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"All of the Rules"

sharon_leake
Sharon Leake

Just another day on the spectrum...

"I wish someone would just tell me all of the rules!" I have heard my son say this countless times. As a child with autism, understanding social rules and norms can be quite difficult for him. It's impossible to give him "all of the rules" , as that is something that can differ greatly depending on the situation or environment. People normally develop a sense of the unwritten social norms within their unique society and culture. These rules are not specifically taught, but we' re expected to know them. For someone with autism this can be a struggle. My son doesn't understand why he is expected to know these " rules ". He also doesn't understand sarcasm, he has been taught what it is, but for the most part it is lost on him. He also sees things in black and white; there is no gray area. This can be a struggle when teaching about compromising and being accepting of others who have differences in opinion. For those who are not familiar with older children with ASD, please be aware of these issues. It's very frustrating for Paul, especially when he is oblivious as to what he has done wrong at times and what he's being corrected for. Sometimes correction without explanation can also cause a meltdown. Children with ASD need to have the details explained to them; if not, anxiety and distress can be the result. Try calming down an autistic child in the depths of despair!!! Remember, they are hypersensitive/hyposensitive to so many things that we are unaware of; we can't begin to imagine what they're feeling or going through already. Sensory processing disorder is a criteria for DX.

paul

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