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Autism news: Dealing With Irrational Fears Part II
April 15, 2019

Last week I talked about how we should show understanding to our kids who suffer from irrational fears, even when we can’t see why they are afraid.

But what if two people with autism have opposing hangups? If you have two children with autism, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

But this can happen with just about any two people, especially children.

Recently my autistic friend who I’ll call Jack developed a fear of playing a certain music album. My son C who has autism believes he must play music albums in a specific order. The album that Jacks dreads to play is somewhere in the lineup. That means that sooner or later C thinks he must play it.

How do we handle such a conflict?

I’m sure there are many ways to solve this problem. But I take this approach—priority goes to the one with the greatest fear.

Jack has a paranoid fear of playing that album. But my son is simply “stuck in a rut.” Since C is feeling less fear, we cater to Jack’s hangups.

So I have to gently explain to C that he can play any other album except that one.

My son will usually accept this after a short period of trying to get his way. But until he gives in, I have to keep insisting that we can’t play that album.

We usually download albums and play them from the laptop, so an even better solution would be to send that album to the “trash.”

Out of sight, out of mind. Later on when Jack feels better about the album we can upload it again.

C also has his own fear-filled hangups. He’s afraid of playing the car stereo, which is why we have to play music on the laptop.

Once in a while we ask him if he’s okay with playing an album on the car stereo and he always says no. I think it’s because he’s afraid it will be too loud.

As long as he has a fear of playing albums on the car stereo, we plan to continue respecting his wishes, even if we would prefer to turn on the car stereo.

Here again, the principle is to cater to the one with the greatest fear.

That’s my way of handling conflicting hangups, but I’m sure others have found effective solutions. If you know another way to solve this kind of problem, send me a message and I might be able to share your answer in an upcoming email.

Warm Regards,

Kay Donato

Discover Autism Help, LLC

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