Is it any wonder I’m finding gray hair?

June 17, 2010 at 5:16 am 13 comments

     Lately I’ve been trying to give C a little more independence. Even though he looks (and often acts) five, he is in fact nine years old, and he’s been telling us exactly how he feels about his 7:45 bedtime (it’s for babies, even though he needs his 11 hours of sleep desperately), his booster seat (also for babies, but he’s not even 50 pounds yet and is a foot shorter than most of his peers), and anything else he feels is not deserving of his nine-year old status.

     So as I watched him round the corner into our small town library to return some books while I waited in the car, I thought it might be time to revisit the subject of “stranger danger” and how C would handle an approach from a stranger without me by his side. We’ve had the conversation before (see here), with minimal success.

     “C,” I asked upon his return, “what would you do, if after you got around the corner where you couldn’t see Mommy anymore, a man came up to you and asked you to help him find his puppy?” 

     “Oh, I’d help him, that would be nice,” C said without missing a beat.

     I did my best to explain why he should never do that and what he should do instead, complete with running, screaming, and kicking if he had to.

     “Kicking?” he asked, shocked. “Wouldn’t I get arrested?”

     I once again explained that he should do whatever he needed to do to get away from someone offering him candy, asking to help find a lost puppy, or to get in their car. He seemed perplexed. I asked the question again.

     “I would run,” he said, “as fast as I could to your car, and ask you for a piece of paper and a pencil so I could put up a ‘lost’ poster on the tree.”

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

Breaking bread and bridges That’s exactly how it feels

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pixiemama  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Oh my. I fear that’s the one that would get my kids snatched too.

    My 7- & 9-year-old are going through this “that’s for babies” bit lately, too. Doesn’t help that I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, too, and I need to somehow keep things *fair*


  • 2. Cheryl D.  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:12 am

    That is a funny story! This book may be kind of young for your son, but the Berstain Bears have a really good book on stranger danger. We bought it for our daughter, and I think she gets it.

  • 3. therocchronicles  |  June 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Oh man. So scary. So very scary. The things they say really make you stop and pause while your heart clangs and bangs in your chest imagining them in all their innocence.

    I have a skunk streak on the back of my head (under a lot of hair, for now) wonder where in the heck that came from?…

  • 4. goodfountain  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Sometimes they are just not as ready as they think they are.

    I do admit that i love C’s kindness.

  • 5. Caitlin  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Scary…. but eqaully sweet. There is something so precious about that innocence – unheard of at age 9. With autism, gifts and challenges are often one in the same.

    I let Simon scooter to the park across the street by himself the other day. He just turned 7. My blood pressure felt like it was steadily rising with each minute that passed, until I caved and went to the park to check on him – I think I lasted 10 minutes 🙂


  • 6. junglejulie  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    C…….I adore you to pieces….be safe my youngest friend ❤

  • 7. statia  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I struggle with this topic every single day. Mine is only three, so still very young, and we’re trying to ingrain in him, that we don’t talk to strangers, and he loves to play a play scheme where I say hi to a “stranger’s car.” He finds it amusing, because he just doesn’t understand.

  • 8. fiona2107  |  June 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    That’s a precious story but frightening all the same!
    I have tried to do the same with my 10 yr old and my 6 yr old with similar success 😦
    However, I have been told that these children will understand it if the situations “actually” arises.
    I’m clinging to that!

  • 9. akbutler  |  June 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    A constant fear of mine as well, but I do admire his kindness and empathy for the lost animal 🙂 I can’t even get him to understand why going out into the street is dangerous, let alone going somewhere with a stranger. Sigh. I too have many gray hairs, covered so nicely thanks to a fantastic hairdresser.

  • 10. robinaltman  |  June 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    My kids are paranoid about all strangers. I’m afraid they’ll kill one of our neighbors by mistake.

    C is so kind. You’ve got to love him.

  • 11. Elizabeth Channel  |  July 3, 2010 at 9:40 am

    We are working on the independence thing, too, and have been letting E go (like around the corner at the pool for a few minutes with his brother) and little things like that. I still panic, though, when I can’t see him because he is so, so impulsive I never really know what he will do…it’s the impulsivity with us that is so hard to work on.

  • 12. Sparrow  |  August 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I’m still working on those lessons. I’m 43 and just last year I had an unpleasant incident. Afterwards, someone kind explained to me the rule that you don’t take presents from people you don’t know.

    I knew you don’t take packages or luggage from strangers at the airport, but I had never extrapolated that rule to “don’t take presents from strangers. Anywhere.”

    I can use the word “extrapolated” in a sentence but I don’t know all the stranger danger safety rules! Talk about “uneven development.” That’s Asperger’s for you.

  • 13. gaizupath  |  November 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I must say, I love the kindness of C. One more thing, you should know that I do have a lot of gray hairs 🙂


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