Brotherly love, ASD style.

Standard

D hasn’t felt himself for several days.    Nothing serious, just the usual coughs and colds that do the rounds at school.

I also think he has missed his wee chum who has been off school for a couple of weeks,  but returned Wednesday.    I believe the relief for D came to a head and let him wallow in the self-pity everyone feels when they get a cold.

On Thursday morning, he was really putting on his  I don’t feel well act.      Any other day of the week I may have taken him a bit more seriously but he opens admits Thursday is the worst day of the week for him because he has gym. Now, he loves Tuesday gym, but its a different teacher on Thursday, and from what I gather, she pushes them hard. D always gives it his all, but that just doesn’t seem to be good enough so he is totally de-motivted to the point of getting upset at the thought of this session. I therefore just gave him some paracetamol, and told his teacher he was a bit below par. He got through the day, but was full of snot.

Friday he wasn’t keen to go to school, but got there with some effort. After school he was complaining of a headache, and by the time we got home, he was really feeling poorly. I snuggled him up on the sofa. M left the room, and returned with a bottle of water for D, as he was coughing. He just plonked it down on the coffee table and grunted he thought D might need a drink. Within half an hour D was rushing to the bathroom being sick. I went through with him, and M trailed in to see if he was alright! He seemed to perk up for a while, and managed some tea, before very quickly going down hill. When he was suggested he went to bed, he just started sobbing his heart out. Tears streamed down his face, as he complained about missing movie night. M tried to explain to him that being a long weekend, we could do movie night on Sunday night. There was no consoling him and he was quite aggressive towards M, who was doing his best to look after him.     A normal reaction from D would have been a mega tantrum, at the thought of changing plans, so the tears showed how unwell he was.

I managed to eventually get him into his bed, and he was sound asleep before 7am. M came through several times to see if he was OK, or if he needed anything.   He seemed quite worried about his brother.

I gave M a big hug and told him I was really proud of him for the way he had looked after D. He shrugged it off, and said because D wasn’t there, he’d chosen a movie to put on that D didn’t like but he did, as he couldn’t usually watch it! Again, there was another sign of kindness and consideration!      Having said that, I think M enjoyed having Mummy and Daddy to himself for a couple of hours.

D slept for a full 12 hours and is much brighter today – although he’s still not quite back to full strength. M has been fussing around him a little, which I think is confusing D no end!

I asked M if he loved his brother, as it certainly seemed that way, he thought for a moment and said, he only loves him when he isn’t well. It made me laugh!      I think he means its easier to show affection to D when he’s not well, because he’s less verbally aggressive to him at these times!

M often upsets D by telling him he doesn’t care about him, and we try to explain that he finds it hard to show how he feels. He has proved his caring side in the last 24 hours.

I would never force my children to be friends, but I will encourage them to understand that they need each other. My parents used to push my brother and I together, and force us into activities to make us friends. It didn’t work, and in fact probably went a long way to underlining that we didn’t understand each other enough to want to be friends. I love my brother, because he is my brother, but I don’t know him as a person to be able to like him. We have nothing in common and no understanding of each others lives so why would we be friends? I will always try to explain to my boys why being there for each other is important, but pushing them together isn’t the way to go.     They have to want to do it.

M has great problems showing affection, so to see the way he has fussed about D has been lovely. Now he is feeling better though, normally service has resumed and the nasty tone and aggressive speech has returned, from both sides. It was lovely while it lasted, I just wish it could have lasted longer as the constant nastiness is very wearing on us all.

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3 responses »

  1. Aargh… my parents try to tell me – “you should encourage your children to be friends with each other”. Well they are 12 and 14 and they are just not friends, and you can’t make people do something they don’t want to do.

    At least mine just ignore each other now and have grown out of the fighting that lasted for about two or three years (when they were smaller they got on OK.)

    Sounds like it is harder for you. All you can do is what you have been doing – which is a great job.

    • It’s a hard one, because M has no concept of what friendship means. He has no friends as a result. D is a total control freak and bully towards M, I believe as a result of being bullied himself. He knows in his own home he is king. I therefore spend a lot of my time explaining how behaviour they both demonstrate is not acceptable. It’s not they are being awkward by not understanding, their brains just aren’t programmed with the social skills they need to get through certain situations. Its therefore my job to keep trying to find a way that means the data input is set out in a way it can be understood, and acted upon.
      I just do the best I can to stop them harming each other most of the time!

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