Nag, nag, nag

February 25, 2010 at 5:37 am 5 comments

     Every day I walk a tightrope. Sometimes I fall off on one side; sometimes the other. I’m afraid I fall off more on one side than I should, and have visions of C, all grown up, sitting in a therapist’s office, talking about his Mother (definitely “Mother” with a capital “M” in this scenario). Yet the other scenario is perhaps even worse: C all grown up, wondering why I didn’t do anything to help him learn what he needed to know.

     So nearly every day, on the drive home from school, I listen to C’s stories of interactions he had with other kids (and am thankful he is able to tell me about them, fragmented as they sometimes are). I gently, nicely try to guide him toward learning how to navigate this mostly neuro-typical world in which we live. C needs to know that when he continues to actively befriend what I call a “frienemy,” he does something very kind but also sends the boy a message that he will tolerate the taunting and torment that occurs daily and is coupled with confusing “let’s be friends” messages. C also must learn he shouldn’t stare out the window at the neighbors and that perhaps everyone that walks down our street isn’t interested in seeing all 103 of his Mario trading cards.

     Somehow natural consequences, arguably the best teaching tools, don’t always sink in completely and clearly. They don’t transfer to the next similar situation. There is little generalization between events. So I try to explain it to him. I feel as though I’m acting as C’s navigator in the ways of this admittedly crazy world we call social skills, but my mind tickles with the possibility that the message comes across as something altogether different. I worry that explaining certain – what I used to call – “universal truths” might sound as though there is an underlying critique of C and his ways, and I never, ever want to send him the message that the way he is wrong. He couldn’t be more right.

      So what’s a parent to do? I suppose the only thing she can do – tread lightly, Mother, tread lightly.

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

Innocence gained Keep it simple, stupid

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. therocchronicles  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I worry about this too. I worry that he will feel “all wrong,” I worry that he will remember those times I completely lost my cool, I worry…and I try to do as you do, tread lightly, when I can.

    for what it’s worth-I think your doing an awesome navigation job!

  • 2. robinaltman  |  February 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I’ve already reserved my kids therapy appointments for when they turn 21 so they can start criticizing the way they grew up. The earlier you start, the earlier you get over it.

    I think kids are lucky to have us. It’s next to impossible being a parent. Let’s go out for drinks and toast ourselves.

  • 3. 5kidswdisabilities  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Social skills are always a challenge. At least he can talk about it, which is great!!!
    Lindsey Petersen

  • 4. mommy~dearest  |  February 26, 2010 at 6:50 am

    For the record, my son would totally be interested in seeing C’s 103 Mario trading cards. 😉

  • 5. elizabeth  |  February 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    My son has a Mario behavior chart so he would be transfixed by the trading cards too!

    I find myself holding my breath when I pick him up from school (he’s 8), and waiting to hear some positive peer interaction. If I do, I’m happy but if I don’t the worries start.


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