Good and bad autism discussions
We always talk to the adults who work with our son. They are his respite person, his school aide, his after-school aide, his occupational therapist, and his two social skills facilitators.
We want to know how our child did with that person and/or during that sessions. We want the information.
The good and the bad.
Our son is not very good at telling us about his day. If we ask him what happened during his school day, he usually says, “I don’t know,” or he remembers the last thing he did. If we ask him in the late afternoon, he has trouble remembering that morning.
What about good and bad autism discussions?
Because he’s usually shadowed by an adult, we feel we can get a more accurate “report” from the adult than we can get from our child.
We still try to talk to him, but we get a better idea of the good and the bad from the adult.
When did we make a mistake?
One time, something happened that made me stop and think.
We just had arrived home from my son’s social group.
He had had a tough time during this social group. All the facilitator and I had discussed post-social group were the bad things that had happened during the session.
When I was pulling into the driveway, I was still discussing these bad things.
The discussion continued inside the house. I was determined to talk a lot about this very bad social group.
In the kitchen, my son looked at me and said, “Mommy, don’t you want to hear about the good stuff?”
I froze and my heart sank. Then, I responded, “Oh course I do!”
I went to him and hugged him. “Buddy, I always want to hear the good stuff.”
“Why do you only want to hear the bad stuff from social group?”
“That was just today,” I said. “She tells me good stuff all the time!”
Processing their experiences
Because my child needs to process things, and he has a tendency to process slowly, he paused to think about my words.
He then asked, “Can I tell you one good thing?”
“Yes!” I said with a huge smile on my face.
We sat down and my son told me about the good thing.
My child was right, I do need to hear the good things and not just the bad things.
The balancing act
We parents have a tendency to focus on the bad behaviors, sometimes forgetting that there are plenty of good behaviors.
My child is observant and very verbal and does a fair amount of negotiating with us. He has feelings and often is listening when he doesn’t appear to be listening.
Additionally, he’s very sensitive. He especially doesn’t like it when Mommy is mad at him.
I’m glad he said something to me. It reminded me that I do have to make sure I get the good information as well as the bad information. He thinks it’s important! And we should, too!
Here’s some help with stress and autism, kids and parents.