|this kid wants to say F*%k. I can tell.|
Let me tell you about a time that my son Noah said something embarrassing in public. It was about 5:30am. Noah and I were at the grocery store - not really because we needed anything, but this kept us (him) from waking up the rest of the house too early. He had been awake since 4am.
We are in the check out line and I notice the person a rather old looking fellow standing in line before us just a moment too late.
"That person is really old!"
"Shhhh. You don't say those kinds of things out loud. It isn't nice."
"Isn't he old though?" Not talking any quieter.
"Yes, but isn't polite to speak that way about others."
"How does get so old?" This time I think it was even louder.
". . ."
This isn't an experience privy only to parents who have children with autism, but eventually, kids learn that it isn't socially acceptable to comment about things that are different about other people in a loud, publicly intrusive way. Autism, though, seems to prevent a child's ability to filter or even understand what inappropriate means (if they are fortunate enough to even have speech at all). So while this humorous exchange is fun to re-tell at a family bbq, it is frustrating as well to know that 5 years from now he'll likely have the same problem.
On another occasion, our entire family headed over to the bookstore after church and after an almost successful venture, we headed to the check out line. Here is where I developed my theory that while children with autism often enjoy staring off into space or zoning out in general, autism and waiting for things in a line are counter-intuitive to that idea. It seems that when combined, these two things cause the world to spin backwards.
At the moment we stood in line, Noah began declaring items at the impulse shopping counter that he wanted. When he was told no, he immediatly let out a loud
Let that sit with you for a minute.
I'm not going to get into where he heard this word (me) but I would like to hear from other parents who have had similar instances with their autistic children in public. What happened and how did you handle it?