The Navigator comes into my office and reads my computer screen over my shoulder.
When Autism Dad and I are talking, and the Navigator comes into the room, he demands to know what we are talking about.
He tries to listen in when I want to talk to his teacher, after we have asked him to sit down.
He simply doesn’t want to miss anything, doesn’t want to be excluded. There is an intensity to his desire that I am certain is part of his pathological demand avoidance: I feel better when my world is managed and I will be better able to manage my world if I know everything that is going on.
As he gets older, there is less and less social tolerance for his intense desire to know everything, however.
It starts to look to others like he is minding someone else’s business, that he is not respecting social boundaries and privacy.
It is important that he learn the social boundaries of information sharing and how to respect them – talk about an abstract concept!
But how to teach him about the levels of information sharing that comes with different relationships?
I have been thinking about this a lot – worrying about how we may have waited too long on this lesson and it might be harder to teach him now than when we was younger.
I have to remind myself that when he was younger, we were managing a new Autism diagnosis and figuring out what we needed to do. I have also been thinking about how to teach my visual learner who likes to read – I need a picture with some words to accompany ongoing conversation on the issue.
I came up with this
I was inspired by a graphic developed by E Learning for children to better understand appropriate levels of trust and touching.
I tried to convey the levels of general sharing of information in various relationships, both that the Navigator might want to share as well as that information the Navigator might want access to from others.
Along with ongoing discussion from Autism Dad and me, hopefully this will visually help him better understand how to share information depending on his relationships.
It will hopefully also help him understand that expected access to information from or sharing private information with strangers and acquaintances is socially unexpected behavior.
Are there tools and strategies that you have used with your child regarding sharing information?
If you would like to download a pdf of this graphic, please click the link below
Please remember that I am not any kind of expert, just a mom trying to help her child. This is not intended to be used instead of getting professional advice, or instead of anything a professional has recommended, and I strongly recommend consulting professionals, and doing a lot of research and reading to figure out how to best help your child.
Another example of a tool to teach a child about information sharing is on the Mosswood Connections site (http://mosswoodconnections.com/privacy-circle-2/). Check it out, too!