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Gradually understanding what he can't do

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
741
Basingstoke, Hampshire
While out shopping this morning my husband wanted some flowers, so I bought a bunch. He carried them home while I pulled my shopping trolley. When we reached home he asked me where he should put the bunch of flowers. As I was pulling the trolley into the kitchen I just looked up and said "lay them on the counter in front of the toaster and I'll sort them out in a bit". He just stood and looked about the kitchen, then looked at the toaster and waited. So I then just told him to lay them on the counter which he eventually did. I realised that he was struggling with a two fold command. One, to lay the flowers down and two, to find the toaster.

It's like using the words "and then". I'm trying not to do that now. He can't cope with a two fold command. "Put your jumper on and then comb your hair". The truth is he'll probably only do one of those, whichever is the most important one for him. It's all taking a bit of getting used to and I must admit that sometimes I feel he's just being difficult but he isn't. It's down to me to do everything in stages, one step at a time.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
462
Mid Lincs
Yes I found the same. Once I realised I was over loading him with too much info at a time and started to simplify instructions we got on much better.
I now only ask 1 thing at a time, Would you like a biscuit? If he says no I then ask if he would like a slice of cake, I don't ask which he would like any more.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,812
Yes, one thing at a time. That's is quite a enough, complex instructions just do not work. Xxx
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,448
N Ireland
I'm another advocate of the 'one thing at a time' theory. I discovered that necessity very early on, along with repeating commands with the exact words to ensure they are heard/understood.

I have also found that it's useful to point if I want something put somewhere specific as words like counter may not be taken on board.
 

Martarita

Registered User
May 11, 2018
112
I'm another advocate of the 'one thing at a time' theory. I discovered that necessity very early on, along with repeating commands with the exact words to ensure they are heard/understood.

I have also found that it's useful to point if I want something put somewhere specific as words like counter may not be taken on board.
Hi there ,after reading these posts I've realised ,that is what is happening to my OH I must be overloading him when I'm giving instructions as to what I want him to do , I'll remember now ,one thing at a time .thank you all ,for posting this I've learnt something else from talking point .take care all .x
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,072
Scotland
Absolutely right. "Sit down on the bed and take your socks off and put them in the laundry bag" is two too many instructions. " Sit down John". " Take your socks off". " Now put them in this bag".

It took me a while to realise he couldn't process several instructions at once.
 

WA123

Registered User
Jan 20, 2018
85
We're on holiday in Orlando at the moment and have just been to the supermarket. In the past this has been great fun as it's so different from home and we were both laughing and joking as we went in. It didn't take long before I realised my husband had become monosyllabic and irritable and I started to get cross. Then I realised that he was on sensory overload. there was so much choice, I was talking non-stop while pointing things out to him and he just couldn't cope. I shut up and walked on in silence leaving him to work through it all on his own and after around 10 minutes he was back to normal. Just shows how important it is, as Rosetta T says, not to overload with information whether instructions or noise or people. Whenever my husband is irritable I now really try to look around for the reason. There always is one.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,812
There was a good programme about autism overload, I think there are similarities, sounds became too loud and too many diverse noises, light was too bright, too many people and too much going on.
Not only one thing at a time, but I find a good pause in between helps too.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,212
South coast
Yes, my OH is the same.
If we go somewhere where there are lots of people,or lots of things happening, or to a place with bright sunshine or a lot of noise OH just goes into shut-down; you can almost see his brain grinding to a halt.
Holidays are a no-go now because of this and he is beginning to dislike going out of the house. He likes silence, routine and predictability.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,812
Just the same here,
Quiet routines, mine does like going out if cake is involved however comes back and sleeps. Very little interaction knocks him out.
 

WA123

Registered User
Jan 20, 2018
85
Yes, my OH is the same.
If we go somewhere where there are lots of people,or lots of things happening, or to a place with bright sunshine or a lot of noise OH just goes into shut-down; you can almost see his brain grinding to a halt.
Holidays are a no-go now because of this and he is beginning to dislike going out of the house. He likes silence, routine and predictability.
We can still do the holidays as long as I plan carefully. Out of season, self catering and, interestingly, somewhere neither of us has been before. Think the last one is because there's no expectation on him to remember anything from before and it means we're discovering together. This time I also plucked up courage to suggest assistance through the airport (on the basis that we would get seats together and fast track through security without having to pay extra) and he agreed!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,212
South coast
Treasure the holidays as long as you can @WA123

The last time we went on holiday (small self catering cottage, somewhere quiet where we hadnt been before) I had to pin post-it notes to all the doors and cupboards so that he could find his way around (there were only 3 rooms including the bathroom) and work out where things were kept. He spent his whole time indoors in front of the TV. I left him one day and went into the nearby town, but couldnt do it again and I thought to myself - we could be doing this at home and saved a fortune!
 

WA123

Registered User
Jan 20, 2018
85
Treasure the holidays as long as you can @WA123

The last time we went on holiday (small self catering cottage, somewhere quiet where we hadnt been before) I had to pin post-it notes to all the doors and cupboards so that he could find his way around (there were only 3 rooms including the bathroom) and work out where things were kept. He spent his whole time indoors in front of the TV. I left him one day and went into the nearby town, but couldnt do it again and I thought to myself - we could be doing this at home and saved a fortune!
I do realise it won't last and it's the reason we've come to Florida this time as I think it will be our last trip here. It's still not the sort of holiday we would have done in the past but am most definitely making the most of it. So far the planning seems to be paying off and currently he's better when we're away than when we're at home anyway. He starts to relax as soon as we're out of the drive but this is all about living in the moment isn't it so will do the usual of watching and waiting to see how things develop. This is definitely a learning experience.