I got to watch my words and how I say them.
It has been two and half years since Christian’s diagnosis and I am still learning and I will continue to learn and grow until the day I take my last breath.
I would never claim to be an expert on high functioning autism, I can only go with my limited experience with Christian because he is the only one I know and understand.
The only one I can know.
Each individual is unique, no one should be painted the same.
I could not agree more.
Now that I know the reason for my child’s behaviour, I can accept and understand a little better and know how to cope with those behaviours.
However, in my quest to be the all understanding mom, well versed in Christian’s needs as a person with autism, I forget that I am also human.
I forget that sometimes that he misunderstands facial expressions, tone of voice and words.
I learned this lesson the hard way yesterday morning.
As I waited for Christian’s taxi to arrive to take him to school, a school bus stopped in front of our house and I made the comment as I looked down at my three year old, “Boy Brandon, I cannot wait for you to get old enough so I can throw you in school!”
This was meant to be a joke because Brandon was being a normal three year old running around, tormenting Christian and screaming at the top of his lungs.
However, Christian did not interpret my comment as a joke.
Instead, he broke down crying.
At first I was confused why Christian would be crying, but it became clear when he asked through his tears why I would be so mean as to want to hurt his brother like that by throwing him in the school? He could break an arm, a leg or hurt his head.
Christian took my words literally, instead of figuratively, believing that I was going to pick Brandon up and throw him in the school!!
It took a while to calm Christian down so I could explain what I meant by “throwing Brandon in school”
This is an expression that I heard many times growing up in my family, it means that I was wishing that Brandon was old enough to go to school.
This explanation will take a while for him to absorb, as with most information, Christian needs time to process so he can understand.
Needless to say, this was a hard lesson to learn, like many previous.
I have to tell you about those some other time.
Now, if you excuse me, I better go, Brandon is yelling “The taxi is here!”
I have to see that Christian gets “thrown” in school promptly and safely.