My Man-Child-Navigating Raising A Child Whose Development Is All Over The Map


So we survived another exceptional family vacation. It actually was one of our best ones yet. There were some hard moments with Michael, but there were many more good moments, even great ones, I am happy to say. We did a water park, a fun overnight stay at a city nearby to us, the beach, our usual Santa’s Village, and, I can honestly say, I learned more about myself on vacation than I would at any other time.  I learned about how important self-care is for me in  being home with Michael and Dad. I learned about how this year with keeping a good sleep/wake schedule and totally unplugging from blogging, my parenting writing and coaching work. I read fiction and concentrated on writing my fantasy novel, all things that I usually do not have time for. I truly rested from my work, and am now ready to start again fully charging ahead. I am excited to be back at work. I’ve never felt this way before because, well, I never had a job I loved before and when I did find it, I felt guilty unplugging from it. But being an exceptional parent has shown me how important it is to fill the well.

I also learned about how much Michael is maturing, truly blossoming into a little tween/teenager on our family vacation. Many times I caught him looking at me and Dad with that bored half-interested look that says, “I am cool. You are not.” And I have seen Michael physically shoot up. He has grown so much. The baby fat is gone from his face and body, and he is just so much more aware about music, new shows, sports, and well, all things that say, “older boy.” I am proud and a little terrified. He is comfortable going places alone, and is asking when he can have keys to the house and a cell phone. Yep. I’m terrified folks. The good thing is that it shows me Michael’s growth  and I feel optimistic about his future more and more each day.

It’s not to say we don’t have our moments. The major aggression has been gone for over two months, but he is still testing with foul language, threats to us that he doesn’t act on, and seeing what he can get away with. Yep. Like a teenager. But we are showing him limits. He knows he has to use his strategies to calm down. Deep breathing in his cool down room or sometimes he has realized as he has uttered the wrong word and did the deep breathing right away where he is. We are navigating well. Time will tell if he keeps these new habits up once he is fully into the whole school routine. More on that in tomorrow’s post. For now, there are challenges, but now I truly see how rasing our “man child” with autism will be tough at times, easy at others, and mostly somewhere in between. Basically, it is making me see how important it is for me to do regular check ins with how I am doing, what I feeling. When I am in touch with the inside, the outside, as they say, falls into place.

Exceptional Parents, what was your experience with your Exceptional Child on summer vacation? Are you happy that school is back in session soon? What will you do differently next year on family vacation? Whatever your experience, just remember you are doing your best as a parent. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and show your child how tomorrow is truly a new day where you can both start over and continue to learn and grow. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website:, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on

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