As a parent of an atypically blessed child, so much of my time is spent trying to figure out what is "age-appropriate" behavior.
I don't have another 10-year-old typical boy, not a cousin, not a typical friend that I see often, nor do I know what typical 10-year-old boys enjoy doing these days.
So yesterday, when Jake pulled out all the swear words he knew and whisper-screamed them at my back in anger, half-holding them back and half-saying them loud enough for me to hear, I started laughing.
I actually had to go in the next room and shut the door so he wouldn't see me.
Yeah, the string of expletives included a word that started with "F" (thank you dudes on the metro see Rhymes with Duck) and ended with "cracker" (thank you former bus attendant) -- I admit, I was even shocked.
But think about the amount of social-emotional awareness he needed to perform this perfect act of inappropriate, anger-induced cursing! (I thought kids with autism couldn't do that?)
Yes, I had the thought to get mad: which only gives Jake what he wants.
I had the thought to wash his mouth out with soap: but I don't believe in that for many, many reasons.
I almost yelled: which could have caused an aggressive meltdown, and I'd end up injured.
So, Chris and I decided to ignore the language in the moment and out-smart and out-logic him once everyone calmed down.
Bingo. We win.
So next time you see your spectrum child exhibiting irritating NT behaviors, think before you act. How long have you been wanting and aching for typical behavior? (good or bad)
Do you really want to punish it away?
Or correct with a frank discussion when it's done?
Then realize what it took for him to behave so typically.
I am in no way condoning the language, but just think about the smart way to handle it, before you fly off the handle.
Weigh your options folks... look for the positive... and be miracle minded!
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