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My SS can turn a saint into a demon within 3 sentences

EveryoneLies's picture

I truly don't know it's a teenager thing or autism thing at this point. DH and I both are exhausted from interactions with SS. 

If you talk nicely to him he would think you're in a play mode and nothing you said matters. If you yell at him you will get his attention and get stuff done but then he'll act like a victim. Neither DH nor I like to yell. I don't really yell but I sure am not the nicest person when talking to SS. 

Because of COVID we all stuck at home, SS being on the spectrum is the loudest person in the house. Today I told him to please stop cranking up his volume when on a call, because DD in the next room could literally hear every word he and his classmates are saying. Most people would be feeling bad and apologize so everyone could move on. NOT HIM.

Instead of feeling bad he started arguing with me about he ONLY turned the volume to 50% (50% on different devices have different impact. We all know this, but he doesn't. To him 50% is 50% and it's the same everywhere). I asked him why he can't put on his headphone. He has 3 sets, mind you. He then started to argue that he will yell through all his sessions. 

By the way, this is probably the 1000 times I had to talk to him about his volume since the lock down. So it's not like this is something new. I couldn't take it anymore so I asked DH to deal with his demon son. Turned out dad had JUST talked to the son this afternoon about being mindful to others under the same roof, SS promised he would change (like the million times) but he sure hasn't. 

At least he apologized to his dad. I really don't like being around this boy.



tog redux's picture

Well, if he truly is autistic, then he lacks empathy and he takes everything literally.

So DH talking to him about being "mindful" is pointless, he doesn't understand other people's feelings. And you saying not to "crank the volume up" also doesn't make sense to him.

So find the settings on his devices that he needs to leave it at and tell him that. Too bad electronics don't have numbers for settings, but you seem to use percents, so use that - "Turn that device to 30%".  And repeat that.  Give him literal instructions for everything.

But also - he needs consequences for arguing.  "Turn that down to 30%" needs to be done immediately, and not with an argument (he can ask to clarify, but not argue).

EveryoneLies's picture

He actually understand this specific term. He's quite high functioning. We had both kids in virtual camps all summer so they've been in online classes and know the drills. It was a constant issue of his volume, either he turns the device loud or yells through. So freaking frustrating. His device being loud was also an issue before when he listen to music, but the consequence is that he can lose his music if he decides to be dramatically loud (like everyone can hear even with doors closed loud), so that fixed the loud music issue. We can't tell him he will lose his class time though, that sounds more like a reward XD

The 50% is not the same across all device however is a new one that we need to explain (ugh). I don't know why he can't just HEAR that it's loud.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This seems like a combo of teenager and autism.

He may not understand that 50% differs by device, but he seemed to grasp that 50% is too loud if he told his dad he'd be better going forward. It sounds like he just doesn't want to listen to YOU and is willing to argue with YOU.

Agree with tog on the solution, though. Set limits on volumes on his device. If he goes over, there is a consequence. Having autism isn't a "get out of jail free" card. It's "jail is going to be different, but it's still jail". You may have to explicitly state what the boundaries and rules are in very concrete ways (think "rule lawyer"). 

EveryoneLies's picture

He argued with his dad too. Same reasoning used. But dad was not able to keep his voice calm (like me), so SS apologized to him. Like I said, being nice to him doesn't work. I feel in some way he trains us to talk sternly with him and we (fear that we) trained him to only respond when someone's angry. 

We do enforce consequence but it's getting crazy and both DH and I are feeling like we are bad parents. 

I put my boundaries very clearly, no ambiguities, but this is a person finds fun to find all the loopholes and then said "but you said..." *dash1*