Thursday, January 26, 2012

12 Things I Let My Son w/ Autism Do That Most Parents Of Typical Kids Wouldn't Allow




(originally written & published on January 26, 2012)


So my son has severe classic non-verbal autism.  And because of that my parenting style is probably totally different than if I had a neurotypical kid.  (but who knows cuz I don't).

Anyway, it got be thinking about all the things that I allow my son to do that most NT parents usually tell their kids not to do.  Some of these I encourage my son to do because it's a typical thing that kids do.  Some of these I let my son do because I pick & choose my battles.  And some I let him do due to the limitations from his disability...

So here they are... no particular order...



1)  EATING WITH YOUR HANDS
This is a combination of picking and choosing my battles and adjusting my expectations due to Kyle's fine motor issues & major eating issues.  When your kid doesn't eat very well to begin with as long as he's getting it down I don't care that he uses his hands.  This might change in the future, but for now this is a battle not worth fighting. 


2) RUNNING IN THE HALLWAY
I always see parents or teachers tell their kids to stop running in the hallway and I think why?  :-)  But seriously the school where Kyle gets his music therapy on Saturdays has a big wide long hallway to his classroom that's PERFECT for a fast run.  So while all the other parents are telling their kids to wait, not run, I'm dragging Kyle by the hand saying "let's run, let's run!"  I'd just love to see him run somewhere with a sense of purpose instead of his usual meandering around.  Plus I like to run.  I run marathons (very slowly) and would LOVE to somehow get Kyle involved in the running community.


3) SPLASHING IN THE TUB OR POOL
It's a right of passage for kids to splash around in the tub.  So what if water gets ALL OVER the floor!  That's what towels are for.  And the pool?!  That's what pools were meant for...  Splashing!  Why are all the NT parents discouraging splashing?  What am I missing?  Did I miss the memo?  :-)  I'm the one dad in the pool who's splashing water in my son's face.  I must look like a big jerk...


4)  EATING BREAKFAST FOR DINNER ...OR POPCORN FOR BREAKFAST OR... SPOONFULS OF JELLY FOR LUNCH
Again my kid's got major eating issues and lost weight a year back so when he's hungry he gets what he wants and that's it.  Other ASD parents know what I'm talking about.  There's another autism blog called Grape Jelly On Pizza.  She knows what I'm talking about.  I'll give my kid a multivitamin to make up for the lack of nutrition.


5) GETTING DIRTY IN THE PLAYGROUND
Every time I take Kyle to the playground I overhear at least one parent say "your getting your pants all dirty!" WTF?  This is what playgrounds are for!  Getting dirty!


6)  WATCHING TV DURING MEALS
Not every meal... but again you gotta pick and choose your battles.  If having a show on will get him to eat more then I'm putting a show on.


7) DRINKING COFFEE
What can I say?  My kid LOVES coffee!  Is it good for him?  Probably not.  Is it gonna irreparably harm him?  Probably not.  So when daddy is drinking a cup in Kyle's vicinity he's most likely getting half.  And if I can use coffee as a reinforcer to get him to eat other things, then that much better.  I love coffee...


8) NOT EATING AT THE TABLE
We try to get Mr. Kyle to at least eat dinner at the table, but breakfast is a walking around and grazing meal...


9) JUMPING IN PUDDLES
Back at the playground I hear NT parents yelling "don't jump in that puddle!"  Meanwhile I'm on the other end of the playground trying to TEACH my kid how to jump in a puddle.  Jumping in puddles is a right of passage, a part of growing up...


10) TALKING TOO MUCH OR TOO LOUDLY
My kid is completely non-verbal so if and when he decides to start talking he can talk whenever, where ever, and as loud and as long as he wants to...  :-)

Those are my 10, I would love to hear yours??  :-)
_________________________________________

UPDATED 1/27/12 11:06AM
Based on your comments & feedback I thought of two more!


11) SITTING IN THE CART AT THE SUPERMARKET/STORE
We've been pushing him to walk more lately and he's been doing pretty good...probably partially due to his service dog and partially due to his school going on community trips (store & restaurant) every 2 weeks.   But if we need to get in & out of Target quickly or if Kyle is having a bad afternoon I have no problem stuffing my 8 year old into the cart and giving him a bag of popcorn and a book to keep him happy. Recently in Costco we were leaving a popcorn trail throughout the store...    :-)


12) JUMPING ON HIS BED...
I can remember just a few years back when Kyle didn't know how to jump. And they would work at it in his physical therapy sessions.  Now he's a jumping machine. And we encourage it. He's got a trampoline in the backyard, a mini trampoline in his play room and he also uses his bed like a trampoline.  Now 3-5 more inches and he'll be hitting the ceiling when he jumps on the bed. But we will allow it until the bed breaks or he hits his head on the ceiling....whichever comes first.   :-)

video

THE END! 
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367 comments:

  1. I so agree with these. My children are three and four and my three year old does have some language but it isn't that functional. When he speaks or says something, no matter what, I am going to shout it from the rooftops! I also totally agree with the splashing in puddles, tubs and pools and all about the food. My four year old will not eat very many foods so when he requests something I try hard to get it for him. We are in a drought in Texas, also, and we have had few puddles. The other day there was a rain and a few small puddles. The bus driver went out of her way to cover the puddles that my son was sooooo happily eyeing. I felt really bad. I so wanted to splash in those. When he got home, I made sure he splashed in them to his heart's content, even though I had to change him quickly for his therapy session. I didn't care. His utter joy was worth it and always will be.

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    1. i so agree with all of the above, I'm a 55 year old name is Judy and I'm raising my great nephew as our son. we have had him since birth and he is severally autistic so we let him do everyone of those things and more. we love him a lot and want him to be better but would not change him for the world.he is four.

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    2. I know the feeling...my 14 year old son is autistic also and i pick my battles with him as well, like peeing in cups and leaving them in the bathroom....eating aLL NIGHT LONG...we have since put a lock on the fridge.....i just wish my husband whom is not his father would understand, he makes a federal case of everything he does and constantly yells at me for everything and accuses me of letting him do what ever he wants..which is not true, but it makes it hard to deal if find myself covering up everything he does so i dont have to hear his crap anymore!

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    3. i like the ideal of a service dog

      great points sounds so like my son matty who is nine too

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    4. As a person who works with children with severe autism, I must say that when parents let thier child behave however, with no limits, just to avoid a struggle, it makes working with them very difficult. They need to learn socially excepted behavior. They cannot be running the show,throwing tantrums,or behaving aggressively towards others.Your not helping him. It's an up hill battle for the teachers and very frustrating .

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    5. As a parent of a child with autism and a teacher of children with autism , I respectfully disagree with the anonymous comment above. I will never place limits on my child or my students. You kind of sound like an ABAer that tries to train the autism out of a child. Am I right? Did I just start an internet fight cause I am not prepared and really mean this to not be offensive. Nervous to hit send now :).

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    6. Learning Disability CarersDecember 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      Anonymous of December 26, 2012 12:21pm entry

      How very audacious of you to criticise a parents parenting choices. You may work with children but these parents are the experts in their field, and their field is their children and they will know what works best for their childrens health and well-being and emotional and social capabilities. We all want our children to progress but we also know they need a different path through life's challenges...
      To me it sounds as though you and the teachers you mention wish to control the children..not at all helpful...Hah! just read comment above from Shanell, whom I completely agree with..enough said


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    7. I let my boys, do all those things. I'm also the mom who has her rubber boots on too, and is also splashing in the puddles!!!!

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    8. you sound just like me, My wife says I treat him as if he's the finest silk, I see my son as a reason to live. dramatic huh? I wake up with him at 2 am to watch little einstiens and ya some people say holy crud really? my wife says I feed in to the hitting,screaming and allow him to get away with eting and doing whatever he wants I say heres my 10 list
      1)if you feel the need to get up at 2-3 am after only a couple hrs sleep then fine, thats what they make rockstar drinks for. I'm sacraficing my sleep for you!
      2)pb&j sounds good to me heck every kid from my generation grew up on it, I try to slide in other things but choose my battles.
      3)screaming ya ok it's nerve racking at times but when you can't talk I understand how frustrating that must be.sign as you scream and we're cool.
      4)run whenevr wherever I'll clear the path. I bought an obscene amount of land to run wild and not have neighbors gawking.
      5)sleep in bed with you? sure lets go I get around 2-3 hrs a day when my wife and daughter get 6-8 I don't complain to much so why is it such a problem with everyone else?
      6)pacifyer, no I will not take it from you,your security blanket either. Let's just get some rockstar one ok?
      7)hitting? ya I probably should correct him more but, he's three,starting to see he's differant and can't talk!
      8)spoiling? I will buy everything to find what you likethat week. Sensory changes from day to day so supplying my kids needs? or spoiling you choose.
      9)yes he controls the huge vizio hanging on the wall, my son relates to disney and dreamworks movies and I spend 50-150 a month on them. but I was also that 20 year old running out to buy shrek 1 for myself on release date so lets watch em all. you name it we have it.
      10) you can do no wrong. my wife and daughter are starting to resent me and him. I grew up with severe autism and no1 tried to understand me only beat it out but that dosn't work just causes hatred and now I have my son who I can help,whom I understand,whom ya I will alsways protect. did I sacrafise all hopes of success,and acomplishments? I guess that depends on what you want to acomplish,and how success is measured. signing out from one dad to another Jon Jackson from Minnesota
      4

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    9. My son Link who is two almost three was just diagnosed with ASD. I must say he is the most amazing person in my world. And after reading your comment your son sounds so similar to mine. Even with the Disney/Dreamworks movies. "Cars" is his favorite right now. But he does love the original Alice in Wonderland as well! Anyways the reason I'm responding is because I have SO much respect for you! Everyone around me says that I do the same exact things for my son, that I spoil him, buy him too much, etc. But you know what I found the coolest little remote led helicopter for 14 dollars the other day at a Walgreens, (I always check every toy or random isle for something that he might find interest in), and that was the best money I have spent this week! He absolutely loves it and it makes my dad to play with him for hours and hear him laugh! Keep doing what you do for him! He NEEDS you and you are such an amazing person for what you do for him!
      Jaz

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    10. In response to shanell.. I am talking about violent tantrums towards teachers and other students because they are allowed in the home. students should not have to worry about unprovoked physical attacks and teachers should not have to take trips to the hospital for bites.that is the kind of behavior we are dealing with.It is dangerous and not ok.

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    11. This is for the teachers & helpers. Mainly the one negatively commenting above.. - - - Im not about to be anonymous. My name is Billy Starnes from Meridian MS. My 3 yr old daughter is autistic. I agree 150% with "autistic daddy" about EVERYTHING. I too, let my daughter Jaden do basically anything she wants- within reason. I dont , and do not believe that any other parent out there with an autistic child, LETS & ALLOWS them be physically abusive to themselves or others. As far as tantrums- Most child psychologists will tell you that when your child throws a tantrum, that unless they are in danger of hurting themselves or someone else to simply ignore it, and it will soon pass. You have to remember that these children have LEARNING DISORDERS. If you cannot grasp the concept & meaning of that then obviously YOU have a LEARNING DISORDER as well. In the words of Ignacio Estrada "If children cant learn the way that we teach, then maybe we should teach the way that they learn". Its hard enough to raise a non-autistic child to listen and follow every demand & command because... you said to. Again .....LEARNING DISORDER. I did notice that you made no mention of YOU having an autistic child_ but only that you help in the classroom. YOU are the kind of person that I fear is helping in my daughters class that she attends. If you, yourself had an autistic child, then you would be more understanding & patient with these kids. You do not have, in my opinion, the proper attitude or outlook towards these kids or their best interests and should find another line of work. These children need someone with a lot of patience & understanding. Someone who actually DOES care. Someone like myself, my wife, and Mr. Autistic Daddy. Your opinion on my comment is totally irrelevant to me & I could not care less, but if you do have anything you would like to address outside FB- feel free to email me at 777@inbox.com . ----- To Autistic Daddy: You rock bro. You sound like an awesome dad. Keep doing what you do / exactly how you wanna do it. When push comes to shove, WE are ALL our autistic kids have. Some are just around them for a paycheck.

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  2. That totally sounds like me...I do the samething Nd for the same reason...I usually do what he wants to keep him happy as long as its not hurting himself or anyone else

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  3. As much as I agree w/ most I fine it hard to agree w/allowing a child to eat w/their hands and run any-where but home because in time some-parent or parents will be expecting teachers an staff to break these habits that will never be excepted by society anymore then ppl wanting to change the diaper of an older child in school.

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    1. Some of us have severe autistic children and don't have the luxury of teaching them to be just like everyone else or how to behave like everyone else, so anytime we can get them to just be happy in a world that does not accept them in the first place , forgive us but we tend to get alittle excited. The world has given up on these kids and all they have is us parents. Mine (2 ASD kids) have already been shut off from the world since they do not learn like everyone else, this is a 24/7 job of parenting, and we do take it very seriously.

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    2. Eating with your hands and running around isn't the end of the world. And for kids who already have been shunned and rejected by "outsiders" why bother continuing trying to force them to be something they're not (and making them miserable and harming them in the process) just so the outsiders looking in are more comfortable?

      My sons will always come first. LOOOONG before any judgemental strangers.

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    3. Oh and by the way, the parents of the kids who are still in diapers when they're older aren't that fond of changing them either. It's not like either us or our kids chose to have so much trouble potty training. That's just sometimes in the mix when your child is more severe. Try to quit judging.

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    4. Well it sounds like what I used to do with my grandson Camdon .We jumped in puddles ,mud he loved the mud,danced in the rain, caught snow flakes in our mouths.I did not care what anyone thought o said we just have fun. He is older now andjust wants to do it with his younger brother.He wants me to tape it.

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    5. anonymous@2:59 ....wtf? for reals? i have three stunningly bright normal kids, and one profoundly autistic nonverbal. guess what? the sky did not fall when i tossed "rules" and "expectations" out the window and addressed my beloved little girls particular needs from a creative approach that suits her. who the %#@$ really cares what "society" or "staff" or such want? why would their "needs" take precedence over the needs of MY very dependent child?

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    6. To be honest, I really don't care what others think, or what society thinks, I wouldn't want my child to be like them anyway. I just want him to be himself, and if that upsets someone, so be it. They will have to learn to deal with it, because I don't care. People need to learn tolerance and acceptance, this cripples more of us than any disability. Thanks Tamara.

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    7. I agree with all of the above responses to Anon@2:59! Let them do, because there is so much that they don't. Love ya AD and the top 10+!

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    8. cant believe some people get on their high horse n judge. i absolutely echo kyles dad as i have a very similar son n i too pick my battles. i have a 6 year old still in nappies does not talk and eats well with his hands . of course we try to get our kids to eat with a spoon you complete muppet, but as with most kids like kyle n my lucas we fail and so do the schools n the other people but still we keep trying but we cant starve our sons that we love so dearly so to see them happy and eating we go to bed that night content n hope we can win that battle another day. what do you want us to do starve our kids n leave them screaming n unhappy for hours its people that judge that cause the word disabilty because if everyone understood it would not be a disability, its society n clueless peole like yourself that make life harder than it already is. i love the top 10 and its gr8 to know there are people out there who are living a parallel life. Keith very proud austism daddy :)

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    9. OMG! "Who gives a shit what society thinks anyway???" When you have a son or daughter who has autism, you'll do anything to make your child happy. Partially, because a lot of the time they can be quite unhappy in their own skin. If my son (who has autism) wants to run in any hallway I will let him. He will always be allowed to eat with his hands if needed. I don't care what looks or stares I get. (which we do quite often) However, I also get strangers who come up and tell me what a great Mom I am to my precious son. All I care about is that he is happy and healthy. Society can "kiss my ass" as far as I'm concerned!!!

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    10. The last comment from Anonymous: I totally agree with. Society is ignorant. My Naphew has been diagnosed with Autism - he is 4- and every day I pray - i pray hard for him to be safe and happy. So to the ignorant public who raise their eyebrows 'get stuffed' and 'open your minds'. May god almighty help all our children,

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    11. I agree, I teach children with autism and it is my job to teach functional skills in the classroom in hopes they will generalize these skills outside of the school. Eating with fingers, peeing in cups, running around (sometimes naked) might be accepted in your home but certainly no where else.

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    12. imn about to spaze out reading this post i have autism as a child i had fine motor iusse an so on to the point i was miss dx with cp.i was not allowed to do any of these thing i had therhy that help .i have friebnds who are so severe they do not eat with there hands i understand not wanting to get in to it but he is 9 there are therhy prougam that work on feeding an all that stuff it really importent that he lears all the app social skills now becuse when he is a teen / adult an he in situion .eatting in public do u want him eating with his hands then an running .i can tell you from my point of veiw an being with friends who have been tread an taught an rasied like me an those that got away with everything becuse they have autism an all diff leavels .it make a big diff .ya i hated at times what i went through but i now no i wouldnt be on the leavel i am if it wasnt for my parents an my therist .i still get help .an im hf in alot of areas now but im not hf in some .but my parents were basly told i never be abvle to be any more then be in group home an work shop or be hospital or what ever .im doing many things i they were told i never do .i had a lot of behavoirs to .i still have meltdowns sometimes an im sure that i may come off diff when out sometimes .but if no one work on my behaviors .i be still acting like a 4 year old .all ways expct more from him then you think he can really do he may supprise u .i supprise them all .

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    13. Again to the teachers / wtf did you expect when you decided to pursue a career in working with children with LEARNING DISABILITIES ???? You knew what you were up against or at least you should have. You should have known all about autistic children & what you would face. These are OUR children who look to US for comfort, love, and safety. The "standard" way of raising a child does not apply when you dont have the "standard" child. If you didnt know these things when you started in this career , then your instructors failed you miserably, as I fear that all of you will fail our children from your lack of patience & understanding, but most of all from your ignorance to think these children should behave "normally" McDonalds & WalMart are usually hiring the majority of the time. I think you would be much better suited for those positions- - - but be warned.... a lot of our children act better in WalMart than some "normal" ones. So ya know....telemarketing is probably more suitable employment for you. You should check it out !!!! Have a great day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Well my 3 year old has no interest in using utensils so what am I suppose to do make him starve...

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    1. Of course not all I'm saying is that little ppl to grow up to be big ppl and yes you except ur child as u should but don't get upset when this habit can't be broken @ a later age in life or expecting the school to break it,I don't care if a child parents allow them to eat w/their hands @ age 3,6,12,16 etc..

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    2. My son eats mostly with his hands maybe 95% of the time. He is in school and I do NOT expect the school to break it. I also make accomidations for him. I send him to school with his lunch, packing only finger foods. I don't see the issue and I do NOT expect the school system to be responsible for my child using utensils. Now if they can get him to write I wouldn't mind lol. ;)

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    3. My four year old still requires feeding, that's me feeding him. Not because he can't feed himself (and he knows how to use utensils), but he just won't eat unless I feed him. I feed him at home, at family gatherings, and in public. If he won't eat on his own by the time he gets married then it's his wife's problem (little humor there...haha). There are foods he will eat, mostly finger foods and when he starts eating lunch at school I too will pack those foods that he will eat on his own for his lunch. I want him to be healthy and happy, and if that means I feed him, well then, I feed him.

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  5. When my son was 3 years old, I started babysitting for a 2 and 4 year old...one day my son was jumping on the bed and I went in there and joined him and I had the other two kids jumping too. The parents of the kids I babysat asked me what this was all about me letting them jump on the bed and I said, I remembered being a kid and having a lot of fun doing it and so I joined them...the kids mom thought well I guess I'll try it and the next time she brought the kids the 4 year old had a cast on his arm...I felt good that they were learning how to have fun but I felt bad that he broke his arm...she didn't have me babysit much longer...lol. My son and I continued this behavior probably until he was 6 or 7 without incident. Seriously I would really like to know who makes up some of the rules out there because some have no benefits for children whatsoever. For example, I've heard more than one doctor say, "Don't pick up your baby when he/she crys; let him/her cry for a while, clean out his/her lungs,...blah, blah, blah" Bahumbug! As soon as my kids and grandkids cry I am right there to hold them, check their diapers, see if they're hungry or thirsty, or whatever. This did not spoil them. It made them feel secure. It made them feel loved. It made them feel important and worthy. It felt like the right thing to do to me therefore, it was.

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    1. I just read your thing about leaving a name...I didn't see that option in the drop down box but I wrote this one about when my son was 3-
      Honey Halley

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  6. It is truly an honor to be mentioned in your blog! I absolutely know what you are talking about..with the tub thing most of all. We regularly have water dripping down into the livingroom most all the time. Thank you!!

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  7. My son jumps all the time and sometimes I join him and he loves it..he smiles and laughs and that is worth everything... To see him enjoy playing with me..it does not happen often..he keeps to himself alot

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  8. Sounds like my house too! My Son is always naked though. =)

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    1. We have that problem too :) Thank goodness he keeps his pullup on most of the time.

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  9. I absolutely love reading your blog. I feel the same. Although we are pretty strict w the utensils and eating at the table anything else is open game. My 5year old daughter is non verbal as well. If she expresses interest in wanting something and communicates it to us not only are we proud but we are bending over backwards to make it happen. Outsiders don't understand why we do what we do, that's ok because life is about making yourself and children happy not those looking in. Margo T

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  10. Lol love this mine are jumping on the furniture ( at age two he fell off the sofa and got hurt but we also found out he had cancer because of that fall) so now it's a jump for all , Starbucks hot chocolate so what if we are late to school by 5 mins he went in and was good in line and was nice to people and not I'm the king move or I scream so yep Starbucks lol wearing a swimsuit in the shower makes him feel better and things are still washed just under a suit . Pancakes for dinner and peas and chicken for breakfast mmmm he ate a veggie I'm good lol. At 11 banging on pots and pans at least there is a vauge beat of the Beatles. On the whole he's happy and I'm sane ( sorta) my son has enough crap to deal with be a kid and have fun he's not hurting anyone else or himself!

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  11. We let our 9 year old with ASD eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in front of a computer with a movie playing. Don't know the last time he ate with us. But at least he's now sitting down for his dinner when before we had the stress of trying to eat and chase him.

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  12. I have no kids - ASD or NT. But if I did (and I do this with the younger kids in my family too), I don't see the problem with jumping in puddles, getting dirty, eating with your hands.
    My great niece is 1yo, so she's a messy eater - and some HATE that - but who gives a damn really? Clothes wash, carpets get hoovered, wash the kids face.

    People were always giving my mum looks when I was a kid - I'm a girl and there I am covered in mud, dirt... and some days (when they were resurfacing the roads) - TAR! She didn't care, I came in to eat - she changed my clothes - put them in the washer.

    So to be fair - I think a lot of these would apply if you had a NT kid - it just makes you a fun dad. :)

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  13. I can absolutely relate!

    My son has very limited eating as well and he eats all of his meals in my room while playing on his computer.

    Definitely splash in the tub and pool,

    he gets upset (screams) sometimes when we are out in public and people act as if I am the worst parent with the worst child in the world! So irritating and my husband has actually confronted people about it..

    My son drinks mostly root beer- at least it is caffeine free! and he eats lunch for all three meals lol

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  14. My son, too, is severely autistic and nonverbal. I, too, wait eagerly for the day some words come out, any words, at any volume. Your mention of trying to teach your son to enjoy puddles and splashing reminds me of my effort to teach my son farting is funny. My husband told me that was a mistake, but boys think farting is funny, and I wanted my son to think it's funny too. Well, he's 13 now. And he thinks farting is funny. And my husband was right...it was a mistake. Thanks for your list and your blog. It was a recent discovery and I'm enjoying it.

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    1. LOL! Too funny, those little things that seem right at the time always like to bite us in the butt later. But as in outsider looking in it's still funny. Great post!

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    2. hahahaha i still think it's funny too.... and im not a boy!
      I have a low functioning nearly 3 yo asd boy! He doesn't get the farting thing yet either... our newest learned skill that i used to get in trouble for.... blowing bubbles in your dirnk!! Milk is the best.... those bubbles come right over the top of the cup!!! Evem better with chocolate milk! :D
      Kel

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  15. There were times when I let my son eat in the bathtub if it meant that he would eat a few more bites. He was failing to thrive and under a doctor's care for that. When I told the doctor how I got my son to eat, he actually laughed and told me, "Whatever works!" -Kristel

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  16. I have two children with autism; I allow my 3yr old to take her socks and shoes off almost anywhere we are due to her many sensory issues. I allow my 8yr old to yell and scream at me sometimes because I understand that he gets very frustrated because I may not completely understand what he's trying to tell me.

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  17. Autism Daddy, You are so much further down the line than I am at present. Most of the things that you can now accept are the issues that I have problems with. Accepting that I have to change to issues that I don't feel are acceptable is very difficult. I have much to learn. But I AM learning through this process of reading and sharing. So thanks.

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    1. You will get there. He is an inspiration and puts the words we are sometimes thinking down on paper per say. Kudos to Autism Daddy. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and not sweat the stuff that won't harm your child. My best to you.

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    2. You will get there soon enough and you will find ways that work for you. When people come to our home they may be shocked at some of the things going on but I say if they can't handle eating with hands and flapping around then go home. If it doesn't cause bodily harm or death its a go at our house!

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  18. I let my ASD daughter sleep in the clothes she wore that day, eat chicken nuggets and fries for breakfast (Ihop will actually cook them for breakfast), watch tv while she eats (our kitchen/living room are one big room and you can see the tv from the table), play video games all day on a weekend (she's so quiet that way). Definitely need to pick your battles.

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  19. I agree with so much of what you are saying!! I think that is so true, it is a right of passage for all kids to experience jumping in puddles, splashing in the tub or pool. I have let my son go out and play in the mud, he was covered and had mud running down his face , up his nose, and a lot of other strange places...he had a blast, so what, he got dirty. That's what soap and water is for!

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  20. My son will play in the sink for hours. Our bathroom floor is ruined because he has flooded it so many times. Oh, and if he's naked doing it...he's even happier! Also,I worked with him for a long time to eat with a fork. He wanted to use his hands, and it was a real mess. However, I do understand the "at least he's eating" mindset. We have been through that as well. You really have to pick your battles. The school was helpful with an eating program to help him with using a fork, as well. -Shannon

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    1. Shannon my son has flooded the bathroom so many times we have water damage. He loves water so much..when it gets too much I have to shut down water in the the whole house

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  21. my six year old son has pddnos and spd, adhd, some kind of mood dissorder(they suspect bipolar) and possible dyslexia. He is VERY MUCH A sensory kiddo. Lights in grocery stores bug him too many people and noise in any place makez for a short trip anywhere bc he gets over stimmed. what calms "BB"down is deep pressure and lost of exerting of energy. so I do things like let my kid jump on the mattress on the floor and crash into the couch cushons piled on the floor amd lots and lots of running, that most nt parents dont encourage. I do these things bc they help him. and Ill do anything to help my little guy navigate his world and feel more comfortable in it. I loved your post thanks for writing!

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  22. one day my son climbed up on a chair and my sister said, al get down but i butted in and told al that if he was gong to jump he had to bend his knees and jump at that time my brother in law says, see that's the difference between you and your sister, she tells him to get down and you teach him the right way to jump!!
    my sister in law on my husbands side thinks i'm the biggest irresponsible parent in the world because i've learned how to choose my battles and she's neurotic and would rather tie my son down and force him to watch tv!!
    thanks for your blogs

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  23. Kudos to you!! I let my ASD and NT do these things! Why? Well, why not?!? I know what it is like to NOT be able to do these things and grow up in a restrictive enviroment where I was NOT free to express myself or my energy. I don't mind when my children run back and forth through the house. At least, they have legs to run. I don't mind them arguing, laughing, screaming or fussing. At least they have a voice. I let them dress themselves in whatever they want. At least we have clothes... this teaches independence as well. My ASD can benefit from some independence... Oh wait, he doesn't know what that is.. But you get the point! Mud? Puddles? Go for it, at least you have the ability to jump.. Am I a horrible mother? One might think so... My children are happy, healthy and even disciplined if need be. Oh, and the tv? Bahaha! We have camp outs or pajama parties for dinner just so my ASD son will eat! They do both eat with utensils.. So, yes, I choose my battles and choose them wisely... If they have the ability to do these things as kids should... then let them... because they could always lose it and never know the feeling...Some kids would love to know what it's like.. So let's run, scream, and jump for the kids that can't!

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  24. Sliding down the banister instead of walking down the stairs in the morn. This is a pick your battles thing. Short of standing guard at the stairs all the time, i have officially given up on this one. When i did succeed in getting her down the traditional way, she would go back and get a slide in anyway before school. if all else goes ok in the morning getting ready, I'm not going there on this one. I wish we had a fire pole and I would join her. We did actually stop it during Christmas with garland wrapped around banister. We discussed leaving the garland up all year, but we took it down and I instructed her to go give it a whirl.

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  25. I let my kids wear pajamas in public. Not all the time, but when they want to--why not? Their pajamas are cute, clean, warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. If they feel like their day will be better if they wear pajamas, why on earth would I MAKE them wear something else? I let my PDD-NOS son with auditory sensitivity wear hats with ear flaps or ear muffs whenever he wishes, regardless of the season. And I let my aspy with sensory issues layer his clothes when he wants to and wear pants in the summer if he isn't liking the air on his legs (which is frequent). I may be the worse mom in the world for someone else's kids, but mine seem to be happy :D

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    1. Our son will not wear pants only shorts no matter how cold, people think we are the worse parents to allow it but heck if I am uncomfortable with something I don't do it so how are we to judge what makes him uncomfortable. My name is Lucy and I am proud of my autistic son with or without pants!

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  26. My Riley is exactly the same it's like looking in a mirror I am a 43 yo dad of severe add non verbal 3 yo I get great comfort from reading your status updates good luck with little Kyle looking forward to your next posting :-)

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  27. Having both autistic kids and NT I tend to allow all mine do these things - I'm forever being told that my kids are getting dirty and my comment is that I have a washing machine and bath at home. Kids should be kids and mine all love a day in the woods when they come home covered in mud. Meal time we try to have at the table but I have one who will eat a school dinner and then only want breakfast items for tea and as long as she eats we are happy.

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  28. I love this! we fully participate in every activity here, except the breakfast. if it is a syrupy one, it is at the table. plus, I am anal about my bathroom floor sadly. I let her clothes the curtain and go to town :)

    yet again, another awesome post, including #11 ;)

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  29. We let our son run and flap as much as he wants. We know when he is doing this he is letting out the energy and the build up from the school day and when he is stressed. So when he starts flapping and running we just let him go.

    Just found your blog and LOVE IT!

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  30. Yes! We have a 3-year-old non-verbal autistic son and we do the same things.

    Another thing we do, which I am sure gets some looks from other people, is that when we go food shopping sometimes he wants to eat what goes in the cart. Most times, I open the package there and then and let him have it. He's such an awful eater and it is such a struggle, so when he actually decides to eat, I am all for it. :)

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  31. Well as our weather goes from snow to rain(around March). The kids and I have what I call mud day. We put on rain gear(rain coat, rain pants and rubber boots)and go to the ravine(we pack a picnic lunch). We spend all day sliding down the hills and jumping in puddle. We come back completely exhausted and covered in mud. They wash .
    As for breakfast as long as it is not dessert eat whatever you want for breakfast(today they are eating smoked fish)
    My youngest DD talks no stop, I wish my Ds son would talk that much
    my kids love tea and coffee. So I get them decaffeinated. There happy , I am happy
    Life is to short to be so serious all the time, enjoy life

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  32. You are a wonderful dad!!! I have a 9 yr old son with developmental disabilities. We were originally told aspergers but now we are not so sure. He will be going into a hospital for several weeks to get his meds on the right track and hope to get a differential diagnosis. I completely agree with you. It's all about picking your battles. I firmly believe that it if it doesn't hurt the child (or anyone else) then what's the problem? We need to let our children, especially special needs children, the freedom and encouragement to explore their world. Life is messy. My son has a lot of sensory issues, doesn't like mess, or water in his face to name a couple. When he actually wants to make a mess-- guess what? We make as big a mess as we can. I have long Ago given up trying to have a clean and clutter free house. We have arts and crafts "stuff". Stashed throughout the house so when the desire hits, we're ready to create. Keep doing what you are doing and celebrate your amazing son. He is special and beautiful.

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  33. I have an aspie and 2 NTs. I know exactly what you mean. I can't help but let him do things that I tell his sisters not to do.

    Touching stuff at stores- I know it's a sensory thing for him to rub his fingers along shelves at the store. If it keeps him calm, have at it. Same with rubbing his hands along his wheelchair wheels while I'm pushing. I know it's a safety thing but it's also a sensory calming thing for him.

    Eating strange combinations or turning a food down- my son lives by his senses so I know if he's turning something down, it's not because of taste. It's a texture thing that he just doesn't have the words to describe. I have the same issue so I "get it."

    Blunt comments- I know I really should stop this but when he makes blunt or stating-the-obvious remarks, he's not doing it to be a smart ass. He just can't help it. I kinda do this so I "get it." Sometimes the words just come out. It's hard to control. Plus, he typically doesn't even registers a stranger's presence so if he acknowledges you because you made a wrong statement, hey, it's social interaction. lol

    My son is a heavy thumb sucker. He has a strong oral sensory need and has always been that way. As a baby/toddler, he was heavy on the paci. I didn't mind cause it kept toys and other random objects out of his mouth. I got peer pressured into taking away his paci. Now, he's a thumb sucker. The dentist wants to put a cage in his mouth. Besides the sensory issues that THAT would jack up, I can't help but feel guilty that I tried to force an NT timeline on him that drove him to this. Let him have the damn thumb. Otherwise, it's back to toys, pencils, clothes, shoe laces, etc. He can get braces later.

    When we visit with family, I make my girls meet and great and interact. I don't force him. Let him come to you on his own. If he wants to sit in a corner sucking that thumb while in a trance with the tv, let him. I'd rather a calm antisocial child than a screaming one. lol

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    1. Kiesha,
      My daughter sometimes has issues with chewing things. I bought a chewing ring and put it on a lanyard. That way she always as it. Also, there is Chewelry. Check out www.kidcompanions.com
      Jenny

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  34. I completely agree. If I can get one of my boys to just touch the grass with his toes or step in a puddle to see what happens, I'm happy. I also let mine talk loudly because they are still learning language and so if they will just say something that isn't echolalia, I don't care if it's so loud it scares the person next to them. LOL

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  35. All of those things...except for the coffee, I'm not a good sharer. Around our house there is also an excessive amount of nudity. I overheard my daughter say to a friend recently that if you don't want to see a naked little boy, you just shouldn't come to our house. Funny...and true. Recently, furniture moving has been his thing. Since our furniture is well beyond even donatable to Goodwill status, I really don't care that the recliner is frequently flipped back and used as a climbing device. I'm sure this will bite me in the ass (along with so many other things) if we ever manage to get some decent furniture. I will pay those dues when that day comes, but for now, I am getting through our day as peacefully as possible.

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  36. We let our kids do most of these things and a few other odd things that parents don't like also. It is great for our daughter with autism, and I think it is good for our other 2 children to see some advantages to having a sibling with autism, instead of just the negatives. All their friends love to come to our house because we have all the fun therapy things - swing, balls, etc.

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  37. Oh the shopping cart! My husband and I joke all the time about how our son will be 22 still sitting in the back of the cart! So funny!

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  38. I love this post! Our son is 5 and has classic nonverbal autism as well. I related to your 10 things more than I can even describe. It is EXACTLY the same as our son. And he LOVES jumping on the bed, he just learned how to jump so we encourage it!

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  39. Oh yeah.

    Guilty: 1, 6, 8,10, 12

    ~ Lisa

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  40. I have no ASD kids, but I went to school for Human Development and I have found that any child at any age benefits from being allowed to make their own choices. I have 4 children ages 1-7. I let them wear whatever they want and do what they want in those clothes. My 3 year old loves to wear princess dresses, and she gets to wear them to stores, outings, etc. They have wonderful imaginations and I have a messy house. At least they are allowed to be kids. -Stephanie

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  41. Amazing. And awesome! I do the same kinds of things. If it's not harmful to the kid or those around, then who cares?

    My non-dx'd but definitely borderline 10 yr old will only eat chicken. No veg, no fruit. We have vitamins. She will survive. Also, if I make burgers & fries for dinner, the fries are from scratch, so she does get potato, at least. :)

    I also blog about our ASC journey. I'm an aspie, my oldest son is an aspie, my daughter is borderline, and my youngest is not on the spectrum at all. We're here: http://parentingwithaspergers.blogspot.com/

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    1. If your daughter likes juice, try the V-8 Fusion juices. Our developmental pediatrician told us to try them since my four year old won't eat vegetables.

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  42. Good post! I think all the eating "rules" are the ones we've violated the most. I have an 11 year old non-verbal son with autism, and he has never sat at the table. Many times when he was younger I would sit him on a chair at the table, and he would just flop his entire body over the side of the chair. (It's difficult to eat like that). That's only if I was holding him, otherwise he was running away. I gave up that battle years ago.

    Also for the eating, there have been many times that my son would eat nothing all day. In fact when he was around 2-3 he looked like he was starving to death. I was raised of course with the idea that if the child got hungry enough they would eventually eat what you gave them. Ugh, no. I've watched my son starve himself, and no amount of hunger will make him eat what he cannot stand. Not only that, but being hungry makes him incredibly cranky. So my goal is to get him to eat.Whatever I can, and supplement with vitamins.

    I believe in the freedom of each parent to decide how their child is raised (as long as they are safe and are fairly treated). Thirty/fifty years from now, people will look back at the customs and rules parents have now and probably think their outdated and ignorant, just like we look back and can't believe mothers used to smoke and drink while pregnant, or let their kids ride bikes without helmets. It's all relative or so I believe :).

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  43. both of my severe ASD kids have their quirks too. We have tried eating at restaurants, but my son will get up the moment he is done and want to leave so ppl will let us know he is being inappropriate, so we eat at home a lot. How dare we bother people in the world- at least that is the feeling we have been left with. Our children have mutism, so they can talk but choose when they want to, they get over stimulated easily. The don't have a lot things they will eat, one loves to splash in water, we taught her to use the sink as a swimming pool for barbie. Our son has to be clean all the time OCD. They are a handful and challenge, but if you have not walked in our shoes, we dont want your comments, or insults. Questions are always welcomed. We put our life together the best way it works for our ASD kids, and if it is not up to the worlds standards we do not care. Please don't hand up the crap either that all specialists, therapists, and doctors, or even schools have all the answers either, we have never seen a 'one size fits all' for autism. But if we ever do, we will first in line. We love our children and are just trying to make the best life possible for them. And yes, we definately follow the list of things above.

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  44. I LOVE your list! My son is very severe and LF as well--he is non-verbal and 16. I wish I could LET my son do some of these things. He does not talk or watch TV at all :(, or play as in jumping on the bed, in puddles or running up the hallway. All of his meals are pretty much grazing events and he hates silverware. Isnt it amazing how our point of view is so different from other parents? I would give my left arm for my son to sit down and watch any TV show, even South Park or Family Guy, but he just does not follow TV. On the other hand, I think my other 4 kids watch TOO much TV. In my house, there is no middle....thanks for posting this--shows how much one's perspective changes when raising an child with autism...

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  45. AD, your right on spot!!!! Let him be a Kid thats the best thing for him. we had 2 normal kids then 20 years later we had SAMANTHA ( CHD kid ) also alittle slow at learning in Special ed classes and then Luke ASD and we let them do anything within reason! I want them to get the full fun life as a kid. with the two older ones now 26 and 23 when they were kids we were the typical dont do that kind of parents now we have turned 100% and like you let them do things we never thought we would have in the past!! luckly Luke is very good in public we never have a problem with him acting up. Sam on the other hand is just a handful! IDK I pray we are doing the right things. I know with Sam since we almost lost her twice I think she is just spoiled! she is almost 8 and we are trying hard to break that of her!! When you almost lose a child you change your whole outlook on life. and the little thing dont really matter. like a clean house, dirty clothes at the playground, ETC. So I totally agree with what you are doing!! LET A KID BE A KID!! GOD BLESS YOU,WIFE, AND THE KING!!
    Ken K

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  46. I love this post. I have 6 kids; 3 NT and 3 with ASD. I have always let all of them do all of the things you listed, why not? I figure if they're dirty, they probably had fun. Jumping on the bed has become an issue recently since my non-verbal 5yo is kind of a bruiser and cracked a bed frame, so now we have 2 indoor trampolines.
    I guess what it comes down to is this, have we set up an environment where our kids are happy and safe and valued no matter what there abilities or challenges? Sounds like you have.
    On a side note, most days the ASD kids are WAY easier to parent than the NTs.

    - Denise Foote, Burlington, Vt

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  47. This is exactly what I said to my MIL when she complained about the kids wanting birthday cake for breakfast (I have an aspie and an adhd/ocd/anxiety that are both picky eaters).

    "Donut, cereal, cake - they are all the same thing and I bet the cake actually has LESS sugar than the cereal."

    I have never understood why some people are so anal about one certain, specific food only being for one meal during one time of the day.

    My kids like Cracker Barrel if we go out because they can get breakfast/lunch/dinner all day.

    I also have all girls but one is a monkey/tree climber/tomboy and I don't care. It makes her happy and jeans are cheap at Goodwill. I do own a washer and we have a functional bathroom so no one else should care.

    ~ Chris

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  48. I remember way back when my older two kids (no disabilities) were young, a friend and I used to let our younger ones play in the dirt while our older ones were at football practice. Didn't think anything of it, but another mom of an only child who was on the team just couldn't believe we let them get that dirty. She said she wouldn't have let them in her car ... Bet her house was cleaner than mine too ...

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  49. suzann gabriels momJanuary 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Thank you, thank you! It's funny how their rules don't apply in our lives. Live n let live, what works for us could make another family crazy. I'm grateful very day in every way, it's our journey! Suzann Haswell Gabriels mom. Jan 27th

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  50. Just found your blog! I love your. Top 12 although as the mother of a 21 yr old son with severe autism, I think my list might be worse. For example, I used to let my son eat in the bathtub because it was the only place he was content and I could fold some laundry. We have sloppy joes for breakfast and I will purchase any fast food treat if I can get him to poop! I am such a fan of your thoughts about parents who say they would not change their children with autism. How utterly selfish is that? Keep ranting! Denise

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  51. My son is now 19, Asperger's, Dyslexic, Dyspraxic & Dysgraphic. We have allowed all of the things in your list over the years. Now our son prefers to eat at his desk in front of his computer with just a fork. However IF we manage to get him out of the house to eat anywhere he is fine with sitting at a table and using cutlery like he sees other people using. Most of the things mentioned have dropped off as time has gone on but we still enjoy jumping in puddles and running down long corridors together :-) We also had a trampoline at our previous house but couldn't bring it with us to our current home as the garden is too small, this is a major regret on our side as our son LOVED to "let go" completely and just bounce and bounce for hours, he still moans at us now about not having it anymore :-( He is now far too tall to use his bed as a trampoline too :-( Dirt from being outside has always been positively welcomed here but even more so now that we have difficulty getting him out of the house. I echo a previous comment "some battles are worth fighting, some are not" and to be honest..... life is just too short and precious to be bothered by conventional behaviours/expectations when you have a child with "specialties" :-) Helen, Zack's mum, Derby, UK

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  52. loved this post related to much of the 12 in article- Not to be over-specific I do whatever it takes to keep my (asd spd) 7 year old son and I living as joyfully as possible. He is loved and self-esteemed thus far so that is my biggest job/duty. He keeps me in the present moment which keeps things more doable. I allow him more school days off than if he were NT, but school produces more stress/anxiety for him...Most days we are fortunate to have run rather smoothly.

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  53. Just lost my whole comment trying NOT to post anonymously. Ugh!! Sorry to sound so dumb but none of the profiles below are familiar to me. Can anyone help? Cathy

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  54. brillantly written as usual with great insight and understanding. our daughter emily has extreme sensory,has tactile problems and asd but as you said in your post let them have fun and join in and have fun as well my wife and i love to encourage our daughter to do these things.except jumping on the bed because of ceiling fan so we put a mini tramp beside her bed. if we didnt change our style of parenting we wouldnt have the success of her playing in the sand pit, walking on the grass,both bare foot,running under the sprinkler.jumping in puddles both muddy and just water.finger painting. we acheived this by doing these things until she was comfortable enough to join in(took roughly 2years)but worth it.we let her ride in the trolley at the supermarkets as well.were always watching that she does it safely and take note if she does something different to see how she has progress things that are taken for granted by nt's and their parents are special moments for us.we use what ever works to acheive these things.thanks autism daddy for this blog it helps by giving great ideas and a way to talk to other parents of asd kids.from ray.

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  55. Keep up the good work Dad, you are awesome!!

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  56. Andrea =-) Absolutely, people look at Liam and I like we are nuts because if he hears a siren or decides there is a great echo where we are I go with it. Its great to hear his voice in any matter. 1-12 I'm with you =0) I'd probably add, if he points at it he gets it 99% of the time -- this has been a long sought after skill that he is starting to grasp so its hard to say no

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  57. I have read all your comments, and have taken in what you have all said. But have you once asked yourself, how will my child live in this world with no learning skills. And how will he or she, lesion to, and have a good life when I'm no longer here. If we don't try to teach our kids then they will always have the disability, when they are adults with no skills of living a good life and treated as such. Where will your child be then. Teaching real life things is the best way, but don't use there disability to stop you from good teaching

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    1. Yeah. I see your point. Well, not really. Walk in any one of our shoes for a month and you can think about judging us on teaching our kids life skills. Every thing we do, no matter how silly it sounds is to get to a goal of some sort of life skill. We can't expect a child to cook or eat if the texture of items used to do that make their skin crawl. You can't expect an ASD kid to have a job if they can't even care for themselves. Would you expect a blind child to draw a flawless picture for you? THAT IS EXACTLY HOW RIDICULOUS YOU SOUND!


      Today my 14 year old Autistic son rode his 3 wheel bike for the first time. He actually used the pedals and even started to steer it for the first time. EVER!!
      The joy in his squeals and the big smile on his face filled my heart with joy and pride. My son was enjoying being a kid. His favorite part? Riding full tilt through the mud puddles! So don't try to tell us that we haven't thought about the long haul. The long haul scares the hell out of us daily. Sometimes you have to try to live in their world. Sometimes you have to enjoy what others see as silly or unimportant...things that are huge for our kids, things that are important life skills. Sometimes just making it through a day in a world that looks down their noses at you is all we can do.

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  58. Hello...my lil guy will be 5 shortly he speaks...very loud...for the most part this is aloud unless he is in my ear lol...also he is a jumper also he has a love seat in the toy room that is on its last legs...I dont mind because he knows that is what it is for..Like everyone has said you take the bad with the good and pick your battles...and currently he has no DX just ADHD with possible high functioning autism...but they have told me here that he is to young to do the testing for it.

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  59. My granddaughter is 12. The last couple years have been very difficult for her, thanks to puberty. She speaks, but mostly to herself, or when she really wants something. She loves music and it is played anytime she wants it, and usually the same song over and over for a long time. SHe has a mp3 and it is usually set on the same song all the time she is wearing it. We go out and play in puddles or just walk in the rain, when it is safe (no thunder or lightening) and warm enough. She eats with utensils, most of the time, but is quite the messy bessy! She loves dipping almost anything in cheese or ranch and I showed her how to dip her Ritz in applesauce. She takes LONG showers and usually sits in the bottom and lets the water build up to splash and play. Her mom and I are working on 'social' skills, as is the school. We will try to get her to be 'socially' acceptable, but not at the cost of making her unhappy or uncomfortable. She is different, and that is what makes her her. We allow her to be herself and try to add skills along the way. She doesnt like bouncing, by herself, but will sit someplace and let someone else bounce her! We hope someday she will have the balance and confidence to do it by herself. Keep being the daddy your son needs. That is all he needs at this point. Other things will come and times will change. Blessings to all!

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  60. Awesome post! I love the honesty and I think you are doing a great job! My child has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. She has gone through 16 surgeries in her 5 years and is the happiest kid. She's never been a big eater. It wasn't until she was almost 3 that I got her to eat any form of meat. In fact, the baby foods, all she would eat was the fruits, squash and carrots. Absolutely nothing else. The few things she has always eaten are cheese, yogurt and milk. I once asked the doctor about her weight gain issues and she said if you are worried, then instead of the yogurt sometimes, switch it for pudding. I know some parents would be appalled. As you said, it's about picking battles. Do you want them to eat and thrive or not eat and starve. It's not like I let her site and eat pudding all day. If you keep forcing, they won't eat at all. I also agree on the element of changing your views of what is necessary for the children to learn. My 3yr old has surpased my 5 yr old in learning but it's only encouraged her to try harder. She plays teacher and teaches him. She has a full-time assistant in school and is doing great. The daycare integrates her in such a fashion that she is "Isabel" to them, not "special". I want grand things for her, I am a parent, but I also know she is not going to be a doctor or rocket scientist, but who cares. What's important is letting them explore, letting them learn and LOVING them for who they are at this moment in time. That is how they will grow.

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  61. I can relate so much my boy eats with his fingers(have you tried it eating really is so much more fun and less dishes too:) ) so alot of the time we all eat with our fingers, he always runs everywhere at full throttle and usually naked so our neighbours are always getting an eyeful but hey with our 36 degree days here in australia i run around the yard naked too(the back one hes likes to be out the front). Our little man is very verbal and extremely loud hes loves to go to the pool spin around in circles with his arms stretched out and anyone around him will get wet as his Daddy said the other day at the pool(after a frown from a fellow swimmer) if you dont want to get wet why are you at the pool? And god forbid if your a little overweight or have a bit of a bootie he will let you know and anyone around you too. He might also try to slap you (thank god for quick thinking daddy who can anticipate his every move lol and a very understanding lady who admits with an arse like mine im not surprised.) He has a hard time not telling it like it is very straight forward and honest if there were more people like this im sure the world would be a better place but i do realise this could get him into trouble as he gets older esp if people arent aware of his autism we are working on it but when you take him out of his comfort zone into the unknown as we all know this is what will set off these behaviours there is always going to be a reaction of some sort. My son shines in school in a structed environment and has wonderful aides and supports in place to help him at the moment the holidays are upsetting his routine so we have all the quirks in full swing this is usual he will conform back to societys rules once hes back at school but when hes with his family hes free to be himself. I remember not so long ago my absolute dismay when he started telling everyone and everything to SHUT UP how will he cope in the world i would say to my bloke then all of a sudden it stopped i breathed a sigh of relief (it was just a phase) hold up next day FUCKWIT and this one stuck it hasnt gone away and i have learnt that humanity has alot more wrong with it than one little boy saying something that might be seen as offensive maybe our rules and society should be changed to suit our babies not the other way around there not being bad just truthful most of the time and if you learn to chill the simple things in life become the best My son has taught me so much and opened my eyes and for that i am thankful and yes its hard and yes it suks and sometimes i feel i could cry a river but i always remember to laugh a rainbow.

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  62. My son eats with his fingers, plays in the mud, climbs up and on everything, crawls under beds, hides in cupboards, jumps on beds, rolls around in the sheets.......drives me crazy, but isnt this the behaviour of 'normal' 6 yr olds? I totally appreciate where he's coming from - its so much fun. However we have had to put a stop to things, like turning on taps, ripping open packets of flour and sugar, ripping clothes from the line, throwing sand into the house, knocking over vases. Thankfully he thinks packing everything away or tidying up is a game so he has fun either way. TAKP

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  63. Nikki morton/ facebookJanuary 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Hi, i think you are one amazing dad!!!! My 16 yr old has ADHD and some ASD traits, functions better as he gets older, when he was younger he did not speak until he was five or sleep until he was seven, as long as he was not hurting himself or anyone else we stayed up with him, when he learnt to talk we listened and when he ran, wr ran with him, we jumped in puddles with him and soaked him with water guns, it neva hurt him and he lesrnt to play socially, please dont stop enjoying your child and meva stop being an amazing dad xx

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  64. I feel you missed one more? How about putting on some dance music. I put on jump from house of pain. When they say jump he jump with me. I also put some other music on and dance with him some time dance or rock music and dance away with him he really enjoys it. Beside when do they get a break from all the stress of the out side world. Also at school he is welcome to walk the halls in school but not to run because he a runner. As for hand free eating is some what changing to eating with fork and spoon after many times of handling with parasites.

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  65. My children aren't even autistic (my nephew is however, that is why I read your posts and can find the humor in them) and I let them do well over half of the things you let your autistic son do. It's all part of being a kid and enjoying it!

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  66. i do not have a child with autism but i do have a child who is severly motor and speach delayed and still considered a failure to thrive child at 2.5....i will let her eat what she wants when she wants.....we work on jumping and she cant stand grass or puddles but if she did we would be jumping in them....as for getting dirty i have a washe and dryer and theres the tub too....there are things that i allow hwer to do that my other 4 "normal" functioning children arent allowed to do.....we as paarents do need to pick our battles and if that means letting them run naked then so be it...i love my children and the rest of the world can be pissed off but as long as my kids are healthy and happy thats all that matters to me
    -amanda mom of 5

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  67. My ASD son loves to get big mouthfulls of pool water and spit it in amazingly long arcs. I know it's horribly antisocial, but he loves it so. And there's really no way to stop him short of not going swimming. We try to hit the pool when it's unpopulated.

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  68. I didn't read through all the comments so I apologize if I'm repeating someone's previous post but I would like to add to that list. Something that I let my son do that I know most parents cringe at is that I let him write on our walls. We can't break him of the habit as we don't bother trying. He learns how to write, it's good hand eye coordination and on some occasions, it'll end up looking like awesome artwork.

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  69. Autistic child is still a child and I've learned by experience that a child needs love, limits, discipline, consistency and routine to feel safe and happy. I think is a mistake to let any child to do whatever he/she want, specially when you consider that you are raise a kid to live in the world (with all stupid rules) and parents unfortunally will not live forever.

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    1. I think that unless you have a child with an ASD in your life, you will NEVER understand when we say "we let them do what they want". It does not mean that we are raising children to deliberately disrespect order and rules, we are allowing them self expression. NT kids "learn" to express themselves in ways that their parents FEEL is appropriate. As a NT adult, if someone had asked me as a child if I felt restrained in my self expression, my answer would have been a resounding YES. I did what was expected and tried hard not to "embarrass" my family.
      Another point I would like to make to you is this, some of our kids will never live in the world that you live in. Some ASD kids will not grow up and develop into what you probably consider "a full functioning adult" who participates in society, works, pays taxes, and votes. We all want those things for our kids, and if our kids are able to "participate" in your society we will teach them the skills they need. However, they are KIDS, let them be kids.

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  70. I am raising my four year old grandson who has an ASD. I would not trade a moment with him for the world. He has taught so much about what is and is not important in life. A clean house, nice, but not important. Three meals a day at the table on time, nice, but still not important. What is important is that he his happy, healthy, and safe. I strive everyday for those three things. He sits on my bed and eats popcorn and watches a movie (that he has probably watched a million times). He eats sunbutter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner some days. He loves to ride the bus to school and see his friends. He walks, climbs, and runs. He laughs and plays. He also screams, melts down, runs from me, and displays other behaviors that are "typical" for ASDs. No matter how tough some days can seem, he is my rainbow. He shows me what life is all about....being happy and together!

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  71. I say, let kids be kids, they are not little adults, they are immature and FUN. I was the aunty who always let my nieces and nephews jump on my bed cuz I knew they weren't allowed to at home. Life is for living, not controlling. I teach my ASD kids manners for outside the home but at home, almost anything goes unless it upsets other people in the house. Kudo's to you for posting this. Let the lame-asses over-control their kids until they rebel hardily. My boys will be just fine because of what I let them do, not because of what I don't let them do.

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  72. Thanks for posting this. As a mom of both NT kids and one Autistic one I applaud you and agree with you. We pick our battles more carefully with our ASD kid than we do with our NT ones. I know the value of letting him learn through things better by action. Way to go is what I say:} ~Leslie

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  73. Hi,my name is Sonya and my son Cameron is 10. I love your post...I firmly believe a kid needs to be a kid! I have as much fun with my son to try to get him to experience all of those things every kid should. In my opinion you are doing a fabulous job and thank you so much, now I know other parents feel like I do about many things:-)By the way, LOVE the video, too cute:-)

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  74. Hi!! Im Devin, a SAHM to two. Im a little late replying as I just read this today but I have to say, we do all but number 7, mostly because Alex doesn't like coffee lol. Alex was nonverbal until he was 6 so I understand the frustration. he is slowly starting to talk now and he's almost 7. My daughter (who's 4) is NT so I know both sides of the coin. I let her do what he does simply because its not fair to let him do something and not let her do it too.

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  75. Autism daddy, has anyone told you that they love you? I do, well, your posts anyway.

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. Dear Autism Daddy: I just discovered your blog spot today, and while I haven't read your every post, I've read enough to heave a giant sigh of relief. We also have a an 8/yo boy with autism, and your words...your thoughts....the way you express yourself with such honesty and candor.....somehow, you make me feel like it's all going to be alright (with enough coffee and Bon Jovi, that is!). THANK YOU for your time and generosity - for the rest of us! Anonymous DFWTrixie

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  78. Way to go dad! I do not have a child with Autism but I have worked with children that do. The "pick your battles" mentality is sometimes the only way to go. And weather your child has Autism or nor, childhood goes by way to quickly. Water can be mopped up, clothes and bodies can be cleaned as well as messes. Who cares if your kid gets dirty? As far as the coffee, caffine has a calming effect for many kid's like yours, including ADD and ADHD. I have used this with some of the kid's that I have worked with when meds were forgotten by parents or if they just weren't working. The child calms down and they get a treat as well.
    Love Ann Peace
    Megan

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  79. These are great and my son, who is also diagnosed does ALL of them. French Toast sticks are usually sent for lunch at school:) He had his first T-ball practice the other day and while other parents where telling their "typical" kids to get into ready position, keep their eye on the ball.....I am on the field just trying to keep my kid ON the field. :)

    Tara

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  80. I'm glad that you wrote this.
    Sitting in the cart was the one that really resonated with me.
    Now, she's borderline too big to fit, and I let her spin or make "snow angels" on the linoleum floor. Ah, yes, that's the way for a parent to get the admiration of strangers, ain't it? It keeps her quiet and happy, and if they ever saw the alternative, they'd thank me.
    I have a friend whose kid was in her cart and he started to melt down and she quickly gave him the One Thing That Always Works -- Mountain Dew -- and a woman in line behind her scolded her b/c of the caffeine and sugar, and for rewarding such a naughty boy.
    I am so impressed with the restraint that my friend showed, but she certainly did have a few words for the nosy lady....
    God bless you, I say.
    Bobbi Sheahan
    www.bobbisheahan.com

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  81. Fibromyalgia Mama who probably needs antidepressants. LOLApril 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Thanks for Sharing!:D

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  82. Oh yes--I did all of these things even BEFORE autism. I never saw the need for ridiculous rules that make no sense and get in the way of fun.

    Except the running. In our case, we have to teach him to walk because everywhere it's run run run! But I'm not strict about it. I probably should be....

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    1. I do have to say that I live in the most fabulous place to have a child with autism: Portland, Oregon! Never ever encountered a problem with people judging us or making rude comments. There is some staring sometimes, but that's to be expected. Once I explain about the autism to people who ask, they nod with understanding and ask if I need help. I'm telling you people, MOVE HERE.

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  83. So comforting to read about the same type of things we are dealing with our 7 yr old. it is reassuring to know we are not the only ones out there struggling or trying to keep a little bit of a sense of humor. It can be isolating. I am glad you post & blog. All you parents I have so much respect for you I know how hard you work. Katherine.

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  84. 1) Ice Cream is not just for dessert.

    We crush our meds and put it in a scoop of ice cream. A scoop of ice cream to put my autistic giant in a good mood before he boards the school bus. A scoop of ice cream because with autism, isn't life just hard enough anyway?

    2) Stimming

    Stimm all you want at home son ( the favorite stimming is connecting straws in a line.....his record is 17 ).........straws are so much cheaper than a XBOX! LMFAO! BUT>>>>>>>> when you leave the house you are condemmed to one straw! Sorry son, if your regular older brother has rules, so do you!

    3) Teeth.....

    Ok, i promise not to force you to brush your teeth monday through friday cause I know it's on your IEP and i know you do it at least twice in school......with everything else mommy deals with, lets hope Mommy remembers to brush them on saturday and sunday

    LMFAO. Im sure there is much more, but when you live and breathe autism, how can we remember anything? :)

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    1. oh and here's one of the weird ones:

      4) Nose....

      For some reason as long as it's in our own house, the autistic giant LOVES to look up my nose........it's somewhere boarder line of affection..........crack me up to the point i want to pee my pants, but hey, if he cant verbalize "I LOVE YOU MOM"........i'll take ANY SIGN of affection as im concerned.....

      in public? i'll try not to laugh loud......but he does try to do it EVERYWHERE...........

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  85. I let my kids play with sticks outdoors, as long as they don't aim at people. I always hear parents yelling, "Drop that stick NOW!!!" One time a playground parent grabbed a stick from her child, who had just grabbed the stick from my child, and I said to the parent, "Can my son have his stick back now, please?" The look on that parent's face was priceless.

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  86. I will never forget the one and only time my daughters teacher took me aside and very proudly announce she had to tell her off for talking in class!!! I was sooo excited and proud - it was a wonderful achievment!.... I love to sing and dance around the house but my kids wont have a bar of it, in fact they hate it... I love to see my kids laugh and relax in thier own skins so I try to encourage wacky silly behaviour anywhere almost anytime and often its things like breaking those unspoken rules like jumping in puddles and getting dirty...love it! Louise

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  87. I must say that growing up mexican has trained me to believe that eating with your hands is the only way to eat and honestly everything else was and still is my life at times so I would do the same with my child too no matter if my child is unique, challenged or even vanilla if I am unlucky as long a the child is happy, safe , secure , and loved all will be well

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  88. One summer, my 11 yr old autistic son, Kyle was afraid to touch snakes and frogs. I'm a mom and don't like these things either...But I can't have my SON afraid! So I picked up my first snake and we took it in the house to show his dad. OK dad was not impressed and yelled at us. Perhaps this is part of why we're now divorced...! lol
    But the neighbor was proud when MY SON carried it to her house! This was the summer of all things living. FROGS, SNAKES, BUGS, WORMS....everything was awesome and a new play thing for my son! I love my little buddy and all his silly quirks!

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  89. I do not have a child with autism. I know a little about it because my daughter is a music therapist, and I have friends that have children with autism. I'm happy to read this, though, for a different reason than those sharing the same experience. It reminds me how far we have come from my own childhood. We gone so far, as a society in general, toward keeping everyone safe, and clean, and perfect that many people learn to be afraid to try anything. And many parents opt for the television or computer over anything they'll have to help clean up. I think next time it rains I'll go find a puddle to jump into myself.

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  90. Hi my name is Veronica. My 3 year old is a sweet little girl recently diagnosed with Autism. I absolutely hate when parents look at me crazy or with irritation when I'm doing something "wrong." My daughter rides in the cart (she's still small enough to fit in the seat so she sits there) and we always take books and get her an icee to keep her quiet. On days when she wants to walk she does and if we have to stop so she can do her finger wagging in the middle of an aisle I oblige her much to others disdain. She's barely going to be 4 but I can see we'll have a bit of a battle ahead of us. Not just with her but with people. Unfortunately for them we're just doing what we do because hey it's all about her. :)
    I think the one thing I let her do that I don't let my other children do is be ridiculously loud. She is loud, she screams, shrieks, cries, yells (happy and mad) and mimics what I say... very very loudly. But we're encouraging the speech so we let her. Oh, and when she dresses herself (because heaven help us if I make her wear what I pick out) I don't care if she goes out wearing the most ridiculous outfit ever, if she wants it she can wear it. :)

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  91. thats what I was thinking some of those points lime the playground or puddles or the pool are made for those things its like your not letting your child be a kid and dirt washes right out its fine.

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  92. I am the father of a 14 year old son with Autism. He has his obsessions. TRAINS is a HUGE one. We have been train watching since he was 5. We go every Sunday morning, Monday evening to watch the local Sounder Commuter trains come through and he rides The Sounder from Tacoma to Seattle and back every Friday evening for the past 4 years. The whole Sounder team (Engineers, Conductors, Security, Station Agents...etc) have embraced and love Ryan as much as he does of them. It has be the BEST socialization technique for him, as most of the people there love trains too!
    I let him obsess about time too. Yeah, it gets exhausting sometimes about getting a time update every 5 minutes sometimes. And I'm talking a time update from a major city in each time zone! So, that's 24 times every 5 minutes. So, there's the good and the bad there. He knows all his time zones!! WOO HOO! He knows a ton of major cities and countries! WOO HOO!! Since he is obsessed about time, I don't need to get him to get ready for bed at 7:50pm every night. He does that all on his own. However, if I am more than a few seconds late to come read with him, "Daddy gets a good talking too!" lol..
    The good with the bad, knowing which battles to fight and are worth winning and which ones where you just go "Oh to heck with it! He's (she) is happy! And nobody is going to get hurt or killed doing it!"
    Pick and choose your battles wisely friends! It makes life for the parents AND the kids 100% happier and better!

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  93. People (like my mother) are always giving me crap for letting my daughter (not autistic) eat a different dinner than everyone else. She's below the 1st percentile for her weight and height so I say, "F*@k it." I'm barely keeping her alive at this point. I'll let her mac & cheese, as long as she eats. I don't have an extra 7 hours to sit around and wait for her to get hungry enough to eat the dinner I've prepared.

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  94. Like your son, my son does not eat well and has lost a lot of weight over time, its a roller coaster ride. Se he too gets to eat whatever weird combinations he wants and uses his hands. My husband wishes I'd reinforce the silverware more often, but Ive watched all his bones protrude for so long that I'll let him shovel the food in with his fists if that's easier for him to eat an adequate amount.
    One thing that I allow him to do in public is stand in the rain - the parents at school pick up are rushing to get their kids safely under cover. They smile at him and dart crazy looks at me, but he loves the rain so! He takes off his rain coat and stands under the broken gutter so the rain can plop down on him and he just laughs and spins and jumps - and we leave with him completely soaked, then I have to dry his car seat when we get home. I've never been able to keep an umbrella over his head, and why would I want to when I so rarely get to see him so happy.
    ~Melanie,
    mom to a 9 year Aspie girl and 7 year PDD boy.

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  95. Stay up late and sleep in.. this is one of the things that allows my 25yo feel like he is in control of his own life. Now he is always in bed by midnight and up by 9. He makes some good decisions if I let him make mistakes.. Not much different then myself growing up:) My parents think its terrible but I dont care.
    Sing out loud with headphones on. He like to go for walks around town and my husband and family say.. I should stop him from moving his hands and singing out loud but again... Why?... I would like to do that.. and he is getting exercise and enjoying himself.. I say let him, dance, sing, shout or whatever.. if he is doing something healthy, not hurting anyone and happy..leave it alone... I wish I could live in a place where acceptance was the standard and unconditional love was in all the hearts of those who were capable.

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    1. Yeah, I know how you feel. We've had to teach our daughter that "there are times and places where you can't" and she's generally able to hold it in until she's not in those places. Of course, we've limited the times we take her there, too.

      And isnt it always with the headphones? Like, they wear them more than they don't? BTW...if he chews through the cords as often as my daughter...I recently bought a set of wireless ones, and she wears them ALL DAY. Of course, I had to put up with 2 weeks of "I can go all the way over here and still here my music"....and they are more expensive, but I'm only buying them once. Great for in the house, but not for around the neighborhood. (and yes, she walks the neighborhood alone too)

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  96. Glad to see this thread is still active.You have a great blog,I only discovered it yesterday.

    It's interesting to see how many kids on the spectrum like coffee.I've seen that more than once.I discovered I loved it when I was seven years old.given all the health benefits that have been found from coffee,it's probably better than the crap in most juice boxes.

    +1 for sleeping in the clothes you wore that day,and going around the house naked.

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  97. I agree with anonymous@2:59. There's really no harm in most of these things - for the most part they are things that I'm sure we pretty much all let slide and maybe even encourage (splashing and jumping in puddles, oh yeah!) - except for the eating with fingers and running in the hallway. It's really not cool for someone to eat with their fingers or run wild. Seriously. And before y'all bite my head off, because I'm reading a little self righteousness from some folks, which is kind of funny because I'm pretty sure we are all parents of autistics, let me just say that I am the parent of a severely autistic ADULT (21 years old now) who was completely nonverbal and not potty trained for the first half of his life (he has limited expressive speech now but great receptive speech). I can tell you first hand that our precious adorable angels can grow up to be very big and strong willed people - and that ingrained behaviours are really hard to change. If we don't put expectations on our kids when they are younger and can best adapt it only gets harder for them when they are older. TRUST ME ON THIS! If your son is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds it will disgust people if he has bad table manners and if he runs everywhere he will scare people or get hurt. We're not always going to be there to protect them. We can't use autism as an excuse not to teach our kids appropriate social behaviors. It's hard, I know! So really, you are preaching to the choir if you write back and tell me it's hard. But if we want them to have the best shot at happiness in adulthood we have to teach them these things. By the way, this is an awesome blog.

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    1. Wow Frankie,

      You make a ton of sense, and I am experiencing what you are talking about with my 11 year old son. He has outbursts and it is hard to calm him down. Before I could just hold him and help him slow his breathing and bring him back to being calm. Now, it isn't so easy to keep hold of him until he calms down. I appreciate you being the voice of wisdom and experience.

      Chris

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  98. my mom thought the same thing about talking but my brother made up for the time he didnt talk to when he did start by playing 100tillion and 1 questions he could litterally sit there and talk and ask questions to you forever he wont get tired of it ever i want to put him in front of a polotician for an afternoon but id be afraid a war would start afterwords

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  99. Every single one of these hits home. Especially the eating ones.

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  100. I let my daughter correct adults.

    Her mind works in a very logical progression. In school, when she has to turn in a paper, and they tell her, "wait, not right now"; her brain is going 'gotta turn it in gotta turn it in gotta turn it in' and she misses the whole rest of the class because she's been told that she HAS TO TURN IN THE PAPER AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS. When they tell her 'not right now', nothing else happens in her mind until that entry is cleared.

    So we let her correct adults who 'gum up the works' and she is encouraged by us and her therapists to stand up and say, "NO I *have to* turn this in NOW."

    The byproduct of this is that she corrects ALL adults, and anyone that is wrong, and spits out whatever needs to be said "RIGHT NOW" with no waiting.

    PFFT. Tact. Tact is for NTs. We don't do tact. Boring people do tact!

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  101. Breakfast is a walking and grazing meal here too! Love this list! You do definitely have to pick and choose your battles :)

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  102. My oldest has autism and I wanted to add a couple of our own. He's three and we're incredibly lucky. He has few meltdowns, he's really social, and he's very happy and bright (he's learning to read/spell)

    1 Point at everything! For years my son wouldn't point. He's also visually impaired so he used his entire hand to indicate but never pointed. He's now pointing (Thank you, Ipad).
    2 Play video games at the table in a restaurant (Again, apps on the ipad). It really helps him ignore the background noise and stops meltdowns so we can finish eating.

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    1. He's our boy. Usually we get the point and whisper treatment, but it's often followed by "That's such an interesting game" or something like that, to which we explain "It's an iPad in a fisher price case. We get the O_o for that, usually.

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  103. I agree with these. Between trying to just allow for a moments peace without the battle, and wanting your kid to have fun like any NT kid, These are really important. It may not make me mom of the year, but my daughter is happy and healthy and that's all that matters.

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  104. Lori Storms CollinsJune 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    I have 3 sons with Autism, two are nonverbal and one is echolalic with no conversational speech. I agree with all 12 and would like to add I also allow my sons to stay on the computer for hours at a time because one it keeps them occupied watching Disney videos and being able to control it, fast forward and rewind freely, and two it makes them happy and brings them joy so why not. But I realize NT parents would frown upon this!
    Lori Storms Collins
    Visalia Ca

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  105. Totally loved this post! I was bought up very strictly and had similar expectations for my own kids. The first year of parenting we had a very strict routine and way of doing everything...it was exhausting and unrealistic for us. I stopped judging other parents for the way they bought up their kids as I was finding myself doing "whatever works" at times just to get through the day just like they did! my son in now 2yrs 7mths and we have just got an ASD diagnosis. Not that this changes much of the way we treat him at home. Most of the things on your list are "normal"in our house too. Especially jumping in puddles. Our front yard gets the most awesome puddles and when ever it is warm enough I let him out there and get all muddy and wet. He loves it so much and I get so much joy out of watching him so thoroughly happy :) sleeping is another big one for us. He is a terrible sleeper at the moment. we often let him stay up late or sleep in or have 4 hours day sleeps because that is the only way we can get him to have enough sleep. We let him spend "too much" time on the ipad because some days that is the only way I can get through the day with him. I say pick your battles, and do whatever works for your child and your family and who cares what others say (although it does hurt). We are just in the beginning of this journey, I intend to give my son the best opportunities to learn, grow and be happy as possible. As long as it isn't harming him or others does it really matter??
    Desma
    Australia

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  106. my 8yr old son is also non-verbal and classed as having server ASD, and yes i total agree he gets away with all the above unlike his brother or sister. The joy of seeing him smile throws out any "correct" parenting rules. from kelly,in england

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  107. We recently went to visit my in-laws for ten days. My 3 yr old who is autistic was jumping on beds, couches, chairs, etc. Grandma kept telling her to stop. My daughter started acted differently-she was not happy and seemed to be full of angst. Finally I just explained to Granny that she NEEDS the sensory input. She NEEDS to jump. She NEEDS to crash. She said she just worried about her falling and hurting herself. I told her that was a risk I was willing to take (she never has injured herself yet/knock on wood!) I just couldn't stand to see my daughter be so uncomfortable.

    We have a really cool trampoline in our front room that has sides all the way up it. She jumps to her heart's content in there. It's a "Bounce-N-Learn Interactive Kids Trampoline by Skywalker, 55" Round" It was the best $79 I have ever spent. I am often heard telling her to go and "Jump it out!" I can just tell when she is needing sensory input. She starts getting cranky and it seems as if she can't stand to be in her own skin. Jumping always seems to make her feel better.

    Oh yes, and it's Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies for breakfast for our girl. Some people have made rude comments about us allowing her to eat so much junk but she'd starve to death otherwise. She gets a multivitamin and is as healthy as a horse!

    I try not to care what judgmental buttheads think of us. It's my girl and what she needs to be happy. That's all this momma cares about!

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  108. Hello Autism Daddy,

    My name is Chris and I have an atutistic son too. I know medication is usually a last resort, but I wanted to let you know that my son never ate either until we put him on abilify for his ticks and mood swings it increased his appetite ten fold. He is 11 now and eats us out of house and home. He wants to be a Chef.

    Your a great Dad and your son is lucky to have you.

    Take care,

    Chris

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  109. I am an Autism Mom - my son is non-verbal still :( at age 16.
    My son has been drinking coffee for years! My pot automatically shuts off after 2 hours so if there is any coffee left in the pot he will finish it! I started just pouring him half a cup for every cup I take several years ago thinking if he tasted it while hot he would learn that is the way coffee is supposed to be. But he still drinks it cold, straight from the carafe every time he gets.

    Petty much every one of these hits the mark. You have to pick your battles.

    About the only thing maybe I could add is: "Let him stim", not excessively of course, but if it will help or if a stim object can be used as a motivator let him do it. In the car I have plastic shower curtain rings stuck together that click when he shakes them. My purse is filled with some long lengths of ribbon and a couple dollar store bead necklaces for the shopping trip fidget if needed. The ribbon is cut from spools; great because it does not weigh anything, can easily be shoved in a purse or pocket and does not matter if it gets lost. Oh, also great for doctor office waiting rooms and exam rooms :)

    Lisa H.

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    1. Hi Lisa & Everyone,

      I am so happy to see all of these kids being coffee drinkers. My son's nuerologist suggested coffee for my older son who is ADHD. He has coffee, cream sugar and all on mornings of test days and does really well on his tests. The Doc said that coffee has a calming affect on kids and as we all know they could use a good dose of calm every once in a while.

      Great group, love you all,

      Chris

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  110. I love this list - we do them all too. I knew my son had finally found the perfect teacher when I went in for his conference and learned that one of the "rewards" was that the teacher & my son run up and down the hallways for 5 minutes. We are big fans of running in the hallways. If you ever get to take a cruise, they have really long hallways - we ran down them every day. =) ~Wendy

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  111. Hey there. Love your blog, big fan. Just wanted to make a quick suggestion and having a child with autism myself, i'm sure you understand I dont have the time to scroll through all of the comments to see if someone has already suggested it. Just curious if you've tried caffeine free coffee? Food and drinks are a huge motivator for a lot of ASD kids. Our OT's and ST's encourage it. But no reason for you to endure an already overstimulated child with the added bonus of a caffeine high LOL. Just a thought, and might I add I'm so jealous that your son will ride in the cart, ours absolutely refuses now. He HAS to walk and assert his independence, but I'm constantly freaking out about where he is and worried he'll walk off, and because he knows very little speech, he , of course, couldn't recite his phone number or anything. Anyway, looking forward to your next read, as is my husband (he's all into your blog now, I think it's nice to hear from a Daddy point of view, most especially one who doesn't claim to be a perfect parent.

    Julie W.

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  112. We let our son do everything you listed except number 7: we have not offered coffee and number 10: he has limited language. But yes I agree I let my son do a lot of stuff that a parent of a NT child would not. Oh well... For me I pick my battles. :)

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  113. My husband and I completely adore our almost 4yo son with ASD (non-verbal), and we are of the same mind as you - we have 5 older children and were the same (perhaps a little harder) but kids are meant to be kids, so LET THEM! Our eldest is 19 tomorrow and we couldn't be prouder and guess what?? We have never smacked him or used physical discipline and he has grown up AWESOME. Our littlest man Charlie (ASD) can pretty much do what he wants so long as it's safe. We figure that if he could speak and explain to us WHY he is doing it and WHY it makes him happy to jump or smear poop around then he would but he can't. So we need to follow his lead, keep him safe and try to deter the more disfunctional behaviour (the poop smearing) and let the rest slide. There IS a reason for it, but we just don't know what it is... I am a new liker to your Page/Blogs and really enjoy your loving and matter of fact approach to your child's ASD. I wouldn't trade my Charlie for a "typical" child anyway - he is perfect just the way he is!

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    1. Mel, Charlie sounds very cute. We have had to deal with the poop issue as well although my son is verbal and fairly mild, he will smear it on the walls next to the toilet and on the window sill.. fun! I do make him clean it up though.

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  114. I love this! My 10 yr old son is mild ASD and I have two NT girls. I have NEVER understood the uptight mothers who do not let their kids get dirty.. With all the modern conveniences to clean them up.. WHY NOT?!? It is an experience for them. They will remember that as they get older... "mom never let me get dirty" or "My mom was cool! She stomped in the mud puddles with us!" as "The Frizz" says... "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" My son is a picky eater like yours... There are days he will ONLY eat chili or lettuce with Blue Cheese dressing and croutons... That is what vitamins are for.. right? His "coffee" is a cup of "coolie" (chocolate milk) in the morning.

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  115. Love this post. I am not your typical parent. My daughter is 8 years old (Aspergers, SPD, APD) and has done all of the above except coffee (can not take the smell) or jump on her bed (does not sleep in one, sleeps on floor in a dinosaur tent). Her and I have jump in our basement in a very large bouncer. We have had cake for breakfast. We splash the puddles together. I will even walk around the table with her during meals so she does not feel alone. Love it.

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  116. My son is going on 6. He has autism & disruptive defiant disorder. The autism doesn't cause nearly as many problems as the disruptive defiance!

    We had to rearrange seating in our van this weekend and now Adam sits directly behind me. He has discovered that my seat makes an excellent footrest. I tell him its ok as long as he stays off of my head.

    He regularly skates through the house on his rollerblades.

    Blowing bubbles in his drink with a straw - like I told my 13yo, at least he's not spitting on people this way.

    He gets preference for the tv, orimarily when

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  117. Hello, My name is Linda (that's my real name :) ) and we live in Belgium.I also have a nine year old little boy with autism and so much of what you say sounds familiar. I follow your facebook updates, and enjoy every single one of them. I just have to say this : you are wonderful !!!! Kyle could not have come to a better family. you and your wife are angels.

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  118. You sound like an awesome dad! Your son is very lucky to have you. :)

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  119. love it! I'm a parent of a, what'd you call it? NT? anyway I enjoy having my son do exactly you are letting your son do! Pick your battles :) We say that often. Our son is a true gift and we waited 13 long years for him to be here and enjoying having him do those activities most parents say no too. Puddle jumping or should I say, "swimming." my favorite....

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  120. Love it... I have 2 with autism, and I do what works for them, despite the horror and remarks from friends and family. My only response to their comments ... "my children have autism &.... and your child has??? so how did you raise the perfect child? that usually ends it. My kids have to live in two worlds, so the rules are different for them... and it works for them.

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  121. My autistic son (8yrs old) loves to dance in the movie theater! It's the cutest thing! Yes we get crazy looks. Guess who doesn't care what the other parents think?? Ha! I take him to the movie theaters that serve dinner in the theater so it's roomier. We sit in the last row and have a blast! Now my 2yr old daughter dances right along with him!
    Thank you children's movies for the awesome music. Nothing brings a smile to his face and mine quicker than a cartoon movie with music.

    FYI check out Studio Movie Grill in your area. They offer special needs showings once a month. Children are free and adults are only $5!

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  122. So glad I found your blog (thru a connection on a FB page Oklahoma Autism Spectrum & Sensory Group... someone shared about being able to possible use a handicap parking permit... anyway, that brought me to your blog. Loved reading your list of things you let your child do. My son is verbal so I feel very blessed.. but still on the spectrum. What I liked about your post is the reality check... getting dirty at the park, jumping in a puddle, eating with your hands (I struggle with that one, not sure why, guess because he is 11 I assume he should be better with utensils, but he prefers his hands)... you are right and thank you for helping me reevaluate- does it matter, really. If it makes him happy... Anyway, thank you enjoyed the post.
    Kelle from OK

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  123. Let's see:
    Jumping: Off the sofa onto the floor or onto a beanbag chair, off of the top of the slide at the playground, out of trees, etc... My son is a serious "crasher" and it feels good and relaxes him. so he pretty much can always jump!
    Eating: He has eating issues, so whatever he wants to eat, pretty much he can have. if we're passing a dunkin donuts, yes, he can have one. See a wawa? What can i get you? 5 cookies? yes. 10 cookies? yes. chips? yes. Ice cream (yay-loaded with calories!) whatever will get calories into him is a good thing!
    Cursing: he also has tourette's and is nearly impossible to control the words. and we are working on controlling aggression now, so if he uses his words instead...well....then in a skewed sense, that's a good thing!

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  124. I love seeing articles like this =) My daughter is 6 non-verbal but communicates. I always tell people the one thing my daughter has showed me is all the little things we take for granted when we have kids. We are trying to teach them to be little adults most of the time. We play ball in the house. Blow bubbles in the house. Eat on the floor. Have Cocoa Krispies for dinner. I just said last night I think she has taught me more than I have taught her. While it's important to be a good parent I think we lose sight that we are not just their parents but their best friends too. =)
    Anne Herman

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  125. Thanks so much for this, totally agree! I'm finding it hard to come to terms with the recent diagnosis of our lovely 3-yr old boy as I worry so much about his future, this has really helped me to be more cheerful and positive.

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  126. Hi my name is jack and I am a 16 year old that has a brother with autism. What your saying really does let me acually see that im not alone with my feelings toward my brother. Hes extremely verbal, so he talks CONSTANTLY. After awhile it gets really annoying, but whatcha gonna do? Anyways i wanted to say keep up the work and you now have another person that follows your blog!

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  127. This is the best article for me. I feel comforted to know there are other people who live unconventional lives while supporting their autistic kids. My daughter is autistic and I support her in all her special traits. When she wants to cuddle or feels like she needs some affection she meows like a cat. She'll do it on the bus and I just say to her "Are you my kitty Alys?" and rub her back. She's very particular with what she eats so we accommodate her eating habits as well and sing the "Peanut Butter Jelly" song a lot. Recently Alys has become fixated on dresses and particularly these two princess dresses she wants to wear every day and every night. I support her so I got her a couple more skirts and explained to the teachers who are supportive as well. If I don't let her wear what she wants (provided its clean)its almost like she's in agony. She cries so hard she starts hyperventilating and its just not worth the trauma. Thank you so much for sharing and letting me relate and share as well. Good job Dad! - Trista

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  128. Wearing a hat 24/7...except for showers.
    Sleeping in clothes vs pajamas.
    Eating only vegetables instead of fruit.

    Saved our battles for safety issues.

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  129. DS is 19 now. We've done coffee for years. If you think about it...it's a stimulant. Don't stimulants have reverse effects if you need it? Think ritalin.

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  130. Jenn-Autism Mama

    As soon as we get home from the store, school, or wherever he likes to take off everything but his pull up. He keeps his clothes on in public and all day at school so if he wants to run around in his pull up at home more power to him. I'm trying to get him to at least start wearing some cotton shorts around the house but I'm not pushing him. He's only four so I have some time. I have friends that would never allow their child of this age to do this but that's what makes me an awesome autism, rock start mama. lol

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  131. we just got the diagnoses for our son, we had known for some time, but needed to hear it from psychologist. My son is 5..and I think your page is outstanding..I just want him to feel loved everyday every minute and live like a child. I see him no different from my other children..Thank you:) Sometimes I try to do things the way others may want me to do. But after reading this, I'm just gonna let him be him:)

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  132. Oh my gosh, my 3yo with PDD-NOS is a TOTAL grazer. She just drinks a yogurt while on the potty for breakfast, grazes on snacks all morning, picks at lunch while going around to play and coming back, and sitting at the table for dinner but not eating anything, then asking for ketchup or something. Child's gonna eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants! We're a vitamin family too! - Katie

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  133. Love my son with autism! Love your page.
    Know you are not alone. Know there are others who feel exactly as you.
    Living with a non-verbal autistic child can be so tough and challenging but I wouldn't trade my son for anyone. I wouldn't want to change one single second of the time I've spent with him. I wish for him so much more than he may ever obtain but I know he's already given me more than I could ever have hoped to get.

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  134. Wow I can really relate to your post! My 3 year old was just diagnosed with SPD with oral aversion. Eating is a daily battle. He can throw up even seeing us eat....so we eat pretty much the same 6 foods EVERYDAY! And we believe in vitamins as well! We don't use utensils or sit at the table either! He eats with his fingers while watching videos on youtube mostly or eats certain foods while playing with certain toys. I can completely relate! I guess parents to kids with these issues learn to adapt and have WAY more patience than you ever thought possible! I love my son dearly! And like you, he eats whatever he asks for....even if its cheetos with fruit chillers for breakfast as long as it is something! The old saying a kid will eat when they get hungry no matter what food it is...IS NOT TRUE with these kids. They would starve themselves! Thank you so much for posting this and letting people know they are not alone!

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  135. Hi I'm Judi, a mum of a 6yo first diagnosed with autism. He is my x-man. Yesterday my son had Chicken nuggets, pasta and brocoli for breakfast (he also had that for lunch and dinner - hey I must cook great chicken nuggets). Last year I made breakfast pizzas every morning and dinner pizzas every night, last term it was party pies, who cares - he's eating.
    Here is my take on some of the things you've said:
    Puddles are for jumping in, if you don't get it - try it with them it's fun,
    Running in the hall is not something we do - that darn door knob at the end owww, but sliding on a towel while mummy pulls it - yeah.
    Water - no matter how much food colouring you put in the bath your child will never turn blue (especially when you use red food colouring).
    Getting dirty? I don't get it I've got friends that dont use playdoh, painting or anything that is messy - where is the fun in that, mud (dirt and water) it for making pies, playdoh is for squeezing and tasting (make your own if they eat lots) paint is for painting and washing machines are automatic now days. oh the horror - you covered my child in shaving cream - not me he did it all by himself it washes off. But now I have the child who isn't scared to have a go painting at school and that is something that means I'll jump in puddles for everytime.

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  136. Gotta say that most of your list is on my list... we also have the ipad at the table if it is going to encourage him to eat/sit. We challenge all the social "civil" behaviour. We live in a house strewn with toys - it took ages for him to learn to play so we have heaps of stuff out so he can now choose things as if we wait for him to verbally ask it isn't going to happen, at times when sensory is overwhelming we accept that chewing on his shirts/toys etc is necessary. We try to make things functional but in the end if he will engage with us them almost anything goes

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  137. i recently contacted a doctor named UBIATO i find his name on the internet so i decided to contact him on his email: ubiatowhitemagicspell@yahoo.com for help in my relationship he ask me to send him my details which i did after that he told me that the gods reveled something to him and he told me everything that was reveled to him and he told me what he was going to do the after three days my relationship became sweet again and the person that was behind my problem came to apologize to me for forgiveness which was my mother in-law now i and my love are happy again including my mother in-law.... thanks to Dr.UBIATO

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  138. Amani

    my son is 3 years old and i have been having a very hard time the fact is i have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and let me tell u its hard keepin up but after reading your page i think im guuna stop following these day cares and therapists advice and let him be they talk about routine and structure but its dont nothing but make my life difficult my son xavier or what we like to call him x man loves to drink pepsi jump on my bed watch spongebob and run around in a diaper he also loves to give rasberries so i think im gunna let him do his own thing for a while thanks for sharing

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  139. I have an NT daughter, ADHD son and an AD step-son and we have let all of them do all of these things on occasion. I remember my daughter and I putting on bathing suits and going out to play in the rain (she's 20 now). We work with my step-son on using utensils, but we don't push him super hard. I try to mix up finger foods meals and the utensils meals. One utensils meal to every three or four finger foods meal.

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  140. Loved this thanks for writing this blog.... :-) *star*

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  141. Just wanted to let you know, in case you don't, that there is a runners group on Long Island for people with special needs. They take all kinds of runners (as in those that run away and those that run for the sake of running). I don't know the name but you can google it (it might be something like road runners).
    And as far as jumping on the bed.......well our younger son is 13. We had to put his mattress and on the floor and get rid of the frame because his head was just about to hit the ceiling fan.

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  142. It's nice to read Autism Daddy's Posts even though there are different shades of Autism we as parents understand, My son is 11 he has done all those 12 things and I agree you just want your kids to be happy they struggle everyday, So my main goal of trying to be a good parent to my son is make his life as easy as possible and if we get through the day where he is happy and content I have done my job. I have a cute story last summer it was raining cats and dogs (Which does not happen too much in (Arizona) so I decided lets run in the rain and splash in all the puddles barefoot I grabbed my son which he did not want any part of it because he has never done it before, went outside and ran around, splashed in huge puddles and screamed like crazy people when we were done and soaked from head to toe and a little muddy, I looked at my son, He was laughing and this brought tears to my eyes I will never forget the fun we both had I got to be a kid again and my son was happy and we were together because most of the time my son just wants to be left alone to do his computer things. So parents just enjoy your children.
    I do have to mention one thing I hear alot from other parents is when there kids are asking too many questions and they tell them to be quiet I could just cry because my son is non-verbal and I would give the world to have a conversatiom with my child.

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  143. My list of things that the little tyrant gets away with-

    1- Not drinking out of a regular cup. Sippy cups and sport bottles that stimulate his vestibular system are a must. Even if he is 7.

    2- Tons of video games and computer time. This is the ONLY time he can focus and relax. So yeah, if he is over stimulated I just let him play on the computer for a while and it helps calm him down, while he is having fun.

    3- Eating with his hands. If it gets him to eat a salad, I don't care if he just shoves his face in the plate. He's eating, and thats a win in my book. Also- cleaning your plate is never required in this house.

    4- Not being "polite" by hugging his relatives. Alex is not a touchy feel-y kinda guy. And I refuse to make him hug someone he doesn't want to.

    5- Staying up till ridiculous hours if he does not have school. We live and breathe our weekly routine, but occasionally, we say to hell with it and just let him be the night owl that he truly is.

    6- Letting him out of school if he has had a really bad meltdown. I'm trying to stop doing this, but some days- it really just is not worth the battles that will occur if I don't bring him home. Once he hits a certain point, the rest of the day is shot.

    7- Not making him clean up his room. Some days I require him to help, but others, I just do it myself.

    And yes, the endless talking is a joy in this house. He did not talk until 2 years ago, and I love hearing him go off on a tangent, even if others barely understand him.

    He also gets plopped down in the cart if he is having a rough day, and given his DSI, so he can play video games and I can actually get stuff done.



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  144. I love it. I have things other parents might not let kids do, but like you said pick your battles. 1.on weekends I let him walk around in his underware. He hates the way clothes feel on him but we have an understanding, you wear them during the week without fighting and on the weekends hey we will be home and no one is coming over.
    2. not picking up his room. He is comfortable and relax in his room and spreads all of his action figures on the floor to play.
    3. sitting on the floor, I don't understand it but he loves to sit/lay on the floor. I don't care if we are at home, at family or even in the stores, he wants to sit on the floor.

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    1. spinning glow sticksJanuary 1, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      my son almost always sits on the floor in pubic!

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  145. I love all of those, except for the splashing in the pool...

    The only reason I have issues with that one is because *I* myself am on the spectrum and I have serious issues with being splashed in the face... it's one of the few things that can trigger me into an angry meltdown every time if I don't immediately remove *MY* self from the situation... it's not so much getting water in my face (like diving in or swimming under water...) that bothers me. It's the sudden and consistent splashing... It's the water in and out and in and out and in and out of my face with no chance to adjust to one or the other in between. It's a major sensory issue that I have NEVER been able to overcome.

    I'm not one who enjoys spending a lot of time at the pool/in the water anyway, but, I have a Husband and two kidlets who may as well have been born fish... so we do go to the pool often, and for *MY* kidlets sake... I do get in the water and play with them... but if people start splashing around indiscriminately, *I* have to get out and interrupt *MY* kidlets joyous play time. KWIM???

    If your son likes it... wonderful... but PLEASE be aware of where you are and whom else may be around when you do so... YES encourage as much pure joy in your child as is possible... I agree... but please try to be respectful of other people as well... because you just never know if the person nearby might have serious issues.

    If you wish to reply, you can call me Crimson!

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  146. spinning glow sticksJanuary 1, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    WATCH TV FROM 3IN AWAY
    GO TO THE BANK DRIVE THRU IN ONLY UNDIES (hey its just not worth the fight)
    LET HIM WEAR SHORT SLEEVES IN WINTER (says hes hot and freaks out what am i to do lol)
    and the one i just cant win....
    LET HIM BRING LEAVES INSIDE MY HOME AND CAR (he just loves them so much!)
    My son is 3 pdd-nos, high functioning autism.. he is very verbal and has a huge vocabulary but has no clue how to ask for basic needs, follow directions, or answer questions so he pretty much just talks about random things that intrest him!
    I love following The King hes a very cool kid :)

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  147. Lot of great heartfelt stories.
    And demanding acceptance of an autistic person is appropriate.

    Now how many autistic parents, need to learn to tolerate other people w/ other challenges that are not near and dear to THEM? It's easy to be righteous about your own, a giving soul, shares other's pain and trials.

    Think about it.

    Happy New Year All!

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  148. Loved this. It hit home so much I decided to write up my own little list of some things we do around our home. http://madnaivejello.blogspot.com/2013/01/5-things-i-let-my-son-with-autism-do.html

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  149. I absolutely agree with everything the blogger has said. As for the critics, who cares what their opinions are, especially the ones who have no autistic children of their own. Let's face it what is socially appropriate these days anyway? A person is going to be criticized no matter and for our children with severe autism its not a matter of being socially acceptable, most of the time its a matter of survival. We will do whatever we have to do to get our child to eat and to get some physical activity. Yes you do have to set some boundaries but most of all you have to let your child be a child. Even NT kids aren't allowed to be children anymore. As for meltdowns, all of you who have been throwing that up apparently don't know as much as you think otherwise you would know that autistic children have meltdowns regardless of what you are teaching them. Its not just something you can make go away. My 12yr old has meltdowns but he has been taught to go to his room when it occurs. If we are in public and he has a meltdown, well then he just has a meltdown because he doesn't have access to his own space at the time and that is not his fault. Do people stare and make comments? Of course, do we care? NO!! My son has already broke 3 beds from jumping. Do we tell him not to jump? No. We just put his mattress on the floor. Jumping is stimulation that he needs sometimes and once he gets overstimulated he also knows how to calm himself. Does he squeel and make loud noises in public? Yes and we laugh and make noise right along with him because we encourage any vocalization we can get out of him. He does eat with a fork or spoon now but it took time and he didn't even try until he was ready so he did eat with his hands for a long time? What were we supposed to do? Not allow him food because he couldn't use utensils? I can honestly say that I have probably learned more from my autistic son than he has ever learned from me. Through h even I have learned that as long as you are happy who cares what the rest of the world thinks. Society plays no part in the decisions we make in our life and we do not anyone's approval to be happy. My autistic son is one of the happiest people I have ever met in my life. And just for the record, my autistic son probably has better manners and behaves better than my NT children and they have strictor rules and higher expectations!

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  150. Hey I found this really interesting, I'm in the U.k and i have a daughter with autism and global mental development delay so this really stood out to me, I was actually searching "things to do with your Autistic child" and the answer is simple whatever makes them happy for now as you've clearly stipulated. I shall be a bit more laid back in future as opposed to tring to inflict the same rules as on my other daughter, but where do you draw the line at rule differentiating....?

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  151. Love this! You have to pick your battles, otherwise they'd be in trouble constantly, and over-correcting would drive both of you batty!

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  152. So excited to run across your sight today. I have been working with my son since 2007, when I first learned of ASD. My son is high functioning, but can be just as challenging. I can't tell you the number of nights I have wanted to go to bed and cry and scream and yell at myself, because I feel like such a failure as a parent. I do get impatient, and tired, and annoyed, and all those things a parent is NEVER supposed to do. I DO have the greatest partner, my soon to be wife, that has been a partner, a mother, and a cheerleader, and everything else one could want in a parenting team with ASD. To hear that we are not the only parents out there that lose our tempers, and consequently, the eloquence in which we may communicate our thoughts and RAW feelings... so nice to not feel alone. Very nice to begin to connect with others here and there that understand and are working throught he same challenges.
    -Steve

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  153. All very familiar in my house...i actively encourage some of those things and go further than you have. Whenever we have torrential rain in the summer i encourage my 2 boys, Evan & Paul, to go out and walk in the rivers running down the street. We constantly debate what is finger food and what is not. I don't like them eating from a fork like it's a lolly, but occasionally we all do it. We go to big shops so that there is a place for them to run around out of the bad weather, that's safe. We love DIY/Garden places, lots of shed's etc. to play in....wide aisles so no collisions with other customers....huge trolleys to ride in...tents to play in...it's a huge playground for them so why fight it? They're excited and alive and interested in something outside of their own heads, i love that.So many things are different, have a different meaning, significance, importance in THEIR world. Even the NT's in this world rebel! Rules are made to be broken sometimes and that definitely applies to kids with autism aswell....

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