Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Bubba and Moose both have favorite interests. While Moosie seems to be into something for quite a long time (his repertoire has expanded from pads of paper and trains to also Dora, cars, Bob the Builder, and puppies), Bubba rapidly cycles through many (specific video game, specific movie, various modes of transportation, dinosaurs, and specific songs).

We tend to go with whatever the interest may be, and work it into whatever we are doing be it homework, dinner, playing, activities, etc.). Not normally a problem, but lately it has been a problem since Bubba wants to play Lego Star Wars at the nextdoor neighbor's house. I've tried explaining to him that he can't play over there every day, that showing up at someones house and requesting to play their game isn't a nice thing to do, that running out of the house or climbing out the window to get to the neighbor's house isn't safe...

From the expression on Bubba's face , I'm pretty sure Bubba has no idea what I'm trying to get across to him when it comes to the social rules, but I don't know what else to do really. He will sit on our porch or watch out his window and wait until he can play nextdoor. And yes, if it was up to him, he'd wait for 5 hours or even 5 days, asking me every minute if he can go nextdoor (or taking it upon himself to go)and repeatedly asking me "Why" questions until I get frustrated and say "We are not going over there today. Not today when it is sunny. Not today when it is dark." Of course that sends him into a tailspin. And then it's only a matter of time before he asks when he can go over there again.

Of course when I tell Bubba he can see if Neighbor Boy can play, Bubba knocks on the door and says "Can I play Lego Star Wars" to whomever answers. I suppose it appears rude, but Bubba has progressed from just bursting through their door and go for whatever piqued his interest.

Honestly Bubba likes playing the game with the neighbor's little boy. It is something they can do together, and Bubba doesn't have to worry about his self-control as much as he does when they are playing outside. So what if he doesn't add "...with Neighbor Boy" to his question.

Bubba is my social boy, the one who always wants to be around kids but doesn't know what to do exactly, who doesn't quite get the social exchanges correct, and who sometimes hurts others usually because of his self-regulation/sensory issues (running too fast, swinging without looking, playing "too rough," throwing toys, etc.).

How do I teach this to my child who wants nothing more than to be with the neighborhood kids but is already being called "weird" and is avoided unless no one else is home? How do I teach him that he can't be around kids jut because he wants to, that they might reject playing with him or simply that playing with them isn't an option at a give time?

Moosie could care less about any other kids as long as his brother is nearby or he has objects to happily tote around. But Bubba. Bubba who lives in the present and doesn't do so well with delaying gratification. Bubba is a different story.

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