It’s been 3 months into the school year and my son could not be happier. We are back to routine and consistency. He loves school. However, along with the transition from summer to school and meeting new “friends” he has picked-up some horrible habits. Habits but more like his own natural characteristics of having Autism.
I don’t really know how to properly correct them but they are getting harder to ignore. Kyson does a lot of echolalia and usually doesn’t know what he is saying but repeats what he hears. He is also very visual and with being surrounded by new peers in school his age, he is watching all their movements.
He’s in a special education classroom but the program he is in is designed specifically for children on the spectrum. I can’t imagine what the other children are dealing with. I’m sure they have their own struggles and like my child, some may not even know what they are doing too or understand what is that they’re doing.
A few bad habits my autistic son has picked up from being in school.
Kyson has picked up certain sayings and lines. I can’t say for sure it is from other students but I have no other reason to think it’s from anywhere else. Maybe he heard it from TV, maybe a movie but one thing is for sure, we censor everything because of his echolalia.
One day, while visiting the in-laws he was playing by himself. He does a lot of imaginary play and will sometimes call out his friends’ names as if he is at school. Out of nowhere, Kyson yells,
“What the f**k!”
My heart dropped and as shocked as we all were, we couldn’t help but laugh. Of course, I had to hide my laughter and tell my family to not acknowledge it cause he didn’t know what he was saying. Seriously though, he said it perfectly, no babbling either like he usually does.
There he was on repeat saying it over and over. My 5-year-old jumping around saying “WTF! WTF! WTF!” But of course not in acronyms.
Kyson imitates everyone and most everything. Imitating also helps him remember really good too. He can memorize and act out a whole movie, read a book once or twice with him and he’ll read it himself. When I say read, he doesn’t read the words, but he understands what is said next. His words aren’t properly formed and articulate, a lot of mumbling but listen closely and he says the complete story on the page.
He started whining one day, for no reason. The type of whining when children don’t get their way. It sometimes sounded like a whimpering whine too where we had to ask him what was wrong but we got no answer out of him. The whining went on for weeks until one-morning putting Kyson on the bus to school, I hear that whining coming from the back of the bus. Sure enough, Kyson started the whining too.
This one was very upsetting and I’m not even sure what to think of it. When Kyson gets upset or has had enough, he will hit walls, pound on the table or run off to another room and slams the door. However, not this time. This happened during therapy.
They were practicing sharing, this is Kyson’s least favorite practice. He doesn’t even let us (mommy and daddy) touch his toys. While on the floor and Kyson asked for a turn, his therapist told him that she was still playing, he needs to wait. I could see his impatient jumps up and down on his knees. He asks again for a turn, what happened next is the shocker. Another decline, Kyson takes his hand, licks his palm and slaps it on to her.
This is where I say “WTF?!” but of course in my head. I didn’t know how to react or what to do. The therapist and I lock eyes and in shock, she quickly redirects him as I had to step out of the room quickly. That was the first time the therapist and I have seen him do this. Thank goodness she was there and was able to redirect him, who knows what I would’ve said to him that would’ve made the situation worst.
Okay, this one isn’t just picked up by children on the spectrum but children overall. Going back to an enclosed setting where everyone brings back their own germs. Touching new items, wiping running noses with hand, improper hand washing. You name it, we all fear the germs that children bring home.
Into the first week of going back to school, Kyson came home with a fever. The school doesn’t allow children to return until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication. Now that’s just a fever but take into consideration the number of children sneezing and coughing on everything. Oh, the joys of germs! You gotta love the social interactions your children get but, of course, you have to be prepared for the germs and sickness that comes with it.
Yes, it is great to have an anti-social child in school to be surrounded by peers and interacting but we often forget the bad habits that come with it. Not all is bad, as most times they are just flukes and they may no longer do it again but it sure is quite the shock when it happens. As much as I try to move at his level, he is way too fast for me. He picks everything up so quickly, he repeats things he hasn’t said in years and picks up new habits along the way
Every day is an adventure and most days when he comes home from school, I can only wait to see if he says anything new or does anything I’ve never seen before. I just hope that the “bad” habits are flukes.