Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

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rachelk
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:34 pm

Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

Postby rachelk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:39 pm

This is a story I think a lot of parents of children with autism can relate to about obsessions and fixations: http://themighty.com/2015/09/why-its-ok ... icrowaves/. :wink:

Santosg
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:33 am

Re: Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

Postby Santosg » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:19 am

Thanks for sharing your story.

I think that autistic obsessions should always be treated as a means to an end and not an end in itself. Obsessions act as powerful motivators for autistic children and can help them encourage socialization and verbalization. Obsessions should be something that can be used as rewards as well as activities that are shared between parents/caretakers and children.

I think there is a danger is embracing these obsessions, simply because it will inevitably develop into a hindrance to autistic children's development if these obsessions are not managed in ways that help the child actually overcome their communicative and psychological difficulties. Agreeing to demands on a regular and repeated basis, particularly when these only feed an obsession have long term negative consequences. Put in another context, these become clear. Imagine a child who always wanted cookies. At some point, it becomes obvious that one cannot simply agree to provide them as it is going to take a toll on the child.

In my view, autistic children must learn to hear 'no' as regularly as neurotypical children. In fact, the sooner they understand this word, and more to the point, recognize that behavioral tantrums only provide negative reinforcement, the sooner we can diminish and extinguish obsessive behavior.

In a sense, sure, its 'okay' that your son is obsessed with microwaves. I guess in some politically correct kind of way. Lots of people speak about autism, but few are actually focused on simply developing ways to help autistic individuals cope in the world on realistic terms. Certainly, you'll never find people telling you something different to your face. We also have a tendency to simply think of this path as the most loving. But that's just polite company will reinforce. As parents with children with autism, it certainly is not something that should be cheered or embraced. If they are 20 and you've done everything that you can, it makes sense to find acceptance and there are certainly children that--despite any number of interventions--never seem to 'improve.'

Having said that, I think you would be better spent thinking about establishing a behavioral program that helps your son communicate, socialize, and break obsessive compulsive patterns. One day he'll be a man, one day he won't have you, and the world is a cold world. Habits that are tolerated or cute for children can have very negative consequences for children and adults.

I think it is worth looking into an ABA program and working on helping extinguish these goals. That does not mean denying him his hobbies and interest, but simply using them in an appropriate, measured, and goal oriented manner that helps you expand behind the obsession.

Who your son will be is and open question. The fact that he has autism does not and should not have to be the defining characteristic of his life. So, 'embracing autism' by indulging a set of compulsions is actually a way to really limit his potential development.

B.L. Pike
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:29 am

Re: Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

Postby B.L. Pike » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:47 am

Rachel, I do hope this is a story lots of us can relate to, because it's not so much about obsessions as it is about us parents learning how to grow with and through our kids with autism. Parenting should be fun and have its moments of intense pride, but so many times our worry and anxiety about our kids makes that nearly impossible. The message here is that we can experience mutuality and pleasure with our children in unexpected ways, especially when we're willing to tune into their perspective. Maybe we can even get better and better at expecting joy instead of frustration in our interactions with them and with others. The mom who wrote this has experienced the wonder that belongs to all parents, and her delight with her discoveries is an encouragement to us all. Lovely, lovely story of one mom's growth. Thanks for posting it.
B.L.

B.L. Pike
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:29 am

Re: Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

Postby B.L. Pike » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:47 am

Rachel, I do hope this is a story lots of us can relate to, because it's not so much about obsessions as it is about us parents learning how to grow with and through our kids with autism. Parenting should be fun and have its moments of intense pride, but so many times our worry and anxiety about our kids makes that nearly impossible. The message here is that we can experience mutuality and pleasure with our children in unexpected ways, especially when we're willing to tune into their perspective. Maybe we can even get better and better at expecting joy instead of frustration in our interactions with them and with others. The mom who wrote this has experienced the wonder that belongs to all parents, and her delight with her discoveries is an encouragement to us all. Lovely, lovely story of one mom's growth. Thanks for posting it.
B.L.

Babydoll1998
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:01 pm

Re: Why It's OK My Son Is Obsessed With Microwaves

Postby Babydoll1998 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:19 pm

Well, at least he's not obsessing over a fictional character in a sitcom, and the person who plays her.

My daughter is obsessed with Phoebe Thunderman, from Disney Channel's The Thundermans. She spends all day looking at Phoebe and quoting her lines. She even plans to be Phoebe for Halloween. She took the obsession too far and is now obsessing with not only Phoebe, but the actress who portrays her in the show, Kira Kosarin. She looks at both Phoebe and Ms. Kosarin at unhealthy amounts. She even has a whole bunch of fan mail for Kira Kosarin. I'm afraid she's stalking her.

This is a concern for me. What if people think she's a lesbian? I asked her how she feels about Phoebe/Kira Kosarin and she said she gets "good feelings" and "cuddles" herself every night (she literally hugs herself and rolls around her bed) thinking about them.


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