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Autistic brother is driving me crazy! watch

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    I love my younger brother, he's 16 and autistic and hes driving me nuts!

    Last year my mum got my a cat and I love her to bits, but the thing is my little brother has taken a shine to her and treats her like a toy. He's only interested in playing with her and will pester her for hours to play with a string or getting her to chase stuff. When she gets tired he doesn't leave her alone no matter what we say. He also has a habit of blocking her in and sticking his hand infront of her face to prevent her escaping.

    He shuts her in his room, earlier I went in looking for her and he had her backed up in a corner with a pillow to prevent her moving, I was horrified and for the last hour he's been trying to shut her in his room for the night, despite the fact she eats/drinks and goes to the toilet throughout the night. I'm desperate to go to sleep, but I'm worried about her and he keeps standing outside my room in the dark to lure her out, then I go make him stay in his room and yet he keeps coming out and doing it again. I've done everything to convince him but he doesn't care that the cat has needs. I'm going out of my mind here and I don't know what to do with him anymore. I dread to think of the day I'll become his main carer as he refuses to co-operate with loads of things as well as this obsession with the cat.

    What the hell can I do?
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    Have you tried to dissuade him from doing that by saying something like "the cat will go away if you don't stop annoying her/him"? :erm:
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    (Original post by KJane)
    I love my younger brother, he's 16 and autistic and hes driving me nuts!

    Last year my mum got my a cat and I love her to bits, but the thing is my little brother has taken a shine to her and treats her like a toy. He's only interested in playing with her and will pester her for hours to play with a string or getting her to chase stuff. When she gets tired he doesn't leave her alone no matter what we say. He also has a habit of blocking her in and sticking his hand infront of her face to prevent her escaping.

    He shuts her in his room, earlier I went in looking for her and he had her backed up in a corner with a pillow to prevent her moving, I was horrified and for the last hour he's been trying to shut her in his room for the night, despite the fact she eats/drinks and goes to the toilet throughout the night. I'm desperate to go to sleep, but I'm worried about her and he keeps standing outside my room in the dark to lure her out, then I go make him stay in his room and yet he keeps coming out and doing it again. I've done everything to convince him but he doesn't care that the cat has needs. I'm going out of my mind here and I don't know what to do with him anymore. I dread to think of the day I'll become his main carer as he refuses to co-operate with loads of things as well as this obsession with the cat.

    What the hell can I do?


    i can relate in some ways to this as i have a younger sister who has Downs Syndrome, usually children with conditions like this they create a bond with an animal such as dogs, cats etc, but they dont realise that after a while the animal has to rest,it cant just keep playing and playing because they want it to. Maybe you should sit down with your brother and calmly but firmly tell him that your cat isnt a play thing and like humans it needs to rest to, then tell him that in the morning he can play with her again
    hope this helps
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    Does the cat usually sleep in your room with the litter box and food/water? If so could you look at getting a lock for your door?

    Also how highly functioning is he? Could you realistically get him to understand that he can't do this to the cat?
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    You can't do anything. You could only make him feel better. Take him to see animals, explain in scientific terms what is going on. I have 2 brothers that are autistic. One is not even conscious of when I am hurting... And I mean physically... He might hit me and keep beating me until he realises... we helped him through it... but it was a LONG process.... you can't do anything
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    You are frustrated with your brother and how he treats the cat. There's really only two options here: get rid of your brother, or re-home the cat. The first option is obviously ridiculous, but I really would suggest the latter, if I was in your position. I can't imagine the cat is really enjoying your brother's behaviour.

    It seems like you're more attached to the cat than you are to your brother right now, but be objective - you can't have him treating the cat like this forever.
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    get him lego/tower blocks in excess, will distract him instead
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    It's just like Lenny from Of Mice and Men, he loved animals, yet he didn't know his own strength. It's not his fault, just try to understand that. Yes, the cat is important, but nowhere near as important as your brother.
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    The only answer is to get a cage.

    Edit: For him, not the cat.
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    Have you discussed this with your parents? Surely that would be the first thing to do?
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    this is awful :[ the poor cat. it doesn't deserve to be treated like that just to entertain your brother. if this sounds harsh then sorry: disabled people shouldn't have animals if they obsess over them like that, it's not fair for the animal. it's cruel. i know he doesn't understand and it isn't his fault. so maybe you should take the cat to the RSPCA.
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    Pillow.Face. Done.
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    (Original post by UniversityLAD)
    The only answer is to get a cage.

    Edit: For him, not the cat.
    :indiff:
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    (Original post by Fjarskafinn)
    You are frustrated with your brother and how he treats the cat. There's really only two options here: get rid of your brother, or re-home the cat. The first option is obviously ridiculous, but I really would suggest the latter, if I was in your position. I can't imagine the cat is really enjoying your brother's behaviour.

    It seems like you're more attached to the cat than you are to your brother right now, but be objective - you can't have him treating the cat like this forever.
    Bit extreme, you just need to turn his attention to something else maybe?

    OP's situation just makes it even more apparant that the world will be a better place when we have robots, a robot carer or 'friend' for disabled or handicapped children will never tire become bored or get fed up with teaching rudimentary things over and over and over, and will never become angry and frustated from having to repeat something over and over.

    I'm assuming that even though he may never understand what hes putting the cat through, that he still learns in the same way as a toddler etc?? In that case maybe you'll just have to repeatedly take the cat away from him and tell him to leave it alone until he gets the message. If it works for toddlers and dogs surely it'll work for anyone lol
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    Re-house the cat and get your brother a toy cat/teddy bear to play with.
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    I'm not more attached to the cat than my brother, that's a silly suggestion, my worry doesn't lessen my love for him, I'm barely two years older than him and we've grown up doing everything together.

    We've sat him down and explained countless times to him that he must learn to co-operate on a whole range of issues, but if it isn't done his way or what he wants he refuses pointblank and nothing will change his mind.

    I'd hate to rehome my cat, she's a lovely little thing and is absolutely adored here, plus my mum and dad are extremely attached to her, I think re-homing her would be out of the question.

    But thanks for the suggestions, even if some did recommend cages, at least they made me chuckle.
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    That cat is eventually going to take it out on your brother. Sounds harsh, but maybe it is the only way to teach him a lesson. Maybe if you calmly explain to him how the cat must feel and try and get him to understand how frustrating, annoying, and frightening his actions are from the cat's point of view. But it sounds as though you've already exhausted all reasonable, viable options of explaining it to him. I'm sorry to hear how frustrating and exhausting it must be for you and your parents.
    Tough love may have to be an option. Maybe you have to let the cat get so fed up with his behaviour until it lashes out on him. God knows when I was younger I was a pain in the a** to my cat, and she took it out on me. A little scratch taught me permently that the cat didn't like it, and I didn't treat her that way ever again.
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    Not knowing your brother means it is hard to really suggest anything particuarly targeted (or helpful?) due to the wide nature of autism.

    One approach may be to get your brother to list what makes him feel 'good' and what makes him feel 'bad' or 'uncomfortable' or unable to cope. Then talk about what the cat does and how it makes the cat feel (rubs itself against things to feel good/to calm). Suggest whether the cat feels good or bad when your brother does his actions. It may for example go, 'You do not feel comfortable when a stranger hugs you, the cat does not feel comfortable when it is locked in your room' This of course depends greatly on both ability of communication/understanding and the traits of autism. I would suggest this approach more for aspergers syndrome.

    Another approach (if this is too 'much') may be to use a 'choose to do the right thing' saying. If you demonstrate clear rules regarding the cat and listing them as right or wrong. A reward scheme of golden time or praise to reinforce choosing to do the right thing (and not locking the cat up!) and perhaps thinking chair time, or loss of priviledge when choosing to not do the right thing. This is perhaps a more flexible approach.

    I work as a teaching assistant at a special needs school, and a lead play worker at a special needs play scheme and these are amongst a few ways i feel you could 'challenge' his behaviour.

    Despite this I give this advice AS IS, it does not purport to represent any government set approach (SEN or otherwise.) and i do not claim this to be professional opinion or advice! (ie dont sue me! )

    If you just want to talk further feel free to PM me
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    I would explain to him why what he's doing is wrong, and explain that he needs to stop doing it. Autistic people often bond more readily with animals than with humans (I'm closer to my dogs than I am to anyone I know) and there is also a very good chance that while this behaviour appalls you, he doesn't realise it's wrong. Autistic people don't understand that their actions affect other people most of the time, or if they do understand that people have emotions, they may not extend this to animals. Find a way of explaining why it's wrong to him.
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    Buy him Minecraft. You won't see him for months.
 
 
 
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