Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just What Is Normal and Appropriate?

Parents of special-needs kids everywhere can relate to this phenomenon. You see your child do something that may be inappropriate that needs to be reprimanded in some way, but your first instinct is to be proud. Huh?
When you have watched your child be consistently behind others his age for years with developmental delays - whether physical, mental, emotional, or social - you long for him to do something on-level with his peers. So if it happens to be something that really isn't praise-worthy, you honestly don't care - at least initially.
Now in our instance, Seth (5) has been struggling with autism since being diagnosed at 2.5 years old. Take this and couple it with the completely normal situation of being the youngest of two significantly older brothers who pass on to him things that most kids his age don't know about yet, and you've got some pretty interesting stuff coming out of his mouth. This from a child who has trouble processing whether or not something is appropriate or how it will affect the person he is saying it to.
It is quite interesting around our house a lot of the time. For instance, his memorization of Michael Scott from "The Office" talking about reverse psychology was . . . hilarious - yet not quite appropriate for a four-year-old. So you can imagine how trying to find the balance between being so incredibly glad that he's "getting" something or understanding how to put ideas together and express them and trying to teach him what he can and cannot do and say is often a struggle.
Alexx (17) and Joel (10) have pulled Seth deep into Star Wars, so this morning he pointed a candy cane at the dog and with great fervor said, "FREEZE rebel scum!" How age-appropriate! How normal! How very BOY!
Now I have to go make him understand that he can't do that to the sweet little girl sitting beside him in the classroom.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate with the "older siblings" scenario. Zack, 16, loves to hunt pheasant, quail, rabbit, etc. A new shotgun is on his Christmas list. Can you just imagine when the kindergarten and first grade brothers announce "my brother wants a GUN for Christmas".