Tag Archives: manners

My Son Teaches Me

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.”   Image

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?

Holiday Tip #9 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 4 days to Christmas and I’ve been good all year, my wish list is
detailed and long, I’ve made it very clear!
Dec. 21            Day 9   Unexpected Gifts.
Practice polite acceptance of giftsthose asked for and not, those already owned, despised or thought to be silly. Every giftregardless—deserves a heartfelt thank you. The giver took his time and money to pick out, purchase, wrap and deliver a present. Those gestures deserve appreciation. Period. 
One message to the giver: Thank you—and any praises, compliments, gee golly goshes. One message to mom or dad in private: Any criticisms
or complaints. 
Image   Image


As parents, we’re forever prompting our kids – “What do you say to the nice lady?” “What’s the magic word?” “Don’t forget to thank his parents for inviting you over…” “Did I hear you say excuse me?” – and, if you’re like me, you’re hoping and praying that all this nagging pays off; That when you’re not around, your son or daughter remembers his or her manners and does you proud.

And this goes for any kid – on the spectrum or not.

In the quiet hours my mind finds lots to worry about. Will my son find a girlfriend someday? Will he be a gentleman and a gentle man with her? When he’s out with friends will he still respect his elders? Will he stop to hold the door open for a man with a cane or a woman with a stroller?

Well, yesterday in the market, my son put at least one of my worries to rest. A woman was pulling an ice cream container out of the freezer case and it slipped out of her hands. Before I could utter a word he swooped in and picked it up for her and kept on walking. Be still my heart.

I praised him for his act of kindness and he simply shrugged and said, “Well, I didn’t want her to have to bend down to get it.”

I’m a happy and proud mom. Maybe I don’t need to nag so much anymore.   Image