Separating Autism from Tween Rebellion- Getting to Know Your Child


Some days are smooth. Some days are easy. Some days I actually still find myself saying, “Really? No, really. I have to deal with this too? I love my kid. I am happy to listen when he has problems due to his autism. I am on board and learning more about diabetes every day. But now, now, he is going through the whole tween, “I want to be just like my friends in every possible way,” and  it is driving me crazy. See, for my kid add in an ounce of anxiety and his stress at not eating like his friends, not having the same exposure to certain toys like his friends, and his belief that his friends don’t need visual schedules to function smoothly like he does, have been, well, my downfall since the beginning of the school year in addition to everything else. I’m sorry to sound like a complainer and making this all about me. It’s not, but as I am the one who is supposed to be inspiring Michael to be more relaxed it gets tricky when he starts obsessing about being like his friends the second he gets off the bus.

I know. He is a kid. He does not know better. It’s up to me to keep my cool. Today I did. I don’t always. It’s easy when it’s not your child. I am great at my job for that reason. But sometimes as a Mom I just want to yell for someone else to take over. I don’t though. Michael needs me to stick by him, provide a strong adult example. He needs reminders to use positive behavioral strategies, relaxation techniques and know that he is loved. As an Exceptional Mom, I need to remember that I can be patient, loving, kind and stay in the moment with my child. By doing that I know that no matter what, he will have a calm fortress to run to. He will know I love him, yet have boundaries for aggression, anger and stress. He will know he can come to me when he calms down. He will know he is loved and accepted for who he is. He will know he is safe above all else.

Exceptional Parents, how good are you at staying calm when your child is coming apart? We all lose it from time to time. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes, take a deep breath, and remember, as long as you go back to being calm, your child will find their safe haven. Until next time.


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