I walked into the kitchen to see Bobby run past me.
I looked to my right to see and angry, screaming Declan come rushing towards me, no doubt chasing Bobby.
I stop, I turn and catch Declan. He kicks and screams a bit until I can calm him some and ask, “What is going on?”
“I want to hit Bobby.”
The first time he said it to me, I was taken back a bit. No child I ever had was THAT honest in their intentions. “What? Declan you can’t hit Bobby.”
“Yes. I can hit him. I want to hit him.”
Sometimes I can calm Declan and redirect him to another activity. Sometimes I think I have calmed and redirected him only to find he left to go hit Bobby.
One thing I have definitely learned about Declan. He is sincere. He is honest.
One of the best things I have read to describe this sincerity is from Four Sea Stars:
When you ask a question, you get an honest answer.
A really honest answer.
According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, a person with ASD will have difficulties in the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. A person with autism may have deficits in:
- using communication for social purposes,
- the ability to change communication to match context or the needs of the listener,
- following rules for conversation and
- understanding what is not explicitly stated.
Give Declan a present he doesn’t like and he will tell you he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t understand this honesty may hurt the givers feelings.
I can’t tell you how many pictures I have drawn for Cate at her request that she just looks at and then throws in the trash. She did not realize this behavior was hurtful, either. But my picture did not meet her expectations.
Declan and Catelyn have a hard time with social communication. They do not naturally pick up on social cues and are trying to learn social skills to have successful social interactions. These things do not come naturally to them.
Their honesty may be hurtful at times, but understanding this is a part of what they are going through helps me to see a sincere and honest thought, feeling or emotion.
To be honest? I actually enjoy their sincerity. Their honesty. I know they are not trying to be hurtful. They are telling me how they feel, what they like and what they plan to do. They are showing me exactly who they are as individuals.
And I think they are pretty awesome.