I spent a large part of today breaking up fights between the kids. They seem to be at each other’s throats. I was just recording a speech for an upcoming summit yesterday and I mentioned something about this.
I was pointing out that not everything I’m dealing with in my house is related to autism, at least not directly.
There’s a large portion of the daily challenge that’s autism related but there’s other portions that are simply typical kid behavior. The boys fighting is something that brothers do. That’s pretty normal for brothers to fight and I totally get that having 3 brothers of my own.
Autism tends to make things a bit more intense because of triggers and a difficulty reading body language.
This is especially true when it comes to Gavin and Emmett. Neither of them can accurately read body language and social cues. Emmett does okay most of the time but Gavin is clueless in this area. It’s simply a skill he doesn’t possess. That’s totally fine and not meant to be an insult.
The reason I bring this up is because often times, these brotherly fights are triggered by simple misunderstandings. I can’t tell you how many times Gavin gets upset because he doesn’t recognize that someone is joking around. He tends to take everything very seriously and things like sarcasm and humor go right over his head.
I don’t know that this is something that can be taught. At least, I’ve not found a way to teach it.
What I have done is work with all my kids on one some thing. That is not to assume you know someones motives for doing something. I teach them that if their brothers say or do doing that’s upsetting to them, rather than react emotionally and go on the offensive, we can ask them what they meant. More often than not, they will learn that they took it in a way that it wasn’t intended.
My goal is to help avoid conflicts by encouraging good old fashioned communication. People in general don’t talk enough anymore and while I can’t necessarily teach my kids to read body language, I can reach them seek additional information before reacting. That’s my hope anyway and in the absence of other options, it’s all I have at the moment.