So, today my son is grounded from the tablet, computer, and phone. As we all know, taking an electronic device from an Autistic child is like running a car into someone's garage-then walking away saying, "Hey deal with it." Yah-they aren't having that.
Yet, as a determined parent, I will remain steadfast against all opposition. The whining, the crying, the pleading with 'please' even gets annoying after the 200th time. The "promise to listen" or the "I won't do it again", but within the same sentence says, "I hate you. It's because of you I can't play on the computer. I want to have it- I should because it's mine." Once I shot the mommy face of disapproval, the tune changes to, "I'm sorry - I didn't mean that. I was just kidding."
Of course what I said vs. what I thought were two different things. My THOUGHTS were, not necessarily in this order:
1. You were grounded BY me not BECAUSE of me
2. Go ahead and get on your computer- oh I was just kidding. How does it feel?
3. I have no idea why I feel like having a drink right now at 3pm-while rolling my eyes
4. Yours...lol..I paid for that 1500.00 computer and 300 tablet - I own that shit. I give it and I can taketh away.
So, what DID I SAY? Obviously not that above. It went more like this-exactly in this order :
1. Chris, you did the crime, now do the time. (relating it to Roblox game/Prison time that he understands) You didn't listen, were disrespectful, and didn't want to follow instructions. You put yourself in jail, now your good behavior has to earn freedom again.
2. What did I say? No, not today. Chris you're grounded from the tablet, computer, and phone.
3. Yes, I'm a mean mom. I want you to understand rules.
4. Repeat #1
5. Repeat #2
6. Chris, apparently you want to be grounded another day-like tomorrow? No, ok, then, let's find something else to do.
7. Repeat #2
8. Repeat #3
9. Repeat #6
This continued like such for about seven ..eight...oh who am I kidding. It was about 20 times today. Not once did I say anything I thought. Not once did I walk away and try to ignore. Just kept on like a broken record. I swear it's like he tries to run me down. As if he does things enough, I'm going to give in. Apparently, he has forgotten, I don't ware. I strengthen.
As the night winds down and it's time for bed, Chris did the coolest thing ever. He asked, "Mom, can you lay with me for a bit and talk?" How could I possibly say no?
He begins talking ....some things that make sense, others that don't. I found myself helping him understand some fears. In the end, wouldn't you know it.....he might have just found his calling. He prattled on about if his stuffed animal had this...or if these fake crutches did that..While he talked, I found myself engulfed in his world. Seeing his imagination - the beauty and awe of his childlike demeanor yet an entrepreneur who hadn't tapped this understanding. Almost like watching a repeat of "BIG", yet my son is 10 with a 3 year delay, but speaking so passionately, I was moved.
Moved enough to tell him we will begin working on these projects or "toys". Realizing, I'm going to be spending sooooo much money. He was so excited to be doing this with me....he said, "So tomorrow, when I get my computer back-we can look all this stuff up, right?" He even said, "Well, for Christmas, how about we go halfsies on Roblox cards and to make the robot?"
Sometimes,it is the understanding of another that makes things happen. Sometimes, it's about listening. Sometimes, though- it's about giving respect before you get it. Showing them that no matter what- you're still willing to listen.
Being grounded and a plush alligator toy should not, in anyone's NT world, led to an entrepreneurial adventure. That's what makes my son's world awesome- those two things-did.