Monday, October 24, 2011

Aggression, Mom and Self Defense…makes since.

Nicky is big. He is 13, growing every day and is almost my height and he’s stronger than I am.  Yesterday, when he was angry he came after me, grabbing my hair and pulling me down to the ground.  It’s happened before and each time I’ve wanted to think it would not happen again.  

People telling me that I needed to do something because he was getting big, didn’t help me.  My feelings of inadequacy that I couldn’t handle it, my determination to handle it, combined with my fear of what it might mean for his future were too strong.  So,  I dug in my  heals and kept thinking I could talk my way through it.  I would handle it my way.  Today a male friend said  "ALL boys in puberty get aggressive, not just boys with autism.  They have so much going on and they don’t always have control over their bodies full of male hormones. This isn't just autism it's boy stuff."  For some reason it was the idea, that his behavior was somehow typical, that gave me permission to address the problem.  So later in the day I learned 3 self-defense moves and when I get them right Nicky will know that this mom is in charge and I will be able to keep me safe and keep him safe.  

I'm reminded of what I was told by a neurologist who didn't want Nicky to get a diagnosis of autism when he was two. He was afraid of what happens when children are labeled. He had seen the diagnosis keep parents from parenting and teaching ASD kids the same things that all kids need to be taught.  I remember what he said to me. "You have to remember that he has autism he, but it is not who he is. He is a boy and your challenge will be to see him first as a boy, and secondly as a boy with autism. If you can't do this, you will get in the way of his development, it will be you who does him the greatest disservice.  At the time I thought his comment was profound, but it didn't apply to me.  Seems I was wrong. 

Thank you Lee and Julius :) 


  1. That neurologist, in my opinion, was dead on... except for the part about not wanting kids to be diagnosed at an early age, because of being "labeled". Unfortunately, you need a label to get your child the right kind of help.

  2. A teacher told me, when 'Bot was in first grade, that the greatest disservice you can do a child with a disability is to let the disability hide what they CAN do. I've never forgotten that and tried to parent accordingly. Please make sure that you have someone to support you and Nicky through this difficult stage of his development.

  3. My son's 16 and each year brings new things,some good some not so. Autism is just another demension of their life we face as they develop and mature.The drive,desires and dreams are still there just harder for us to get at to understand. Keep doing what you're doing ,you are a wondeful mom.

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