Why is your loved one is so insistent on having things done his or her way? And why is he or she so furious, insulting or aggressive when an alternative is proposed?
This is where we find out, by personally experiencing it.
We begin by looking at typical child behavioural development.
Picture yourself as a baby. Most things you want come to you, or come fairly quickly after you cry: food, hugs, a nappy change, entertainment. Since your initial focus is entirely on yourself at birth, in your Own World almost entirely, you must feel pretty much in control when everything you want is given to you.
Consequently some children develop a sense of omnipotence, that they are in control of all within their purview: after all if all they want is provided, what further proof is needed? In cases where they are thwarted, they can either object violently, or construct elaborate justifications in their minds why things didn’t work out as expected.
As a growing child, is only after you continue to make Real World Connections that you begin to understand the “otherness” of other people, you begin to see from others’ point of view, that they too have needs, and it is only fair to give them a turn of what they want sometimes. You begin to co-operate, and through successes gained via this co-operation you begin to understand and appreciate its value.
But you don’t give up the Control illusion that you once had lightly! There are conflicts between self-needs and others’ needs (and of course there always will be..!). At around the age of 2 your unreasonable demands not being met may translate into tantrums – hence the term “the terrible twos”.
The fantasy of retaining supreme control is particularly common amongst boys. They pretend they are superman or similar, and have great powers over others, often well after the age of 2, but it is mostly recognized as fantasy and its strength diminishes over time.
But here you are as a more-autistic person, more Withdrawn, and not exposed to the increasing amount of reality-checks that others are getting. You are not developing that sense of “otherness” of other people, that sense of their separate identities, their needs and rights.
(For some reason in autistic-analysis circles this phenomenon is given the important-sounding title of “Theory of Mind”, and it appears the exponents imagine this to be an immutable condition, when it is just a consequence of your slower understanding of interaction due to being more Withdrawn, less exposed to the Real World.)
Here comes the trouble that happens as you get older:
people start to demand that you do take turns, that you do what you are told to do, even if you don’t want to do it. That you co-operate. (Because there is an expectation that by a certain age you have come to understand this ‘otherness’ business..! But unfortunately you are still stuck in the “me” focus of babyhood, and you don’t understand the reasonableness of others’ needs, you think that people are just becoming increasingly unreasonable.)
They keep imposing more rules, and you do not understand or accept that they have a right to do so. Naturally you vehemently resist this alarming trend, making your divine displeasure known!
Because you have a baby’s attitude you still retain the idea that others are vassals, to do what they are told, being less important than you. (Maybe that is where Arrogance, the curse of mankind, originates!) As your mind matures in some areas, you find it easier to create justifications for why sometimes your omnipotence is not as all-pervasive as it should be.
And as said before in the ‘You experience Anxiety’ section, in order to retain some little control over what is going on, you create Routines; with structures you have set up, you know how they proceed and you know how they end. At least here there is predictability and certainty. Woe betide anyone who gets in the way of your one method of keeping your sanity!
At this point you really need to be helped to understand that you are not just being subjected to an increased number of arbitrary rules. That the rules can be understood if you become more acquainted with the Real World, because it is here that interaction rules were created and are fundamental to co-operation between individuals.
The best way to acquaint your Loved One with the Real World is via Real World Training, now available via the Home Page of this Site.
For Juniors we demonstrate the fun of Real World interaction through the medium of games. The games are pitched at the elementary level for your boy or girl, understanding that co-operation is at the heart of the fun being had, but only going on for as long as it remains fun.
The crucial part of each game is for the Child to voluntarily enter the Real World for the game to start and occasionally to ask that it keep it going. The games’ focus is on making sure the feelings of enjoyment are uppermost.
The more Real World contacts that are made, the more reality-connections are achieved: and gradually your Loved One comes to actually understand why it is reasonable to relinquish the protective illusion of Total Control, in the interests of co-operative fun, instead of feeling imposed-upon unreasonably.
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