Last week I spent a few days in Cincinnati for work. The night before leaving I tried to find the best words to explain to Teghan why she wouldn’t be seeing me. These days she is pretty good at guessing what we want by the keywords she recognizes, so I stressed the words she understood- like work, “night-night,” and hotel. For a moment she was interested in us going to a hotel right that minute, but otherwise the conversation didn’t seem to have much impact. Continue reading
This evening Teghan asked for coffee and a cookie no less than a thousand times. It was on a constant loop. There is no way to stop it. What does the word “no” mean in this house? Nothing. It’s kind of like all the things we put her on the naughty step over. Spilling drinks, ripping books, climbing on things that will break her neck….the naughty step also means nothing. It just calms and redirects her a bit. She will continue to do the same things again and again. Heck, she’ll put herself on the naughty step when she does them- you don’t even have to ask. It’s part of her routine.
If you are not an autism parent, you have no idea what any of this means. It just sounds like a kid who needs a better method of discipline. Well, come on over and try. She doesn’t understand most language, tone of voice, social cues, gestures, emotions….oh, and she LOVES when you yell. Don’t do that.
I am also guessing that she would love to be spanked. I once made the mistake of slapping her hand when she reached for something hot. It was followed by two weeks of her slapping her own hand and screaming “no!” while laughing hysterically. She kept trying to get me to do it again. Like a game.
All efforts of discipline are some kind of a social game to her. I struggle between frustration- and elation that she is engaging in any social interaction, no matter how bizarre. Continue reading