All in good time

April 3, 2008 at 11:54 pm 6 comments

     C’s milestones have all been met at times other than the general development schedules suggest they should be. Some way ahead, some way behind. This used to concern me, not so much because of the general comparisons that inevitably occur, but because there’s always a fine balance between progressing forward and standing still or going backward. For so many years we and his docs were worried he might have a progressive muscular disease of some sort, and we were constantly watching to make sure his developmental skills continued to progress. 

     His skills are extremely scattered, which has allowed for some truly entertaining and endearing moments, along with some that have been less so. At seven, he’s just now learning how to nod his head “yes” and shake it “no.” He simply can’t move his head independently of his body, and over time we’re watching the skill slowly develop to a point where less and less of his body is involved in the gesture. He’s also just gone through separation anxiety this year, evidenced by screaming, holding onto me for dear life, teachers prying his little body out of my arms (thank you, Mrs. R!) for the first few weeks of school. And we thought, after we passed years 2 and most of 3, that we had missed the “terrible twos” and temper tantrums. Boy, did we breathe a sigh of relief….that is, until 4 hit.

     But the most interesting awareness is happening in these recent days. I don’t think I can exactly call it a developmental step, but it is certainly something that generally happens before elementary school. C has discovered women’s breasts. That could spell trouble in the coming days. The other morning, while snuggling, he smushed one of mine and announced, “Mommy, you have a baby in your tummy!” Nevermind the real distance between my breasts and my belly, what that says about his learning body parts (another developmental step on the ladder), or perhaps what that says about my nearly 40 year old body. Once I made it past the chuckles about the baby comment, and got him past pushing on me 40 times to try and get the same reaction out of me, I talked to him about what breasts do, and how they are private to a woman and how they shouldn’t be touched by him. “Do the girls in my class have them?” “Does my teacher have them?” Uh-oh.

     I thought perhaps this was an isolated incident, and didn’t bring it up again, because to draw too much attention to anything means C will pick up on it and run with it to who knows where. But this afternoon, when Ga (grandma) was giving him a hug goodbye, and I saw him groping her, his hands firmly attached on both sides, squeezing and grinning, I knew we were doomed. He couldn’t just make it to summer, where the interest would safely pass (for a few years, anyway) outside the confines of school. I’m already drafting the note to his teacher and principal; Dear Ms. M and Mrs. M, C has discovered something special about women, and please know that we have discussed it and he knows he shouldn’t be touching women’s breasts, but I have to warn you that it might happen; please remember he is younger than his age and doesn’t yet understand the social rules that apply in this situation even though we are working on it at home. It’s not that I want you to ignore it if he does touch your breasts, but please don’t suspend him for sexual harrassment at age 7. Thank you.

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Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , .

You say baboon, I say bamboo Walk on the wild side

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. T$  |  April 4, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Don’t worry. Nephew T does it too, only to him male and female are fair game. At least you don’t have to worry about that, yet.

    Spoken like someone who has been GROPED by a child. Frankly, I think it probably wouldn’t occur to him to grope a boy because what you all have is what SHOULD be there, in his mind. I’m guessing boobs are just downright WEIRD to him. So perhaps you’ll be saved from poking and grabbing when you come visit.

    Reply
  • 2. goodfountain  |  April 4, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Is it okay that this made me laugh? I am just picturing a 7 yr old boy groping his teacher or therapist. Or stranger! Or grandma!!

    Incidentally, I can totally relate about drawing too much attention to things making your kid seek it out more. That has been one of the “school of hard knocks” lessons we have learned around here.

    Yup, no filter. And yes, laugh. I about wet my pants when he did it to me. And, incidentally, I asked one of his therapists today if he’d done it to her…he had…and the look on my mom’s face (I had forgotten to tell her it had started) was priceless. Yes, if I make a big deal out of anything, he picks up on it and files it away for future damage, oops, I mean reference. 😉

    Reply
  • 3. Ms. Mc  |  April 4, 2008 at 11:41 am

    OK then, good to know…Don’t worry, I won’t kick him out of class if it happens! Let’s just hope he doesn’t “explore” any of the girls in class! 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. jesch30  |  April 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Ms. Mc: I think you are very cool.

    Reply
  • 5. wilddaisy33  |  April 6, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Okay, since I can no longer figure out how to respond to an individual post, I’ll respond here – yes, Ms. Mc, you ARE cool, and thanks for not kicking him out of class! When you told me about his sitting in your lap I figured he had probably done a little grabbing along the way…YIKES!

    Anyway, I’m still laughing about it. I’m pretty sure all little boys say/do something like that in their lives, we just all hope it’s not at a time that gets them in trouble. 🙂

    Reply
  • 6. Ms. Mc  |  April 6, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Nope, no grabbing. He was too interested in trying to figure out how many exits there are on the 101 and in the whole country altogether! 🙂

    And, I think you guys and C are very cool too!

    Reply

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