Thursday, January 12, 2012

Using Autism as an "Excuse"

For close to a year after my son's Autism diagnosis,  I would use the fact that he had Autism as an "excuse" for his behavior.  Whenever I would be out in public, if he acted up, I would say, "oh, it's because he has Autism."  I felt like I had to tell every person I met whether they wanted to hear it or not.  I came to the conclusion after that year, that the best thing I could do for my son (and everyone else) was to set limits and get him into some kind of routine.  I think all kids crave routine, but kids with Autism especially like their routines!!  They like things that are predictable such as riding the bus every day to school, eating the same kinds of foods, going to bed at the same time every night (a big one for my son!!)  and reading a favorite book, just to name a few.  My son used to have a really hard time transitioning from one activity to another.  Between the great teachers he has had at school and us working with him, he has come a long way and is able to go between activities much better.  I have found that with my son I can't just say, "come on, time to go!" and then just go. Setting a time limit using the kitchen timer has worked well because he is so visual.  I can point to the timer and say, "see, we're leaving in five minutes."  He understands that much better than telling him we're leaving in five minutes - he hasn't quite grasped the concept of time. My son also knows that if I raise my voice even a tiny bit to get him to do something I want him to do, that I mean business.  I haven't had to give him too many "time-outs" as a form of discipline.  Just the threat of one is enough! My son is still a "work in progress" as I like to call it because he still has a hard time verbalizing when he is upset, mad or frustrated, we kind of go on how he acts.  That's the way it was before he was verbal and still continues to be sometimes.  I no longer blame his behavior on his Autism, I instead work on changing those undesirable behaviors.  Since I decided to do that, things became much more calm and smooth in our household!

1 comment:

  1. I'm autistic and I'm in marching band and three honors classes. My teachers push me as hard as, if not harder than the other students. I feel that it's an excuse to say "No excuses" and prove people wrong.

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