Thursday, June 2, 2011

the norm

One of the most frustrating things I've come across with Moose is knowing whether something he is doing or going through is due to his autism or his age. Him being my first born, I don't know exactly how other 3-year-olds (almost 4-year-olds) act necessarily. Also I can't just look at a kid and guess that they're his age because he's not the approximate size of other kids in his demographic.

For example, his newest...frustrating quirk, I guess, is when I say something and he'll say the opposite.
Example 1
Me: Time for bed.
Moose: Time to play with cars.

Example 2
Me: Sit down.
Moose: Stand up!

Example 3
Me: Sit down to poop.
Moose: Time to pee!

*big heavy stress induced sigh*

Is this normal? It's not absolutely every time I tell him something, but it's a lot more often than I would like. How do I break this habit? I've tried telling him that it's rude or it's disobeying me. I don't know if he doesn't get it or doesn't care (which is another thing with him...there are times when I have no idea whether the words coming out of my mouth make sense to him or not). It's so frustrating because it is rude and it is disobeying me. I want it to go more like this:
 Example 1
Me: Time for bed.
Moose: Ok, mommy.  (or even, can I play with cars for a minute?)

Example 2
Me: Sit down.
Moose: Ok, mommy. (or even, I don't want to sit. I'll stand.)

Example 3
Me: Sit down to poop.
Moose: I don't have to poop.

Are my expectations too high? Can an autistic kid (even a high functioning one) learn first time obedience without the sass? I wish I knew what was normal and what wasn't normal for kids his age...I only know what's normal for us. And what's normal for us right now is frustration and learning and hugging to make up and break throughs and discouragement and love and tears and hope.


Becky D said...

It's normal 3/4/5/6 year old stuff. Have you looked at any love and logic stuff? It's all about choices. (Choices you want them to make) ex: you can sit down on a chair or you can stand on the floor; it's not worth arguing with a 3 year old, he's still safe, he gets empowered to choose and you still technically get what you want...I just started doing it with Kinzie...while she doesn't completely get it and its more practice for me, she is starting to get the natural consequences bit of the choosing....check out

Jennifer said...

I have one on the spectrum (6) and one NT (almost 5). I don't think the repeating the opposite thing NT behavior, but then again, my Autistic son never did that either. It reminds me a bit of my son though because he will give me a ryhme or repeat something he has heard when I speak to him, all because he enjoys seeing the patterns in things. Maybe your son is enamored with the idea of you guys sharing this moment of opposites. Maybe he sees the pattern. I don't know, maybe that's strange to say, but I could see my son liking something like that because it's a pattern of sorts.

I will say defiance is normal in both autistic and NT kids, and it's hard to get them to obey even if you are a great parent.

I also think it's important not to assume that he can't accomplish first time obedience and then just give up on him. Eventually, with the right therapies, intervention and with maturity, he can probably learn first time obedience.

Shannon said...

well...idk about four year olds but students something very similiar, and not always out of disrespect.
me: sit down
them: but i have to...

me:be quiet
them: keep talking

me: play that correctly
them: stop playing altogether

Kelli B said...

I don't know very much about autism, so I can't speak to that, but I do know a thing or two about strong willed little boys! I think this is perfectly normal! When my oldest started talking, he started negotiating. :) He is a good kid, but he likes to push and see how far he can push me. Independent little buggers! The one thing that has helped a ton in our house is to give limitations.

Mommy: You can play with one more truck and then it is bed time.

I don't really think time makes any sense at all to him, but if I give him a warning what is coming, he rarely argues back. Just a thought! Good luck!!

Honey Mommy said...

I don't know how much sass is normal. Even with my two boys I get a different reaction at different ages.

My five year old thinks it's funny to change what I say into a joke... but I can tell he's trying to be funny.

I wish I could let you talk to my neighbor. She has two autistic boys about the age yours are and I know she wuold have more insights than I do!

Hang in there!

angie said...

I wish I could help.....I can tell you though that all of my kids have a little sass. Unfortunately.


happy followers