Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Asperger's Syndrome > Asperger Subtype: "The Emotion Boy"
|

Asperger Subtype: "The Emotion Boy"

Predominately OCD
This child has many obsessions that take him elsewhere, away from the here and now. Although he appears inattentive, in reality, he has other issues that he is dealing with instead. For example, are his shoelaces tied the way he likes them? Is everything around him exactly where it belongs? How many dots are in that ceiling tile over his head? Did he ask the question that he wanted to in the right way? And so on. The list can be endless. But no matter what is on his list, it usually takes precedence over anything that is on your list. He is often a perfectionist, and everything has to go a certain way. If it doesn't, it's the end of the world. There is no middle ground; everything is black or white. It is either perfect or it is terrible.

He may have completion rituals where things must be finished before he moves on. And there are many rituals or routines in this child's life. For example, he can't shut off his Game Boy until he reaches a certain level or he can't shut off the TV until the program is totally and completely over. All of this and more can be going on in his head and cause him to disengage from reality and become unavailable.

Let's look at an example: Tommy, age seven, only wants to play his video games. He always plays them after dinner until bedtime. When he is playing them, he finds it very hard to stop. He argues, whines, and may even have a tantrum when asked to try an alternative to video game playing. He has certain requirements for getting ready for bed and an order to them. He changes his clothes under his covers, even though there is no one else in his room. He brushes his teeth for 120 seconds. Mom has to kiss him good night first, Dad is next, and then he gets a story that he always picks from the books on his shelf. He has to have his radio on in order to fall asleep because he has to hear the music and have the light from the radio shining in his room. Tommy has lots of rules about how things are supposed to go in his world. He is an OCD child. Now, it may seem like he is a Rule child with all of these rules, but there is a difference. The Rule child will typically follow others' rules once they are spelled out to him. The OCD child makes up his own rules about everything and only wants to follow his own rules, no one else's. The OCD child is compelled by his anxiety to follow his own dictates: he must be in control. The Rule child's anxiety compels him to follow everyone else's: he must obey. Each has a different motivation and therefore a different response.

Recommended Approach: You must gain control over his obsessions. There must be limits and restrictions on certain activities. Rituals and routines are addressed through sabotage. You must teach him how to be more flexible by changing routines. You must expand his repertoire of interests, teach him shades of gray, and have him develop a balance in his life. Obsessions will remain, but you can use them as reinforcers as long as you limit the amount of time spent on the obsessions. Each of these things is discussed later on.



Next: Fantasy boy >>
|

From Parenting Your Asperger Child by Alan Sohn, Ed.D., and Cathy Grayson, M.A. Copyright 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here or on the book cover. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

happy holidays

‘Tis the season
for festive crafts,
recipes, & family
activities!

GO

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!