Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A pinch and a bite, and a splash of Autism.
How do you sit down and make a list of what is, "typical" 5 year old behaviour, and in the same breath make a list of what is, "Autistic 5 year old behaviour". How does it match up?
I know plenty of "typical" 5 year old boys, who like to rough house, push, kick, bite, pinch, and everything in between. It doesn't make it right, but it is nice knowing what when your child with ASD does these behaviours, it is normal for the age group. I often will post on Facebook if Owen does this, or he is a victim of one or all of these behaviours, why yes it is normal for the age group, it means a bit more to use in the Autism world, and I want to explain where I am coming from.
When Owen first entered school, he was the victim (for the most part). Owen didn't know how to hurt someone, he wasn't the aggressive child, he was filled with hugs and kisses and drama cries when he didn't get his way. I could live with that, for sure. Then when they start JK, it is full day - there is a HUGE spectrum (lol) of children, tattle tales, criers, bullies, smarty pants- all kinds of kids, kids that are the prime role models for my child with Autism. See, that's how my child will learn social skills, your children are teaching them. Your child is teaching them how to take turns, how to play, social cues - your children are the best teachers we could ask for, and while it is wonderful, it can also be scary for us.
Owen has picked up a TON of good behaviours from his class environment, but he has also picked up some aggressive ones. This year so far has been one of the hardest. There is a child in his class who is very aggressive, goes after the teachers, is mouthy, and who screams very loud, this child has needs as well, so I understand - but I also find it frustrating because Owen has learned these behaviours. Since September, Owen has gone after one of his teachers, he has bite this child who slapped him in the face a few months ago, he has pinched another child, and he is mouthy, he is loud, and this week he went after his teacher to bite her and then slapped his EA. He has now taken the title in his class as, "the most aggressive kid".
We didn't know he would do these things; because there was no precedent with him before. So when they happen; it is heartbreaking and frustrating. It also could be he is aging, he is getting older and with getting older comes new behaviours - and why am I concerned, because your are right, plenty of, "typical" children do these as well, and they grow out of them, right?
For sure.... but, for a child with ASD when they learn these behaviours, we pray that just as fast they will unlearn them, as these behaviours can stay with the child for year, maybe for the rest of their lives, there is no guarantee the behaviour will ever leave, and that is the scary part.
and to be honest, I want zero part of aggression stickin' around.