I manage with and adapt his "quirky" behavior as best as I can, and work on constantly, the kid rarely has a break from some kind of activity or therapy. I expect certain things, statements, stims, behaviors and perseverance depending on our activity or location, and have the tools after years of observations and training on how to limit or redirect. So I'm pretty much on guard and ready to ninja warrior autism at any second when we are out in public.
We did our shopping, our routine, or obsessions on certain items in the store, redirecting, moving forward and then as we are checking out, he asks the checker for some stickers "May I please have some stickers, please?" - So I am cockily beaming at his politeness and manners.......then the little asshole (yes sometimes my kids are assholes, and it's okay) SPITS on the checker. Yes, you read that right, he spat on her. There was no rhyme, reason, or anything that a 25 year old behavior therapist could smugly lecture me on that would prepare me for this mortification. I mean I'm an autism mom, I live with a pretty fair level of mortified everyday depending on how awful the "perfect OC mom" stares are on any given day. But this level of mortification left me stunned, and amazed at my parenting skills that I didn't backhand him right in the store or in my car. I just drove home crying. That was all I could do. I mean, I wasn't prepared for that, there is no parenting book or blog that tells you how to "embrace the spitting on store employees"... there isn't. I'm not the mom that just accepts "well it is autism, he isn't responsible for what he does". Nope, my kid knows right from wrong, he does - I constantly drill him on what is the good choice vs. the bad choice.
This is not the first time he has done this. About 3 years ago, he used his birthday money to buy an extremely over priced Star Wars set. As we checked out at Target, he spit on the cashier. We apologized, and in my humiliated state I walked right over to the returns desk, and made him return the toy and give the money to me. You would think that would have taught him, because he cried about the Star Wars crap and his money for about a month.
So today my walk of shame will be back to the store with my son to give her the note of apology from my child, and hopefully the manager will allow me the 2 minutes to take this learning experience for my son and for me as a parent.
Because autism isn't an excuse, if I want inclusion everywhere in school but don't expect appropriate behavior and use inappropriate behavior as teaching opportunities I'm not doing my job as a mom.
I will rally through this day of him crying that he doesn't have an Ipad or his "Cars", but he will learn, it may happen again in 3 years, but he will remember this consequence. I don't have a trick but my work today will be to get him to understand WHAT he did, that it was WRONG, MEAN, and UNACCEPTABLE. I'm doing my best at being real, there is not plastic surgery, medication, or ignorance that will hide autism, I just have to take it on a day at a time. We are Autism Tough, and while Autism may have won this round, I intend on winning the fight.
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