Just a Boy

Another day, another telephone call regarding The Boy’s behavior.

This time, he appears to have gone so far that he has ostracized himself completely from his classmates.  The fragile friendships that he was building are irrecoverably damaged.  There is literally nothing that I can do.

The Boy is a surprisingly sensitive soul.  His delight in making a friend of his own, on his own terms at school, however tentatively and precariously, is immense. He has been proud of his achievement, and rightly so.

This has now ended.  He is devastated.

It would be easier if he had no concept of his autism.  It would be easier if he did not care whether or not he has friends.  It would be easier if he lived the life of one who is unaware of what occurs around him.  It would be easier if he didn’t know his behavior is wrong.  It would be easier if he could stop how he reacts, something he desperately wants to do but cannot.

When you have kids, you sign up for all of it, good and bad.  Regardless of what they do, you love them.  Regardless of how it happens, you want to stop them from hurting.  It is not always possible, and that is the challenge of being a parent.

When your child turns to you and says, with the honesty of being a child that “I wasn’t meant to be autistic; I was meant to just be a boy” there is nothing that you can do apart from deciding then and there that the fight for them to be “just be a boy” never ends until that is what they are.

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0 thoughts on “Just a Boy

  • May 8, 2011 at 9:51 am
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    @the_kcar@xanga – Trying is still way smarter than not bothering to try in the first place.  🙂  Also, happy Mother’s Day!

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  • May 8, 2011 at 12:23 am
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    @Juniper – He tries. Sometimes, the current slang, popular phrase, or movie quote is not “right” for the situation…and it’s difficult to differentiate which joke or phrase goes with which audience, as it were.

    This autumn, he enters his senior year of high school, and the social concerns are trickier than ever, it seems to him.

    We do what we can, with what we’ve got.

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  • May 8, 2011 at 12:05 am
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    @the_kcar@xanga – “…and, along the way, has asked others’ advice on such matters as, “I don’t want to be rude, to offend, or to otherwise hurt anyone, so how do I explain this?” – getting peer-to-peer counsel on interpersonal relationships, then quoting back in exact words/terms as a peer presents a given turn of phrase….”

    SMART.  That is a socially savvy thing to do.  I don’t just mean “socially savvy for an Aspie” either, there are some wholly NT full-grown adults who still don’t get it much either and your son is ahead of them too.

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  • July 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm
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    I know that my youngest formed friendships now, in high school, that he had the hardest time even attempting through elementary and middle school.

    He regards the word, “autistic”, as an epithet, alongside other words…four-letter words. Eventually, he started reaching to a few who would hear him through, and defined what “autistic” means…and, along the way, has asked others’ advice on such matters as, “I don’t want to be rude, to offend, or to otherwise hurt anyone, so how do I explain this?” – getting peer-to-peer counsel on interpersonal relationships, then quoting back in exact words/terms as a peer presents a given turn of phrase.

    His friends cue him in when he begins to speak off-topic [sometimes] or otherwise try to [gently] let him know a different approach [not always, but they do try].

    Middle school was hardest on him – this I have to readily admit. There’s still hurdles ahead of him, but we’re getting through many of the social aspects along the way, which helps.

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  • July 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm
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    So, as convinced as he is that autism is the source of his problem, help him find out how to use it as a solution as well. Help him find the strengths that are inherent in autism. Look for them. Search them out. Teach him to use them. Yes, there are some things about being autistic that give us an edge in a friendship… with the right people. Especially as he gets older and people learn to appreciate the kind of things that autistic people excel in. It is very difficult to be an autistic child… because in a lot of ways, they’re like little adults trapped inside children’s bodies.

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