Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Things I Let My Son With Autism Do That Most Other Parents Would Never Allow

I came across a blog one day called Autism Daddy and found this one particular entry the most interesting: 12 Things I Let My Son w/ Autism Do That Most Parents Of Typical Kids Wouldn't Allow. In response I wanted to add a few of my own personal exceptions.

Xander, my son, is nine years old and is a high functioning Autistic child. One thing I have learned over the years in dealing with the chaos and glory that comes our way is that my parenting style is quite different from what most would consider the “norm”. I’m sure some of you readers will disagree with my methods but they work for us. Anything that I think can make life a little less stressful for Xander and doesn’t physically do any permanent damage to him or those around him I will at least give a try. If it works, then it becomes part of our daily routine.

Now before you jump to conclusions, I do not let my son just blurt out any and every curse word that comes into his mind. He became obsessed with cursing from simply watching everyday television and sadly, as much as I hate to admit it, hearing it from me. It became a problem when he decided he could say any curse word he wanted whenever he felt the need to express himself in such a way. The only way to get this under control was by allowing him to ask me permission to say a curse word. By doing this is, he has learned when is and isn’t a proper time to use such language. He keeps his choice of words rather tame for the most part. The catch is that I have to ask permission as well. It’s not only gotten him under control with the use of swear words but me as well. I am still pretty bad at the habit but it’s definitely gotten better with us both having to use the permission policy.

Most days are coupled with tiny our bursts of chaos that dissipate as quickly as they rose. But on those wondrous occasions when Xander has had several “good days” in a row, I allow him to eat cake for breakfast. He sees it as this incredible award of taboo treasure! And then there are the days when his expert logic doesn’t fail to remind me how all of the most important food groups are in cake. Who can argue with that?

I’m just glad he’s got at least his underwear on.

I love coffee. I can drink it and fall right to sleep though. So it’s never really affected me like most people. Xander, however, loves to drink a morning cup of coffee with his Mommy and Nanny. The caffeine that’s in that demi size cup (a cup bought at Starbucks) is minuscule compared to my daily intake. He enjoys the quality time and seems to be a little more focused when he walks out that door to board the school bus.

Many times in the morning when the boy is getting ready for school, he tries to do or think of things that will give him some extra “free” time. He has learned that once he is dressed, teeth brushed, lunch made, jacket and backpack at the ready, he is free to play on the iPad, PC, or whatever else he chooses until it is time to catch the bus. So, now, Xander has learned he can save himself a good five minutes by wearing his planned outfit to bed. He wakes up in it and that means extra free time. If I’ve learned anything about avoiding any sort of stress for him so that he has a good day at school, it’s to not fight the trivial battles such as fussing over wrinkled clothing.


  1. this is a brilliant article, i think this could apply to any parent honestly. its all about picking your battles and keeping peace whilst still maintaining mutual respect and discipline. Now, while your methods may not be orthodox, you say they work for you and him, and I can guarantee that boy loves his momma, so we have a WIN/WIN sitch here. I am definitely going to try and employ your cursing technique for my own boys.

    1. Thanks! The Cursing Technique has worked amazingly for us. I don't get any negative reaction for telling him no at a particular moment because he realizes that it wasn't a proper time to use such language.

  2. So many issues that crop up on a daily basis can be negated by just 'letting it slide.' Removing the source of stress is key. Go ahead, wear clothes to bed!

    1. i've learned to pick my battles very carefully and to think outside the polyhedron shaped box