I remember back when my son was in 2nd or 3rd grade and we were at the dinner table. He was chewing with his mouth open, so I simply said, “Honey, chew with mouth closed.” Smart mommy here thought it was a teaching moment and that the lesson had ended. But no, not with my guy. He looked me straight in the eye, and shaking his head from side to side said calmly, “I’m sorry, but I can’t. I’m autistic.”
Just another one of the clues that told me of the adventures that were in store for us. I had all I could do to keep from bursting out laughing, but I knew that would send the wrong message. So it turned into another teaching moment. Maybe that’s why, overall, he’s a pretty well-behaved kid. He’s sick and tired of all my teaching moments. Poor fella!
Little things like this kept reminding me what I was dealing with—a very smart kid who just had a different way of being. And he forced me to look at the world differently, to explain things differently and ultimately, to accept and understand different views and ways of doing things.
Who’s the teacher here?