 PM.


#2 imperfect parent

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 07:09 AM

What does he say about the things he has lost?  Does it worry him, or is he oblivious to the cos/difficulty of replacement?

 

DS2 used to stress about things lost/left behind and I had to strike a balance between worrying about it and getting it sorted.  He is now at uni, and still manages to leave crucial things at home, but is slowly getting better.  We approach it as an exercise in how could it have been remembered and plan for it not to happen next time, and discuss what options we have to manage with out the item, but that isn't always possible.  He knows I will help if necessary, but ti has to be essential.  His ASD impacts as much now as when he was younger, but he has tried so hard and done so much that many don't realise yet it takes its toll in holidays.  

 

DS1 is just learning to take his wallet with him when going out, interesting that it happens more with his support worker than with me even though I use a joint account with him and pay with his money when he forgets so there is no financial gain. 

 

Does LE have a chance to go out with someone else, is there a friend at explorers who could gently remind him to take all his stuff?

 

Its a fine line we walk to support our children into independence, I am still firmly of the opinion that they push us away when they don't need us so we have to be available when they do.  The important thing is to take the lead from them.



#3 queen claudia

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 10:16 PM

Hi IP :)

 

LE doesn't give a monkey's! We are working on him not being so selfish, self absorbed and only thinking about himself. He can act like a spoilt brat sometimes!

 

So it doesn't worry him at all if he comes home without half of his stuff and that's part of the problem. It's just not important enough for him to remember. He and his best friend go to Explorers together and they are incredibly similar even though his friend does not have (well I don't think he does!) ASD.

 

I think his friend does help him out a little although when they get together all thoughts of anything else other than talking about computer games goes out of their heads.

 

I sometimes let LE forget things on purpose now just to show him the consequences. This is very difficult for me as I've always had to preempt everything with him so that he does not fail or have a huge disaster on his hands but I can't think for him anymore and he needs to start taking responsibility as I realise I am doing him no favours.

 

We have told him that any items that go missing in future he will replace out of his own money but doubt this will have any affect as he has savings, little interest in anything apart from computer games so doesn't spend it on anything. 

 

Last time we said "right, you are going to replace that yourself" he quite happily said "yeh thats fine"  :rolleyes:

 

We talk about it with him too getting him to think about how he can remember next time and he will listen and nod, make suggestions etc and then forgets again! 

 

He has improved in many ways considerably but his disorganisation is still extremely bad. He is great with his homework but so messy with work spread all over the place, papers on top of other papers. Drives me insane.

 

I am hoping like your DS2 that he will improve over time!



#4 imperfect parent

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:07 PM

So long as he can organise his school work you shouldn't have too much to worry about in the future.  It may be that just organising that is as much as he can do.

 

DS2 is obsessive about getting uni work done on time, but cannot be prompted as this causes a backlash.  I had to bite my tongue over Christmas when he was working on his assignment, and allow him to work through the night, but he got it done by the deadline.  He has progressed to being able to organise, or at least delegate organisation of, the things that are important to him.  It takes a lot of mental effort, and requires recovery time.

 

Since LE is happy, and doing his school work I wouldn't panic about his organisational skills.  As parents we're judged on how they function , but we have to remember where they started too.


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#5 queen claudia

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:16 PM

Hi IP, yes LE has come so far I always try and remind myself of that when these little annoyances and worries start creeping in.

 

He can get obsessive about his homework too. He is supposed to spend no more than 40 minutes on each piece of separate homework. He never gets any more than 2 pieces and sometimes only 1. If 2 usually 1 of them will require a lot less effort.

 

Last night he had History and Chemistry. He has been getting full marks in history and remarks such as "outstanding", "perfect", and "absolutely terrific" which is great I am really proud of him and he is top in English for his year as well but he then feels under enormous pressure to keep getting perfection and nothing less is acceptable to him.

 

So he was in his room for 2 HOURS doing his history homework! Getting frustrated and angry if anyone dared to interrupt him. 

 

Then he will leave all his work in a mess and leave half of it behind and not put his things away. After he has done his homework I always have to go up to his room and organise, double check it all and make sure he has all the work and his bits and pieces back in his bag.

 

Sigh.


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#6 imperfect parent

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 07:14 PM

It doesn't seem to get any easier as a parent when they get older, it just changes and you have to adapt.


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#7 tracky2

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 10:24 PM

I was kinda hoping it did get easier, L is not organised at all.

He’s in p6 now and I’m trying to get him to establish a small routine in preparation of high school.

He now has to pack his own bag using a visual tick list before school hopefully working up to doing his own lunch etc.

He kicks back from it a bit for 2 reasons I think; one he’s lazy and enjoys getting it done for him and two the fear of forgetting something important causes him anxiety. He does it most days now unless we’re running late.

He’s a disaster when it comes to tidying up after himself and tidying his room is an overwhelming task I’ve learnt as he just can’t organise his brain enough to know what comes next unless I’m standing over the top of him directing it.
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#8 queen claudia

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 05:19 AM

Yes good idea to have tick lists etc, I should do the same with James but I feel so sorry for him.

 

He has to be up at 6.30am to get ready for the taxi to collect him at 7.15pm. This leaves very little time and not enough time for him to pack his bag. I get him up as late as possible.

 

I can't even do it the night before as he spends so much time on his homework we are usually sitting waiting for him to come down and eat his dinner which is on the table or having to delay it. Then to ask him to pack a bag on top of that is too much I feel.

 

I am trying to get him organised in other ways such as helping me with cooking, particularly measuring out ingredients which seems to help his thought processes and translates to him being better organised in practical school lessons such as Chemistry.

 

It's all the practical stuff he has difficulty with.



#9 imperfect parent

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 07:45 PM

DS2 was disorganised until he went to college.  With a lot of support he learnt to keep on track with work.  The summer before going to uni was difficult with very high anxiety, and total reliance on us for food, washing etc.  A year on he is coping better, though so far has brought all his washing home.  He rings for recipes when he wants them.  Holidays seem difficult for him, but on weekends home he is very helpful and cooks for himself, though not yet for others.

 

You can't make him independent, you can only offer, and allow, the chance to practice skills.  In my opinion, and experience, they will push you away when they are ready.


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#10 queen claudia

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:47 PM

IP, DS2 sounds like he is doing really well.

 

As for the washing my sil used to take her son's washing home every week for him from Uni so I don't think it's that unusual.

 

Reading all that though makes me realise how quickly they grow up and that he will need to gain more independence from me. I think he worries about getting older and having to do things without our support. Birthday's these days are always tinged with a bit of anxiety for him because of this I think.

 

Then again I remember that feeling myself at his age. It's easy to think that every little thing is due to his ASD.

 

He opened up a bit to us this evening (well ranting) about having ASD, how will I tell my wife (he's only 15) etc. He doesn't do this very often at all but it made me realise that he obviously worries about it a lot. I know he has never been happy about it.

 

We just talk to him and tell him that when he finds someone special he can tell them that when he was younger he had difficulties and that it wouldn't be that unusual as lots of children have all kinds of different problems and that he is overcoming his difficulties more and more.

 

I hate the fact that he has this on his mind, it's so unfair. He also said he was upset we got him diagnosed but we told him we had to in order to help him and get him in the right school as he would not have coped in mainstream.

 

We are totally honest with him as much as we can be but supportive and positive too.



#11 imperfect parent

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:38 PM

He is QC, but it is taking a huge effort which leaves him very tired at times.  Sometimes he manages what we would think are the harder things and then the small things trip him up.  He took part in ASD research when he first went to uni and is still in contact with that group.  They were looking at the effect of counselling on ASD students; DS found it very helpful.  However he doesn't tell people about his DX and tries to get along without using the extra time etc as much as he can.  He has made huge progress with general socialisation too, but can still freeze when he loses control of a situation, especially when unwanted help is offered.  generally we find that he holds it together around people he doesn't know well, and loses it more when alone with us, when it doesn't have the same consequence.

 

Uni have been good with their support, but struggle to offer anything for emergency as everything they have means the student has to approach them.  Hall management were good too when it came to moving out at the end of the year, I had to ask for the manager, but he couldn't have been more helpful.

 

Both mine have accepted their DX.  I wonder if this is because they both had time out of school, DS1 due to exclusion and discrimination, DS2 because he simply couldn't face school and school refused year to mid year 9.

 

DS1 doesn't really talk to many people so everyone he does speak to already know about his DX.  DS2 doesn't tell any one unless necessary.  He hasn't told his housemates, but that's his choice.

 

Honesty works for us.  We do our best, make mistakes and get things wrong, but will own up when we do.  Perhaps its easier having the 2 with DX, they have each other plus all their friends from school have a DX too.

 

I think it's really positive that LE is planning a future with a a wife.  Does he know what he wants to do to earn his living?


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#12 queen claudia

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:59 PM

Hi IP.

 

It's interesting what you said about DS2 it being a huge effort and he gets very tired. I can imagine LE would be like this too.

 

LE's behaviour still goes off the rails a bit when he gets over tired as well. He gets very twitchy and sort of skips and paces about. It's strange to see as it's really the only time his ASD is very obvious, when he is very tired.

 

The unwanted help rings a bell too as LE is desperate to be treated exactly the same as everybody else. He hated it in Scouts when the Scout Leader took it upon herself to 'look out for him' in a very obvious way that embarrassed and humiliated him in front of his peers.

 

He has started Explorers now and told me he does not want anyone to know he has ASD. He's at that age now that we have to respect his wishes and to be honest it's never really done him or us any favours particularly in Scouts.

 

I'm glad LE is out of mainstream. As you know the school he is in now every student has some sort of difficulty so he no longer has to keep comparing himself to others and if he does it's usually favourable now. He is definately more chilled at school and all that stress has gone for him and us. 

 

LE doesn't appear to have any idea what he wants to do. I think he's avoiding thinking about it as it causes him anxiety.

 

There's also quite a bit more maturing to do. He still gets annoyed and frustrated usually when dh tries to help him with his mathematics homework. We always have to have at least half an hour with LE acting silly, obnoxious and not listening (on purpose) before dh loses his rag (honestly dh has the patience of a saint and I think LE knows this and plays on it) before he will knuckle down to it.

 

I get treated quite badly by LE. He is forever disrespecting me and then the next minute all over me telling me he is sorry and that he loves me. He doesn't act this way with dh so maybe it's the way I interact with him. I certainly have less patience than dh does!





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