Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Avoidance, Aspies, and Aaauuuggghhh!!!

Lately, what we're dealing with is avoidance.  Avoiding chores, avoiding work, getting frustrated when the work of a week has to be done in a day... in short, teenagerhood.  But teenagerhood on top of Asperger's can be a real pain in the ass neck...moving gradually lower.

The one, singular, salient reinforcer I have for son 2 is his PS3.   Unfortunately, one reinforcer should usually only be tied to one behavior you're trying to elicit.  And he has a lot of behavior that needs curbing about now. 

While he's enjoying the paychecks that come from his work as son 3's PCA, he avoids the paperwork that makes them come here.  He has already experienced that sending in the paperwork late means no check that week, but is tending now to kind of use it as a bank account - waiting it for it to build really high and then send it in.  He's not allowed to do this, the payroll lady has informed him, and so he is trying desperately hard to get his timecards in on time.  The problem now with the timecards is that he tends to want to fill them out during his established work hours, which creates the problem for us of having son 3 unattended. 

Aside from that, he needs to learn how to speak respectfully to employers and to his client.  If son 3 is having a meltdown, telling him to "shut up" is not the best idea, as it's hardly calming.  But, being an aspie, he fails to be able to apply the reasoning that he wouldn't like it, if it were his meltdown.  Yes, brothers do, occasionally say things like that to each other, but he's on the clock and he's supposed to be learning professional behavior.  He often reacts and interrupts my interactions with son 3, providing me a translation (inaccurate) of what son 3 is trying to say.  Now, I appreciate that he's trying to listen, but he's better off using the Dynavox or trusting what I hear, since I've been listening longer.  Imitation is also not a particularly strong suit, at least not when it comes to social interactions.  He doesn't quite "get it", and watching those who do is helpful in a minimalist sort of way. 

If I am telling him a job that needs doing for son 3, and he says, "It's not time for that yet, I have an alarm set in my phone."...that may be true, and it may be 5 or even 10 minutes early, but that is not an appropriate way to say that.  Quite matter-of-fact in typical Aspie form, but still mildly disrespectful, and any other employer or client would think he was batshit crazy a snotty little brat.  More appropriate would be, "I thought that was in ten minutes?"  But, no. 

Soooo...the thing is...which do I tie the reinforcer to first?  The paperwork, because that will affect his ability to keep the job in the long run - as it is the only area of his job that currently deals with people who are not related to him and therefore more tolerant of batshit craziness.   Yes, I realize that the respectful speech has to come too.  But first, he needs to keep it right with the outside world.  If he doesn't have this job, he likely won't get any job, because his other issues will get him fired before the first pay period ends.  I need him to have a job, because this is a training ground.  Now, I can require that he re-do things till they're right, and that's not a problem. He isn't getting off scott-free on the other issues.  I don't allow him to record any time spent arguing with me or the client on his timecard, because that's not what they're paying him for.  Time spent re-doing jobs isn't recorded either.  Not on the timecard.  I do require that he keep a running record of time he's lost, and then at the end of the week we add it up and figure out how much money he lost out on because of laziness and arguing.  It's not as salient as the PS3, but it does seem to be having some sort of effect. (Besides having him notice that "mom is mean.")

Anybody else have ideas for reinforcers or solutions to my dilemma?  We'll be going with this plan for this week and I'll keep you posted.

We're all in this together,


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good plan to me. I figure go with your gut, they're gonna blame you and hate you anyway. And yes, avoidance is majorleague big here right now too. Loss of allowance and computer time. Nasty tones and nasty attitutdes. Aint life just drives you batshit crazy LOL.