He’s 10, but some days he acts like he’s 13. And I know 13 — I teach middle school. Even though my son is only entering 5th grade, and developmentally in a lot of ways is at about age 8, his body is dragging him into puberty at lightning speed. How do I know?
He doesn’t even understand what “attitude” is, but he gives it to me almost every day! When I call him on it, he thinks he said some bad words, doesn’t understand that the way you say things sometimes means more than the words you say. I’m not sure how this works with a kid with autism, how he can use attitude so appropriately, and not even understand what it is, unless it is masterful mimicry.
The non-compliance is not a huge issue. Yet. He has always been a fairly easy going kid, but remember the battles about the iPad? I’m at a loss in that arena. Lights Out is not working. For now, I’ve decided to let him learn the hard way, but when school starts, we’ll have to start fighting that battle again. And there are times when he just refuses to do what I need him to do (usually involving going somewhere).
Thankfully, these are typical behaviors for someone entering puberty. “He’s only 10!” The Man protests, but 10 is when it starts. My job now, is to help him find his way through this confusing struggle in the most constructive way.
Are you in the same boat and do you need ideas? Check out Chantal Sicile-Kira’s, The Autism Advocate‘s advice on Psychology Today.com. She’s lived it, and she’s an expert. I will also be on this by talking, talking, talking with his psychiatrist, his pediatrician, and his teachers. And to The Boy himself whether he likes it or not!
Been there, done that? Tell us about it.
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