There is always a reason why someone behaves the way he does. Culturally we label behaviors within ranges of appropriate or inappropriate. Have we left one important category out? What about To Be Expected behavior?
Autistic children are 'punished' for inappropriate behaviors even when those behaviors are predictable and preventable by altering communication styles or environments. If and when that is not done, whose behavior is inapproriate? Certainly not the child's.
Should a child be punished for behavior directly related to adult mismanagement of his disability? It doesn't work, anyway...and yet...this is what we do as a culture, hour after hour, day after day, for weeks and years to autistic children who do not respond 'favorably' to our meager attempts to make them fit into environments they are not neurologically able to negotiate.
That's very autistic of us, is it not?
I thought that I would faithfully write about the journey in raising my son. The more I wrote, the more solid I became in my convictions to organize this brain that wasn't mine, to train into it some alien pliable form that was not going to stay on track anyway, and otherwise teach what seemed unteachable. Daily writing brought too much verbal thinking into my own visually-oriented mind to allow me to grasp the world in which my son immersed himself. And so...I embraced my own scattered nature, my own visual and spatial world, and became a part of his world. We were much happier -not that the road was smooth- when I invited my son into our world, slowly enticing him into space, a tentative shared space, between his universe and ours. I hope to share insights from the past, present, and future as I continue to ease the transition of this young man into an adult world. The only proven method I use is ages old -- I honor who he is and help him find people and places who do the same... square pegs fit nicely into soft putty that molds around them...and the push into plasticity is gentle.