Tuesday, November 27, 2018


A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to our school psychologist about B-man, she'd been evaluating him for his autism/special education reevaluation.  She mentioned that he didn't seem very interested in conversations.  I've noticed this before.  He's very interested in telling you what he wants you to know.  He's not very interested in what you have to say, even if it's on the topic that he's interested in.  

Here's a typical "conversation":

B: Momma, what is XYZ? (it doesn't actually come out this easily - he has 4 or 5 starts and stops to make sure he says it the way he wants)

Me: I'm not sure, buddy. I can look it up at home. 

B: But what do you know about it?

Me: Nothing but I have a feeling that you do.Why don't you just tell me. 

B: OK! (Launches into speech on XYZ)

The point wasn't really to find out what I knew, the point was to tell me what he wants me to know.  The question was just the conversation starter that he picked up some where. 

The school psychologist suggested giving him a formula for conversations.  Thanksgiving morning I decided to broach the subject with him since we'd be with family in the afternoon.  Here's what we came up with...

I added the "Excuse me" to try to avoid him says "What!?" when people talk to him. He was on board until the last step of asking the other person a question. "Why do I have to do that?!?"

I reminded him how going to his friends black belt ceremony showed his friend that he cared about him.  I said the question at the end was the same way. It shows the other person you care about them. 

"What do I even ask them!?!" I told him he could just ask the question they asked him. 

He practiced with my mom and asked her what kind of dog she wanted to get.  This was great but also about him because he's super interested and invested in her dog.

Everyone is our family loves and does well with B but I have one nephew who really does a great job with him.  That afternoon at Thanksgiving, I told Max that B was practicing conversations.  Max tried it out and B did really well.  It didn't last long, Max asked how B's day was, B replied good and asked Max how his day was, end of conversation. Not too long but he followed the formula. 

Later in the afternoon Max & B had a boxing match. B won once and Max won once.  This, of course, did not sit well with B.  He's very competitive.  I loved it because he needs to learn to lose when it's safe.  Anyway, he's hacked off and I thought I could get his mind off it.  I called him over to the table and asked another family member to practice conversation with him.  That did not go well.  He was still too mad.

When I dropped him at church Sunday, I reminded him of his new skill.  After church I asked him if he had a conversation with anyone.  He looked at me like I was nuts, "No!" Oh well, we'll keep practicing and sooner or later it'll take hold. 

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