We were treated to a “small victory” today at OT (occupational therapy).
Our son (asperger’s, pdd-nos diagnosis) has been struggling with the ability to see “fault”. Doesn’t seem like much, he’s only 7, nearly 8 and what child gets that at that age, right? Sorta. Every child can clearly see right and wrong. Most children have a strong sense of empathy (pretend to cry in front of a two-year old!) and can, on some level, understand that what they did hurt others and that it wasn’t the fault of the others that they got hurt. Unless you’re the kind of kid our number 4 is and just can’t see it.
He hasn’t been able to see it, ever. It’s becoming quite a burden for the family to bear. If you sniff too loudly he deems it as disgusting. It gets his feathers all fluffed and then off he goes swinging. His excuse for hitting, when asked, is usually “it’s so and so’s fault!!! If they weren’t so annoying I wouldn’t have hit them!”. I can certainly understand the logic behind the argument and wish at times I could use it as an adult, but I can’t. Somehow I don’t think “he’s an idiot” would hold up in court against charges of assault. It makes disciplining him a challenge. If he truly believes he’s free from blame then what do you do? Any discipline is found to be unjust and is met with quite an uproar (because he does have a strong sense of justice)
We’ve been working on “perspective” a lot at OT. LOTS of role-playing and reenacting scenes from the previous week have seemingly been met with the same discouraging indifference week by week, until this week. There was a social story in which his little brother was annoying him endlessly, there were good choices to deal with the annoyance that were discussed and then the negative actions that are typical were addressed. He was questioned about the negative choices and asked “whose fault is it if little bro is hurt because you’re angry?” His answer?????
Are you ready?
Yep. He said “mine”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He said that if his brother annoyed him that was brother’s fault but that he was in control of his body and it was wrong to hit and kick because he was annoyed. If he hit little bro, it wasn’t little bro’s fault but his own!!!!!!! HIS OWN!!!!!!
I can’t even begin to explain what a break through this really is. The OT let him get something out of the “prize box” . It’s quite an event! We’re so far past proud of him and what he’s accomplished in the five short years we’ve had him in therapy. I am so excited!!!!! He’s pretty proud of himself as well. As we were leaving the OT mentioned being thankful for the “small victories”
To God be the glory!!