So the last few days have been about Michael coming to terms with handling turbulent puberty while also acknowledging his autism. He told me he asked many of his classmates at his adapted school if they have autism. Some of them answered yes, some of them said no. Michael said they have other challenges or different brains which they have shared with him. Michael also said he thinks some of them may have autism, but are not sure or don’t know and he thinks they may have it as they stim like him or do other things he says people with autism do. Dad and I told him many years ago when he asked what autism was, that he had it, and explained how it meant he sees the world differently than a lot of people who don’t have autism. Recently, I read him a great article our Educator gave him that explains what autism is written by someone with autism for someone with autism. It was eye opening for me too, and I thought that I knew pretty much all there was to know about autism, at least from a neuro typical person’s standpoint.
What I found most interesting was how Michael asked me questions about consent and law abiding behavior, and how a lot of people with autism handled the world around him. He is learning how to deal with anger, frustration and aggression while being aware that he needs to follow the same principles of respect for self, others and property that we all need to follow. He understands his brain works a little differently, but Dad and I have been telling him that a different set of rules do not apply to him as a result. Yes, his learning materials can be adapted, he has his own IEP, but he still has to follow the same law of safety that governs all people in the world, autistic and non-autistic. I am proud of the questions he is asking me though, about people, about consent, about sex, about feelings towards the opposite and same sex. I am proud that he is thinking about the big questions and wants to make good choices.
Exceptional Parents, does your child know about their different brain or sense that they are not the same as anyone else? Have you held off telling them until you feel they are ready? In the end, you need to listen to your parenting gut. Some kids want and need to know right away. For others, the time to have the conversation is a long way off. Whatever you decide, remember your child’s unique way of viewing the world, whether they are in puberty or not, is part of what makes them special and their contribution to the world something incredible. Remember, we are all here for a reason. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with Autism, ADHD, OCD and Type 1 Diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.