Monday, December 1, 2014


My son had his doctor's appointment recently and we are starting the journey of testing him. I'm pretty confident that he is my incredible aspieboy. I have no fears or doubts about it. He is what he is, and has been since birth. I am amazed at the mechanical and engineering genius he could be someday. His brain works in ways that I can't even comprehend. And I've always known deep down. But it is getting to the point where we need some tools now to find out how to be better parents and for me to be a better teacher to him as well. 

The most frustrating thing is that I have Aspergers, so I "should" know how to help him. But he is different, so he needs different things too.
The benefit of the situation is that I have Aspergers. So I know most of what I'm dealing with.  But what about parents who don't, who have kids that do? I know there is a lot of denial out there because you don't want to have to face that your child has a significant struggle. Luckily these days for the most part kids aren't missed because the school system very quickly runs into problems and they usually get them addressed. Sometimes that is the first time the child shows any obvious problems. I suppose also that doctors will see and help with some of the more obvious ones before school age. My guess is that this happens quicker and more easily in kids who have obvious issues. But what if the kid just tends to be stubborn or annoying? What if they are just quirky? What if they are just peculiar? What if they are just their own person? Well, isn't everyone just their own person? That doesn't mean they are normal in all cases.

My biggest fear? That parents will try to punish the behaviors out of their children. I and so many other adults getting diagnosed these days are proof; you can't punish autism out of someone. It isn't bad behavior, it's brain functioning difference. And those brain differences are on purpose! This isn't a mistake!

However, it seems most parents these days would just view it as bad behavior, terrible twos, trying threes, pre-tween angst, typical teenager or whatever other child related negative title you want to give them. But no matter what you do, you will not retrain an autistic brain to not display certain behaviors. In fact, trying to do so can be harmful, just as it is agreed now that telling children to suck it up is harmful. Even if you succeed in forcing a child to bury their autistic behaviors, it is just going to show up somewhere else. 

I once read something about babies when my son was a baby. Fulfilled needs go away. Unfulfilled needs turn into undesirable habits. If someone is hungry, and you don't feed them, they will find a way to fill that need, even if that means eating paper. (Just an example). Feeding a hungry child makes the need go away (at least for that mealtime - haha!)

The brain causes different behaviors in autistics. Trying to force autistics to bury those differences will only show up as some undesirable habit somewhere along the line. You may succeed in burying whatever autistic behavior you don't like for the moment, but you're causing either you or the child to suffer with whatever the result of that is. I think it is better to support a person where they are at, rather than force them to be something they are not. 

I feel like this post is getting a little blabby and wordy, so I'll stop for now. But I wanted to pop in and post something, as I've been a little out of it lately. Thanks for following!

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