Good or Bad? Right or Wrong?

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Good vs. Bad

“Declan, please put your Spiderman mask on!  Other people have on masks – it is okay…”

“NO!  I can’t break the rules….can’t break the rules…..can’t break the rules….”

My husband and I look over Declan at each other, hoping that something we say breaks the rigid line between his perceived “Good vs Bad” in his head.

We were at the kid’s school for the Halloween Party.  We had the kids dress in their costumes, and followed the rules on the flier that came home – no masks, no weapons.  We told Declan he could go as Spiderman, but he couldn’t wear his mask.  And after many tears, he agreed.

When we first arrived at the school, we saw there were masks on children everywhere.

My husband and I felt such relief at seeing the masks and handed Declan his.  We were surprised to hear him say,

“No.  No masks.”

We tried convincing him, but Declan had the rules in stone in his head.

There were other Spiderman costumes at the party, all wearing their masks.  Declan saw them all and would relate,

“He’s a better Spiderman than me.”

And as much as I tried to tell Declan he could don his mask.  That it was good.  It was okay.  There were no rules anymore, all I heard in response was:

“Can’t break the rules,

Can’t break the rules,

Can’t break the rules….”

Right vs. Wrong

One day I walked Declan to his afternoon Kindergarten class.  We reached the corner of the school by the Kindergarten doors and stopped.

I took off Declan’s back pack and placed the pack on Declan’s back.

I started to say my goodbyes, but stopped when I heard screaming.

Declan and I looked up to see a child had taken another child’s hat and began to run around with it.  The now hatless child began to chase the hat thief.  Not finding success, he began to cry.

I am the anomaly parent.  At Kindergarten drop off, parents are not supposed to leave their cars as they pull up to the curb of the school in the bus lane.  The cars closest to the Kindergarten doors allow their children to get out of their cars and play.  As I walk Declan to school, I am the only parent not in a car and therefore, the first parent to respond to the situation.

Yet, I wasn’t.  As the little boy cried for his hat back, Declan tore off away from me.  He reached the hat thief and grabbed the hat from his hands.  He yelled at the hat thief and swiped him with the hat.  I don’t know what he said, but judging by his facial muscles, it probably wasn’t very nice.

Declan brought the hat back to the boy who was crying and gave it back.  He put his arm around the boy until the boy stopped crying and put his hat back on.

Declan and the boy began to run around.  Seconds later the Kindergarten doors opened.  Both ran inside to stand in their classroom lines.  I walked home.

It’s That Time

Declan doesn’t always get his ground rules right when it comes to determining what is good and what is right.  Or when it is okay to bend a little.  He is a concrete thinker and lives in a black and white world.

I see where he has made his general rules from.  Superheroes do good, they do what is right.  Yet they still hit and punch the bad guys.

Declan’s “bad guy” is not someone who has robbed a bank or tried to take over the world.

But Declan has a good basis.

The above events came to my mind today when Declan leaned over from his YouTube video and asked me,

“Do you think I made the good list?”

I smiled and replied, “Yes Declan, I am sure Santa has you on the good list.”

He leaned back into his computer screen and started,

“I made the good list.

I make good choices,

I make GOOD choices….”



12 thoughts on “Good or Bad? Right or Wrong?

  1. Having known of some autistic children in my own offsprings’ school classes, and sports teams, I can say with conviction that the behaviour they often display while respecting their perceived boundaries is completely parallel with what we, as soul-searching adults, wish to achieve! That simplicity where we take our own feelings into account rather than from learned behaviour, often desire the need to ‘fit in’ because we have a notion that we will be accepted more readily if we don’t rock the boat!

  2. Declan follows the RULES to the letter. Will take him far in this life! Standing up for others will take him even farther.

    1. I was thinking of you when Declan stood up for the boy whose hat was taken – he reacted a lot like I think you would have too! Thank you! I hope so 🙂

    1. Thank you! And thank you! I am a reader at heart – I’ve never really written before this blog. I used to be a crisis responder and would have to write evaluations after each response. I do think those evals helped me to capture everything I saw and to edit or remove all information not related to the encounter. Anyway – I think those evals helped me to say only what is necessary and to edit. Thanks again! I think you write really well, too!

      1. Thank you back! I do think you would be able to put together these anecdotes into a sellable book. Might help a lot of families in similar situations as yours and even people like me who just appreciate learning a little more from your firsthand insights a book would reach a large audience in the physical realm. I say it because your evaluations, to use your words, are so honest yet grounded. It makes understanding autism very accessible just as your voice reaches out to the audience. With your blog written, you have a lot of the materials ready already.

        1. Thank you! I used to write autism awareness posts for social media and a friend recommended I start a blog. She told me that I took autism and information about autism and explained it in such an easy way for people to understand. Her kind words brought me here. Your kind words may encourage me to the next step. Thank you!

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