03 August 2011

Interruption

My son is a big interrupter, and if he has a particular behaviour that I think might hold him back in life, it's the interrupting. He is capable of interrupting once every two minutes for an hour straight, it seems nothing we try can help him, and it's not for lack of effort on his part. The urge to speak when he needs to is very powerful.

I was talking about interruptions to an adult friend of mine recently, a woman who also has Asperger's. Anyway, my friend told me how she actually has to literally bite her tongue to prevent herself from interrupting during conversations. There are things she desperately wants to say, and she really wants to say them NOW. Her desire to blurt them out is incredibly strong, but even so, she will virtually injure herself to stop from offending you by interrupting.

This gave me cause to pause and consider the magnitude of the problem, and the effort required to resolve it.

My son tells me that he interrupts because he feels he has something important to contribute, but he worries he will forget it when it's finally "his turn" to speak. We all feel this at times, but given his difficulties with executive functioning (organising/planning his thoughts), and some challenges around impulse control, I can understand his position and how it might be harder for him to control the interruptions.

This week I am paying him to not interrupt me in the mornings, thus my capacity to bring this to you. Money is a good motivator for him at the moment, so I'm using it to try to create a different habit in his daily routine.

It's Wednesday though, and he's really struggling to hold it together. He's slipped up four times already this morning, after a difficult night's sleep.

As much as this is a challenging issue, it is difficult for all parties, not just those of us who are being interrupted. I feel like I now have a little more insight into why so many years of work have made so little inroads into this issue. Hopefully sharing it here will help you to find that Place of Patience in your heart when conversing with your favourite Aspie.

No comments:

Post a Comment