I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just typical – social skills and the autistic child

[Fast forward to real time for my annual gloat]

Of course the disappointment stems from faulty expectations on the part of the parent, but it stings none the less for that. I think most parents find that the pin pricks of their children feel like personal stabs. It’s part and parcel of being the adult. If you are the adult, then it should be you who is the rational being and dismisses these petty hurts.

When you see the real glee in the typical child’s eyes on arrival for a play date, your chest swells with vicarious pleasure. When you explain that ‘electronics’ are not permitted until 5, you also recognize disappointment in the visitor. The declaration of universal boredom, coupled with discrete enquiries as when mom will be collecting, tells you really all you need to know.

But it is delightful to clock the social skills of your own children, as they attempt entertainment, joke telling, alternative toys and different options. Each accommodation is offered verbally, in a reasonable tone of voice, evoked from genuine concern. They also cope with the repeated rejection, that nothing is acceptable. But when the sulks come on, I have to acknowledge that they have reached their current limit, as they have exhausted their stock of social skills. Their bank of social skills, is larger than I had appreciated. They look at me for a cue or possibly a clue. The guest hides under the stairs, but he is young. I guide my boys away to let him cool off.

Admittedly this is a best case scenario, when my boys are on their own home territory. They may not be able to repeat the 'exercise' elsewhere. [translation = inability to generalize skills] As a pair, they were able to help each other fill in the gaps and probably would not have done as well on their own. Nevertheless, in my mind it is a coup.

When the coast is clear, I see him run upstairs to join and play with the other typicals. I know that he will re-appear at the stroke of the hour, like magic, ready to turn on the charm again, as well as the ‘electronics.’

All children have ‘off’ days, [translation = bad ones] but it wasn’t my children who sulked. They're so few and far between, those opportunities to crow, so I hope a small gloat, once every 12 month, doesn't count as a mortal sin!


AS said...

You've got my support! Gloat away!

mistrust.music said...

Hello there
Came across your blog when I was looking for somewhere to get my stepson's own blog noticed. He's 14, and has PDD-NOS, which means he has most of the traits of Autism/Asperger's, but not the diagnosis.

Paul's very insular and doesn't talk to anyone apart from members of his own family, plus some kids at school. He's very good at copying other children's and adults technical skills - he's good at golf, cricket, football, but stick him in front of an audience, he'll freeze and can't do anything.

Somehow he's got the blog bug and will put things in writing about how he feels, when for years he wouldn't open up.

Please visit his blog at:


Anonymous said...

Gloat once every 12mths??? Nope.. anytime is fine.

Gloat away :)


Haddayr said...

I am proud of them and extremely annoyed with the little boy who just wanted to play video games.


Joeymom said...

Wow, your guys did great! Having a kid who will only play video games is a little disturbing. I'd have him checked out. ;) You must be doing something right to have such well-behaved and concerned children. Good for them, and good for you!

mommyguilt said...

Gloat away! Gloat every day!

Hey congrats for making the TOP Kristina's list of awesome blogs to read!!!!

Melissa said...

Gloat away!!! You are right about watching these kids social skills. When they outshine the "typical" peers, then you should do more than gloat. You should party! :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm gonna have to come back here again.

Anonymous said...

Gloat till you bloat! I think that those good moments are more than deserved, don't you?

They are doing well. You are doing well. The cats are holding their own. (smile).

mjsuperfan said...

Hey, just think, your boys are "modeling appropriate behavior" for peers. How nice is that feeling? All your hard work is paying off.

Marcus said...

awesome blog. Check out my friend laura's blog. http://www.paulnlaura.com/mommy/

kristina said...

We'll allow you to gloat a few more times this year....only if you share it all with us!

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