Thursday, October 18, 2007

What Frankie Needs

Mrs. Butter B asks:

Out of curiousity, does Frankie do better when everything is highly scheduled? In talking to a friend who has a daughter with Aspergers, she mentioned that if things are not tightly scheduled, she melts down and obsesses over stupid ridiculously unimportant stuff. Like whether the hairbows on her baby dolls are tied evenly. Or if the decor statues are facing the same direction. Perhaps Frankie needs less freedom mentally- the old "idle hands/devils workshop" thing. Maybe he needs to have a typed out, detailed schedule for every waking minute, and it needs to be mostly work, very little play. At least on some level, work rather than play.

My response is that I hope not, because if he does he is in the wrong home. That is just far more than we can do. We do hope to get him more scheduled. Hubby is planning on taking the boys to the Y two or three times a week. I hope that Frankie will get regular OT and/or speech therapy, and the social worker says she has started the paper worker to get him a PSR* worker.

All that should occupy him.

Hubby and I did talk about whether we were going to make it with him, or whether he was going to make it with us.

As I see it there are two main issues. The first huge one is his school. As regular readers know, he does not like it. He thinks he was mislead about it (a not-unreasonable claim). He believes he does not need their behavioral program and that he is not learning what he needs to learn. I think he is mistaken on both those claims.

In any case, his attitude has been that if he can't get out of the school and stay with us, he will leave us and the school. Some days he is all worked up about that and somedays he is calm about it. His position has remained unchanged however.

Eventually this issue must be addressed. When it is, he may leave. Personally, I would like that to happen sooner rather than later. (Not him leaving, mind you. I want the issue confronted.) From what I understand the agency worker is trying to coordinate with the state worker so they can present a united front and be clear about what his alternatives would be. If he leaves here, will he go back to a group home, or will he go to another foster home and be given a chance at a traditional high school?

The second we will be crashing into in a couple of hours. You guessed it: WoW. Since we know about the patch he downloaded, he is going to be taken off-line. We are easing into it as best as we can. Over dinner we talked about what other games he liked and I said that I would buy him something to "diversify" his playing time. He found an old computer game we already have that he says he likes. I said I would buy him either the Sims or an Age of Empires game.

We are giving him a couple of hours to think about these alternatives and hopefully work up some enthusiasm for them.

And then we will tell him that he can't play WoW anymore. We will tell him, truthfully, that his teachers, counselor and social worker have all been trying to persuade us for weeks to take him off WoW but that we resisted. Downloading the patch after he had been warned against downloading anything without permission has changed our minds.

I don't know how it will go. Perhaps it will be fine. It is possible that saying "we are thinking about doing this terrible thing unless you can convince us otherwise" sends him into a state of anxiety and that "this is the way life is going to be" is something he will accept.

Or perhaps he will spiral off into another episode like Tuesday night. If he does, Hubby gets to take him to the emergency room this time.

I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. I hope everything goes well.

    Just so you know, there are similar patches to what you encountered for the Sims. Except, he would have to go online looking for them. I think I understood you're going to make sure he's completely offline, but I thought it was worth making you aware.

    Something interesting about the Sims though, is that you can set up your family any way you like: Man/wife, man/man, wife/wife, children or not, etc. And make them look however you want. It could be interesting to see if he goes about it randomly, or if he sets up the kind of life he wants.

    You can probably tell, I used to like to kill time with that game.

  2. I can't speak for Sims since I've never played it but I've played Age of Empires and it is fun. There is also the Civ games. I've been playing these for years and have been teaching my 12yo nephew so they might be ok. Less of right or wrong choices. The earlier versions are simpler. CIV IV is a little more complex but could be played.

    I hope your weekend allows for some rest and clearer heads.

  3. i remember my older nephew getting all into the sims between 9 and about 14. i seem to remember elaborate homes, themed rooms, themed families, themed floors, all sorts of cool stuff. if he could dream it up he put in the sims game. frankie might enjoy that, maybe not so frustrating.


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