A fragile peace accord has been shattered

      16 Comments on A fragile peace accord has been shattered

The fragile peace accord that has been maintaining the calm and quiet in our house has been shattered. Elliott and Emmett are at each other’s throats as a result.

Understanding the issue at hand is an important step towards understanding the fragile peace in our house.

Much like many others out there with Autism, my kids are drawn to things like tablets and technology. It’s calming for them and it keeps them engaged. We are working to broaden the way they experience the world, without the use of their tablets.

My kids are plagued by sensory issues, and if you’ve been a reader for a little while, you’re likely albrotherready aware of jowls bad it can be sometimes.



One of the issues I don’t think I’ve mentioned before has to do with the way Emmett uses his tablets.

In order for Emmett to be comfortable using his tablet (according to him), requires that he turns the volume up all the way. We’ve been working on this forever and we can’t seem to find a solution that works. Headphones don’t work and neither does repetitious reminders.

This high volume drives Elliott absolutely crazy. When Elliott asks Emmett to turn it down or leave the room, problems ensue.

Emmett doesn’t feel he should have to leave his room and Elliott doesn’t cope with that very well. This leads to a brother vs brother showdown. This showdown generally includes a great deal of screaming, fighting and frustration.

This is pretty much where we are at the moment. Now I’ve got to go manage some of the squabbling before I go crazy.

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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)

  


  • Jimmy Rock says:

    At the risk of appearing like I’m oversimplifying the situation, it seems like this presents an opportunity for both boys to learn to compromise, or else there’s no tablets. With your boys that would be a pretty good motivator, I would imagine.

    It’s also an opportunity to drive home the fact that just because you have sensory issues, it doesn’t mean that you have a right to be inconsiderate of the people around you. It’s not comfortable unless it’s loud? Well, loud is uncomfortable to others around you. How do you solve the problem? Keep it loud? Scream at whoever doesn’t like it loud?

    Although you haven’t found it yet, this is a problem with a workable solution, irrrespective of any sensory issues at play. Let them brainstorm themselves (with you mediating) as to what they can try to make things work. And “workable solution” doesn’t mean that they’ll never fight again, of course. But learning to compromise, owning sensory issues, and learning how to deal with such issues while also being considerate of others are valuable tools and life lessons.

    Good luck!

    • Rob Gorski says:

      You make a very good point. That’s something we are working on but it’s hard to compromise with Sensory issues. I agree with pretty much all of what you said in principle but I haven’t found a way to practically apply it. ☺

      • Jimmy Rock says:

        Yeah, I get it. It’s pretty much a trial and error thing. But fotunately you’ve got the ultimate motivating tool to use – the tablets. The boys want to use them and they are the direct source of the conflict. How about saying “we’re going to try this [insert whatever thing you’re going to try] for five minutes and see if it works. If it does, great, keep playing on your tablets. If not, we’ll take a five minute break from the tablets and see if we can come up with another solution to try, or we’ll ditch the tablets for a while and try again later.”

        Again, I get that compromise is difficult when dealing with a sensory component. I really do get it. But ultimately it doesn’t matter whether it’s sensory or not- you have to learn to deal with the people around you, regardless of what issues you bring to the table, even if it means that you don’t get to do what you want because your sensory issues are overwhelming and getting in the way of any reasonable compromise. Doesn’t make it fair or easy for them, but as we know, that’s life.

        I suspect I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but it makes for good discussion here – this is hard work for a parent to negotiate, and the added element of sensory issues make what should be a simple opportunity to teach important skills that much more challenging.

  • Becky Wiren says:

    This isn’t really a sensory problem. It’s a stubborn problem. Why? Because there has to be give and take. And I know it’s hard for autistic people, I’m mildly autistic. And we see things a certain way and then that is the way it is. I hope you can continue to work with both sons to try to see how other people see things. I guess that also means it is an empathy issue. (Not that autistic people can’t have empathy, but our stubbornness and other stuff means it is harder to see.)

    Maybe one time Emmett has to leave his room, and the other time Elliott can wear ear plugs? And/or Emmett learns to turn the volume down a little? And/or Elliott leaves his room? Just a LITTLE bit of give and take could work. (Of course, then they could end up fighting about whose turn it is to do a thing. But you could keep track, maybe?)

    • Rob Gorski says:

      The root cause is Sensory related. It’s the same reason Emmett has no inside voice. It’s the way he perceives sound.

      The surface issue are exactly what you suggested though. ☺

      • Becky Wiren says:

        Oh! So to him sound is either loud or non-existent. *sigh* Still, I just wondered if either kid could make adjustments at times. Give a little? Both are hardened in their stand. Emmett must have it loud in his room, and Elliott can’t stand to hear it. I was just hoping there was a way through the impasse. 🙁

        • Rob Gorski says:

          Correct. He says it’s comfortable unless it’s loud. What I think I’m going to do is try and lock his volume at a certain level and see if he notices.

          Yeah, an impasse would amazing and there’s something going to what you’re saying. Maybe tiny changes over time will work.. ☺

          You’re ideas are always welcomed and appreciated..

          • Becky Wiren says:

            Yeah. I don’t think ill of your sons for being the way they are. I know I have mild autism and I get that I’ve always been stubborn. I thought of small changes since making big changes throws autistic people way off kilter.

            It can be easier to make a one time big change. But their stuff is ongoing and I thought maybe the small stuff could work. 🙂

  • Jimmy Rock says:

    At the risk of appearing like I’m oversimplifying the situation, it seems like this presents an opportunity for both boys to learn to compromise, or else there’s no tablets. With your boys that would be a pretty good motivator, I would imagine.

    It’s also an opportunity to drive home the fact that just because you have sensory issues, it doesn’t mean that you have a right to be inconsiderate of the people around you. It’s not comfortable unless it’s loud? Well, loud is uncomfortable to others around you. How do you solve the problem? Keep it loud? Scream at whoever doesn’t like it loud?

    Although you haven’t found it yet, this is a problem with a workable solution, irrrespective of any sensory issues at play. Let them brainstorm themselves (with you mediating) as to what they can try to make things work. And “workable solution” doesn’t mean that they’ll never fight again, of course. But learning to compromise, owning sensory issues, and learning how to deal with such issues while also being considerate of others are valuable tools and life lessons.

    Good luck!

    • Rob Gorski says:

      You make a very good point. That’s something we are working on but it’s hard to compromise with Sensory issues. I agree with pretty much all of what you said in principle but I haven’t found a way to practically apply it. ☺

      • Jimmy Rock says:

        Yeah, I get it. It’s pretty much a trial and error thing. But fotunately you’ve got the ultimate motivating tool to use – the tablets. The boys want to use them and they are the direct source of the conflict. How about saying “we’re going to try this [insert whatever thing you’re going to try] for five minutes and see if it works. If it does, great, keep playing on your tablets. If not, we’ll take a five minute break from the tablets and see if we can come up with another solution to try, or we’ll ditch the tablets for a while and try again later.”

        Again, I get that compromise is difficult when dealing with a sensory component. I really do get it. But ultimately it doesn’t matter whether it’s sensory or not- you have to learn to deal with the people around you, regardless of what issues you bring to the table, even if it means that you don’t get to do what you want because your sensory issues are overwhelming and getting in the way of any reasonable compromise. Doesn’t make it fair or easy for them, but as we know, that’s life.

        I suspect I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but it makes for good discussion here – this is hard work for a parent to negotiate, and the added element of sensory issues make what should be a simple opportunity to teach important skills that much more challenging.

  • Becky Wiren says:

    This isn’t really a sensory problem. It’s a stubborn problem. Why? Because there has to be give and take. And I know it’s hard for autistic people, I’m mildly autistic. And we see things a certain way and then that is the way it is. I hope you can continue to work with both sons to try to see how other people see things. I guess that also means it is an empathy issue. (Not that autistic people can’t have empathy, but our stubbornness and other stuff means it is harder to see.)

    Maybe one time Emmett has to leave his room, and the other time Elliott can wear ear plugs? And/or Emmett learns to turn the volume down a little? And/or Elliott leaves his room? Just a LITTLE bit of give and take could work. (Of course, then they could end up fighting about whose turn it is to do a thing. But you could keep track, maybe?)

    • Rob Gorski says:

      The root cause is Sensory related. It’s the same reason Emmett has no inside voice. It’s the way he perceives sound.

      The surface issue are exactly what you suggested though. ☺

      • Becky Wiren says:

        Oh! So to him sound is either loud or non-existent. *sigh* Still, I just wondered if either kid could make adjustments at times. Give a little? Both are hardened in their stand. Emmett must have it loud in his room, and Elliott can’t stand to hear it. I was just hoping there was a way through the impasse. 🙁

        • Rob Gorski says:

          Correct. He says it’s comfortable unless it’s loud. What I think I’m going to do is try and lock his volume at a certain level and see if he notices.

          Yeah, an impasse would amazing and there’s something going to what you’re saying. Maybe tiny changes over time will work.. ☺

          You’re ideas are always welcomed and appreciated..

          • Becky Wiren says:

            Yeah. I don’t think ill of your sons for being the way they are. I know I have mild autism and I get that I’ve always been stubborn. I thought of small changes since making big changes throws autistic people way off kilter.

            It can be easier to make a one time big change. But their stuff is ongoing and I thought maybe the small stuff could work. 🙂