Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where does Autism begin and end

Joshua is a great kid with a great personality. He is high functioning. He makes decent eye contact and plays well with one or two others. He gets lost in a group and doesn't seek out group games. He tells me all the time he is just shy. If he doesn't know the person or see the person very often he'll probably hide behind me and not say hi or speak to them even with me gently prodding him to do so. He is very smart and loves video games and puzzles and building with legos. He is very analytical. He loves his sister first thing in the morning but by mid morning realizes that it's more fun to terrorize her and annoy her. He's almost 6 and still pees and poops in his pants. He was almost completely potty trained but then regressed mid year of last year. He uses the potty most of the day but we still struggle with it. I'm hoping it fully clicks at somepoint.

Our biggest issue is discipline. When do we discipline and when do we offer grace because it's out of his control. How do you tell the difference between what is the autism controlling his actions or a boy misbehaving. I tend to fall on the give him grace and not be too harsh on him and my DH falls on the side of discipline.

In the morning when it's time to get dressed, he takes off through the house fighting us every step of the way. He thinks it is a game and is giggling the whole time and then we catch him and have to force his clothes on so he won't be late. Matt gets frustrated and Joshua gets in trouble. I get frustrated at Matt and at the situation because I don't know what the answer is. Matt believes that Joshua should be dressing himself every day. It's hard when you have a 4 year old girl who is fully dressed some mornings before I even wake up because she loves clothes.

We battle over meals every single day. Dinner time is a pita. We get him to the table and he takes one look and says "yuck" and runs off. We fight with him and force him to sit down and eat. This goes on a long time before we just tire and let him go off. Right before bed he cries he is hungry.

So where do you draw the line between disciplining for bad behavior and autism behavior? How do you handle different scenarios. I don't have the answers and am very lost. Emily is picking up on his "behaviors" which is aggravating. It's hard punishing one but not the other? How do you make the punishment fit the situation? On one hand, I know he doesn't get a pass in life because he has autism and I try to treat him typically but on the other hand I don't want to make things worse by punishing him for things out of his control. I don't always know what is and isn't his control and it gets very confusing.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's something we all struggle with. when is this a bad behavior vs an autism behavior.

    i don't make C1 eat at the table. she ate on the floor of the living room for close to 8 years. it was the one place she would sit, eat and relax. to me it was about finding the working solution, was in more important she ate at all or sat at the table?