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Social Skills

Raising an autistic child is a little different than raising a neurotypical. For instance, the other day The Queen and I had this exchange:

Me: Squiggle is getting really good at talking to strangers.

The Queen: I know, isn't it great?

And today there was this:
Me: How was the library?

The Queen: Okay, but there was little boy about Squiggles age playing with the puzzles. And when Squiggle tried to play with him, and the boy said "No, go away" and Squiggle cried.

Me: My son got his feelings hurt and cried in public? Yes! High five!!

In other words, we work hard to inculcate in Squiggle the same behaviors and emotional responses that the mass media seems determined to eradicate from everyone else.

Posted on January 17, 2008 to Observations, Squiggle


our 6 yr old was diagnosed with PPD-NOS and I too find myself cheering his breakdowns at times because they are a show of 'normalcy'. he so often seems apathetic to other people's opinions, that when he seems to register some reaction (good or bad) i look at that as a good sign.

Posted by: JohnnyMac on January 21, 2008 11:54 AM

We have had the exact same talking to strangers exchange. :)

Posted by: mel from freak parade on January 21, 2008 12:16 PM

"inculcate"? wow...nice word. I'm going to look that one up.

I remember my husband and I being really thrilled when our developmentally disabled son started having temper tantrums. Oh yay! A tantrum! An age appropriate behavior! Let's just say his tantrums didn't elicit the desired response.

Posted by: ellen on January 21, 2008 1:35 PM

We had our accreditation the other day and the head of the team commended us on how our kids all looked him in the eye. It seems normal to me, but I guess it is odd for kids living on the autism spectrum!

Posted by: ranger on January 21, 2008 2:16 PM

Some day, your son is going to look back on his upbringing, and be grateful that his parents worked so hard to raise him well.

Posted by: Sfida on January 21, 2008 5:25 PM

I feel you! I have done high-5's for lying before. yippee! you're showing development of theory of mind!

Posted by: rachel on January 21, 2008 7:04 PM

I feel you! I have done high-5's for lying before. yippee! you're showing development of theory of mind!

Posted by: rachel on January 21, 2008 7:04 PM

I routinely give praise when our 2 year-old makes prank calls to the fire department... but it really doesn't have anything to do with neurological development.

It is just howlingly funny.

Posted by: Robert Cockerham on January 22, 2008 9:01 AM

Reminds me of a scene in Paul Collins's Not Even Wrong where he bumps into his autistic son, being tended by a nanny, in the grocery store. When Collins leaves, the boy starts crying inconsolably, a pleasant surprise since he's never cared before where his parents are.

Posted by: James on January 22, 2008 3:23 PM

Didn't realize Squiggle is autistic - and I'm not THAT new of a reader!

I just finished reading "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night" (?) - what good insight into the mind of an autistic child! Theoretically, of course.

Congrats on hurt feelings!

Posted by: Lyz on January 23, 2008 7:49 AM

Lyz, for more information and a touching story on Squiggle, go to the archives, to the Oct.10, 2005, post.


Posted by: Yeti Mom on January 23, 2008 8:55 AM

Yeti Mom: Thanks so much. It is a GREAT story. My husband recently got in the mail some info on autisim (connected to his job) that was really interesting to me.

My son is almost 2 years and has NO WORDS - but is definitely not autistic. It was nice to eliminate such a big issue - especially that one.

Squiggle seems high-functioning indeed (per Oct. 10th post)- esp. if he sat on Santa's lap! And sleeps at someone else's house? Congrats on helping/teaching him as you do. And loving him so much it's painful is just an added bonus.

Posted by: Lyz on January 23, 2008 1:27 PM

Lyz, the Yeti was well past two years old when he started to talk. It was like he was saving all his words and then they just came out in paragraphs! After that we could never shut him up. A little known fact is that he had to take speech therapy in elementary school for talking too fast. True.

Posted by: Yeti Mom on January 23, 2008 6:38 PM

Come on, Mom. Don't make me ban your IP.

Posted by: Matthew on January 23, 2008 8:45 PM

"Yeah, I had to ban my Mom's IP." Definitely goes onto the list of things that boggle me when I seethem since they're still so new that we couldn't have fathomed that sentence 20 years ago . . . .

Posted by: Kevin on January 23, 2008 11:21 PM

My 13 year old told me a vaugely dirty joke the other night...I've never been more dismayed and proud at the same time....:)

Posted by: ZigZagMan on January 24, 2008 1:51 PM