Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Smart Mouth

Sometimes I have to wonder what's worse: having a child who doesn't talk or having one who talks too much without fully understanding what he's saying.

Ha! His sister just told him, "I think you forgot that words have power."

So, Gus is being punished tonight. No television for the rest of the afternoon and evening. He was apparently misbehaving at school all day, but the worst offense was that he called one of his aides Stupid. Now, I know full well that he didn't mean it in the context that most people would assume, but that's beside the point. He knows he's not allowed to use that word. He sees it on television, he reads it sometimes in books, heck, sometimes I even slip and use it. But the message is always clear: it is not a nice word and not allowed. Period.

It's not as if he's watching anything above a G rating or reading things that are really inappropriate. We're currently reading A Wrinkle in Time, which is an amazing story and well within his ability to comprehend with minimal assistance. Before that we read Pippi Longstocking - a classic. He watches mostly Noggin, Disney or Discovery Kids, or sometimes old Superfriends. Teen Titans is the one thing he probably shouldn't be watching because of the violence, but the language is actually quite tame (comparatively) and my kids are banned from certain episodes that I consider over the top. Shows or movies with 'rude' humor are not allowed at all. The only time he's ever been shown Sponge Bob, for example, was at school last year. My point is that compared to what some kids are allowed to watch or read, his entertainment diet is quite bland in terms of language.

Gus has a tendency to repeat what he hears if it sounds giggalicious, but he has to learn that he can't just say anything and then hide behind the excuse that he heard it on TV (which he tried to pull with his teacher, who, rightly, did not buy it).

I know this 'freshness' is age appropriate, and in a sense we should be glad that he's acting like a 'typical' kid...I suppose. I guess the loss of that sweet innocence is tough for any parent, autistic child or not.

Edit: I got Gus to write an apology letter to the aide. Later this evening, just before bed he started crying and saying negative things about himself, which I put a stop to, telling him that he was not those things, that he made a mistake and took the consequenc and that it was done with. He said some other interesting things. He asked how he could get the bad things out of his brain so that they couldn't come out and also said that there are too many things he has to remember. Totally heartbreaking. He wasn't being malicious in any way. I hope hos teacher understands this.

1 comment:

  1. Oh - it is really hard, but at least Gus can tell you how he feels - that is, at least he is clear enough about what he feels, at least he can communicate, at least he feels safe enough - that is so much!!!! So many kids his age don't feel comfortable with their parents, or can't articulate what they feel or...

    And you are right - sometimes little age-appropriate snarkiness is a welcome sign, but it still is not easy - and of course we have to hide being relieved in front of them... Your Gus seems to be making real progress, not only with his issues, but just as a little boy growing up into a closer-to-adult Human Being. Congratulations - you must be doing many things right!


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