Friday, April 25, 2008

Bad Boy 101

When you have a child in recovery from autism you say things to them that you do not say to your other children. Jake is frequent visitor to the principle’s office. Enough so that Lizzy has taken to saying, “I’ve never gone to the principle’s office.” He doesn’t understand things that the rest of us intuitively understand. Things like before you do something wrong, look around to make sure no one will see you do it. So, the other day while we were driving in the car, Jake complained about getting into trouble. I said, “Before you do something that you know you’ll get in trouble for; look around first to see if a teacher is looking at you.”

There was a horrified gasp from the back seat and Brianne said incredulously to me, “you’re telling him to break rules.”

“No,” I responded, “I’m telling him how to get away with it.” Actually, I feel I’m giving him survival skills. I also told him not to tattle (I know it makes me worry too), and that he can’t make someone like him so please, please just stay away from that person. That part of his brain doesn’t work right so I try to give him some helpful hints.

I’m trying to explain acting cool to him right now; and as any of you that knew me in high school know that’s the blind leading the blind. Yes, I’m the one that spent every 10th grade bus ride home for a year pretending to be a DI cheerleader.

I’m not trying to mold a future criminal. I’m trying to mold someone who understands at least some of the unspoken rules. And anyone who has a slightly “colorful” past is welcome to explain more PG-13 rules to him or at least teach him how to be cool.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Children are frequently naked in my house. My older son runs from his room to the bathroom in his birthday suit and clomps like a horse. My younger, special con, generally prefers to be naked and covered in pillows.

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