Your Asperger Child: How to Change Thinking
In all discussions with an individual about a situation, there will be two aspects: 1) the selling of an idea (your part); and 2) the buying of an idea (your child's role). Both parts must always be considered together. Te best "sales pitch" is incomplete if the new idea is not accepted, or "bought." This process requires constant monitoring of progress by the "salesperson," who should look and ask for feedback from the "buyer" regarding this step-by-step approach. A cardinal rule is to never move ahead to the next step without checking to see if the "buyer" is moving with you. If he is not, repeat the last step in another way.
For your child, this means that you need to convince him that there is a better way to look at and react to a situation than what he has shown you. He needs to hear what you are saying, maybe even see it, and then accept it if a better behavior is to occur. But you must realize that new thinking cannot occur easily, because your child is not a blank slate. He already has competitive version of your idea. Different stories and interpretations are present in him that will compete with your new story or mindset. If the new mindset or thinking is to succeed, it must replace, suppress, complement, or outweigh every other story or competing version or idea. Only the most powerful argument will win out. Your prior history with your child is a very powerful force in this equation. All previous unproductive discussions and interventions that you have had with him will make your job that much harder, and must be replaced as well. To deal with these factors, you must be persistent, stick to the point, not allow irrelevant items to be brought into the conversation, and, finally, provide the reasons for the new thinking.
More on: Asperger's Syndrome
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.
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