World view

January 27, 2010 at 6:38 am 6 comments

     Once during our particularly ugly battle with the shall-remain-nameless-Montessori-school-from-you-know-where, we hired an outside consultant who evaluated kids with autism. She went into the classroom to observe, spent a lot of time with C at home, and participated in his IEP process. She was one of the most amazing people that ever worked with C, and many of the things she wrote about in her report have stuck with me all these years later.

     At the time, we were dealing with some pretty defiant behavior that made us want to pull out our hair. If C didn’t want to do it, he just didn’t. We had to motivate him to do just about everything that wasn’t on his “I want to do” list, and it was frustrating to say the least. Ms. Wonderful said to us that these high functioning kids are often extremely bright, and they truly don’t comprehend why they aren’t in charge. It’s not that they think they are smarter than their parents (although C probably does, and he probably is), but that they just think they should have control of their world and everything in it.

     Those words came back to me in force today, when after asking C to do something and he didn’t, I then told him to do it. He said, without any trace of irony, sassiness, or malice, “You can’t force me to do something.” He stated it in the same tone of voice he would use to tell us about the weather. “It’s 60 degrees outside, Mom, and by the way, you can’t force me to do something.”

     We couldn’t help it; the dam broke. Husband and I laughed long and loud. We try not to laugh at C because it does make him mad (mostly because he usually doesn’t understand why we’re laughing), but this time there was no containing it. Fortunately, we didn’t have to “force” C to do the requested task, as he did it anyway mere seconds after making his statement of the world order. We snorted away while all the while, in the back of my head, I acknowledged what I’ve really known all along: C is in charge, but I’ve got to do my best not to let him figure that out.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Eating my words It’s a new year

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marc  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Children are always in charge, it’s only when they chose to not be in charge, that we(parents/teachers/etc) step in. The trick is getting them to do what we want, but have them think it’s their idea. They get what they want and we get what we want.

  • 2. lynnes  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:09 am

    That is hilarious – and struck close to home!

  • 3. robinaltman  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Statements like that made in a “matter of fact” tone, have got to be the funniest things, ever. My kids usually insulted me in that tone by saying things like, “Mommies shouldn’t have so much hair in their nose.”

  • 4. pixiemama  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Oh boy. Your consultant hit the nail on the head at our house, too. I keep telling J – “I can’t MOVE him anymore,” and Foster knows it. EEK!

    Unlike C, though, Foster does like it when we laugh at the things he says – he thinks he’s a real comic. He also thinks everything he says is absolutely true.

    Either way, I get the feeling we’re going to be propping each other up in about 5 – 7 years, because… woah!

  • 5. Shivon  |  January 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Diego’s matter of fact tone while informing me of things I may not want to hear secretly tickles me…lol…and yes ma’am our babies are most definitely in charge

  • 6. kristi  |  January 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    TC hates when we laugh at something he says or does. He says, “you are laughing at me.” We try to tell him he is just a funny guy but mostly he gets ticked off at us!


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