Sibling Strife, Autism-Style

R desperately wants to be involved with everything that the Monster does.

I don’t think, of course, that R causing strife is really the intention – I think he just wants whatever the Monster has at the moment.  As a result, though, he’s always doing things that cause problems from Monster’s point of view.

Since I’m working from home today while both boys are home, I’m also getting to witness this.

For instance – the Monster wanted cereal for breakfast this morning, and I gave it to him.  While I was heating R’s breakfast – a pancake – I could hear noise of the spoon being jostled about in the bowl… and emerged to find that R had lunged across the table and spilled the Monster’s cereal everywhere, which of course upset his big brother.  This was easily repeated twice more before I had the pancake out from the microwave and cut, and before I got them onto the couch to watch Sesame Street and eat in peace.

And this was repeated at lunch time, when R decided he wanted the Monster’s yogurt.

It’s a fairly common thing through the day, though.  If the Monster has a toy, R wants to play too.  If the Monster’s on the couch, R wants to be there too.  If the Monster’s on his way to the car, R wants to go out… and the Monster’s just getting to the stage where he doesn’t want to share.  This, therefore, usually entails a fight, yelling, or perhaps even some hitting when we’re not there to stop it.

Worst, though, is that the Monster doesn’t really know how to express it in a way that R’s going to understand – he parrots the, “[R], stop it!” that we used to use with him and do now use with R, but of course R doesn’t change how he’s behaving at his age (or want to understand).  But at least the Monster’s starting to learn how to ask for space…

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