Thursday, August 31, 2006

Asperger's and talking obsessively

I think that the families of kids with Aspergers all know what it's like to listen to their child talk on and on about a favorite subject. Will doesn't do this too much, or maybe we are just used to it and don't mind listening. After all, lots of people talk too much about themselves or their specific interests. But even so, this kind of behavior does not endear anyone to the person on the receiving end of the conversation.

What we've been doing lately with Will, to kind of jar him into paying attention, is to ask him -- whenever he's talking on and on about a video game, or a commercal, etc. -- "so, do I look interested?" or "Hey, Will, is Dad paying attention to you?" This sounds so nasty, really, and I kind of hate doing it, but when you realize that Will has been talking for ten minutes about the Sly Cooper game, never looking up once to see if Dad's listening, it's time to point that out, and to remind him that if someone's honestly interested in his topic, they will look him in the eye. As harsh as it seems to point this fact out to your child, in the long run it could save them from some hard times in middle and high school.


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