Dissociation

Dissociation is so annoying sometimes!

It is important to be aware of the word dissociation.  A child with any type of autism will not always be telling a lie  when they say they cannot remember something from the past.  However, this only normally happens when they are put in a traumatic or stressful situation.

Mind can’t cope!

Dissociation is the minds way of coping when something traumatic or stressful takes place.  Dissociation is such an annoying word sometimes!  I’m sure most of you will

I never did

have heard of it by now, especially if you live with a child who has Asperger’s or any other type of Autism or ADHD.  Dissociation is when you child does something or says something and then completely denies it when you ask them about it later.  This is often because they just cant remember doing it.

Alfie and I  had a case of dissociation today that goes back to when we went to watch the Stereophonics at Wrexham last week.  All the way there Alfie said that although he likes the Stereophonics, they sound the same live as they do on their album.  Today, over a week later, and Alfie brought up the subject again and……………

If Freddie says it, it must be true……

Alfie: ‘Well, Freddie Mercury used to hate bands that never added any variation to their songs when singing and playing live’.

Me: Well, you said that about the Stereophonics and they surprised you when we saw them didn’t they?

Alfie:  NO THEY DID NOT!

Me:  But you told me they had added variation just before we left.  They were playing  Mr and Mrs Smith at the time.

Alfie:  I absolutely did not!

At this point I just accepted it as another case of disassociation.  There was no winning and to carry on would have caused a meltdown and i didn’t fancy that in the middle of the doctors waiting room, so I left it there.

Up until the time I started to write this post I never gave it much thought but now I have, I’m guessing dissociation kicked in because he found himself in a really noisy place, surrounded by strange people.  This would probably be traumatic and stressful for anyone with Asperger Syndrome.

Mislaid earplugs.

He didnt have his special noise cancelling ear plugs this time either.  We remembered about them just before we left and then couldn’t find them.  I knew it wouldn’t be as loud as watching Queen and AL live because they were in an arena.  Stereophonics were playing the football ground.  I made sure he knew this before we left and because he plays his guitar very loud in the house he said he would chance it.  If it got too loud he said he would have to put his fingers in his ears.

I have to laugh about dissociation otherwise I would cry.  Sometimes I look like a right idiot because of it!  For example, we will be at Grandma’s house and I will be having a conversation with her and say ‘oh you said that the other day didn’t you Alfie?’  ‘No I did not!’ would be his reply. GRRRRR!

I often find dissociation comes in when he has a meltdown too because when I question him about things he has said during one of these episodes he can never remember saying it.

Pushing him out of his comfort Zone CAREFULLY.

Recently I have been making him come to the shop with me.  I tell him what I want and ask him to get it and pay for it for me.  He knows he will have to do it at some point in his life so accepted that he had to do it and just got on with it.  I was so proud of him of at the weekend. He looked so damned nervous and vulnerable standing there, waiting to pay at the counter for two bottles of pop.  He did it though, which was one hell of an achievement for someone who has never done it before.

How did it make you feel son?

As we walked out of the shop I asked him how he felt during the time he stood waiting to pay for the pop.  He said he felt shaky, and that his mind went black for a few seconds.  He also said he became sweaty and that his heart was racing.  I asked him if anything else happened. He said no so I said next time it will get easier.  He was gutted at the thought of having to perform the task again.  He has to keep pushing though and not give up.  I wont let him.

Do any of you have the same problem?  I’m told it’s a very common trait.

You can find more on dissociation here.

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