I’ve been noticing lately that the whine factor really seems to spike when my son is overwhelmed. Whether it’s due to a disrupted routine, overloaded senses, or he’s simply hit a frustration point, that nasal twang tends to appear whenever one – or more! -of these three factors is in play.
We’ve worked on the whine. We’ve been working on the whine for years. And we continually make progress on it.
One of the problems, however, is that he doesn’t hear the whine himself. It’s all part and parcel with not interpreting tone of voice. Anyone’s tone of voice. It’s also the reason so many Asperger people speak in a monotone… they just don’t hear inflections in the same way.
So we ask him to listen to what he sounds like. To pause, take a deep breath, and consider his tone of voice. It’s sounds like very basic stuff, but for him it isn’t. It’s downright challenging, especially when he’s already in the overwhelmed whiny mood.
In other words: Rewind, and do it again.
It’s a good game. It gives my son a second chance to consider what he’s about to do or say, and to make the correct decision. It also reinforces and practices that correct behavior choice. For instance, an AS girl I know has acknowledged anger issues, but she’ll ace an anger management test every time. It’s not about knowledge in a vacuum; it’s about doing the right thing at that crucial moment.
As for now, we’ve successfully transitioned from that fresh-out-of-school uncertainty to summertime ease. Therefore we’ve seen a marked decrease in the whine. Thank heavens. The new routine has asserted itself, and all is good with the world.
But when we do hear that fingernail-on-chalkboard sound, I’ve been known to ask him outright, “Want some cheese to go with that whine?” 😉