Stranger Danger

January 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm 2 comments

     Like every parent, I recognize the importance of discussing the dangers of the world with our children. I struggle, however, with balancing the risk of an occurrence with not only the stress C will feel after a discussion about a potential dangerous situation (he is quite obsessive and worries a great deal about things), but also with him not recognizing a dangerous situation for what it is.

     C doesn’t generalize well. When we tried to teach him about strangers, he asked for months if the lady at the drive through at the “M” (McDonald’s) was a stranger, and could he ask her for ketchup? We tried to explain that adults at school were always safe as therapists and evaluators are constantly coming to get him from class, but then I worried he would think the creepy guy standing at the playground fence was a safe person to approach. He views everyone in the world as a friend, and while I love that sweetness about him, I also want him to be safe.

     When his teacher discussed fire safety, we wrestled with what kind of family emergency plan to make. If we teach him how to get out of his windows in the event of fire, he’ll be ringing the doorbell at our neighbor’s house at 3 a.m. simply because his room feels warm. He just doesn’t make the connections most people make, despite the fact that he is very bright. I used to joke that people who were very intellectual had no common sense (and vice versa), but I’m seeing the truth in that with my own child, and it scares me for him. It’s as if every single situation needs to be treated individually, and it makes teaching him how to respond extremely difficult.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , .

Bargaining The road less traveled

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hfamom  |  January 30, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I know exactly what you mean! It’s such a fine line between being obssessed and being observant…

    We work with J on understanding that when we say NOW– we mean NOW! “Don’t question it– just do it.” (And we are really careful to not cry wolf!)

    I wonder what the experts say about this… I wonder how other parents deal with it.

  • […] an approach from a stranger without me by his side. We’ve had the conversation before (see here), with minimal […]


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