Our 10 year old toddler

Every time I think I might start moving my blog more towards health, fitness and mindset, which I love writing about, I get drastically dragged back in to our reality. To our autism reality to be precise. There’s just to much going on in an autism household not to write about it, ha!

So here’s what happened:

Harry peed on our carpet. Yep, you read that right; Our almost 10 year old peed. on. our. carpet. In our bathroom which already slightly smells of old pee might I add, from old toilet bowl misses by him and his older brother. But this was no miss, this was deliberate. (and yes, I clean and clean and it still smells)

As well as autism, Harry has speech and language delay which makes it very difficult to get him to explain why he does something. We’ve always struggled with this.
“Why did you wee on the floor, Harry?”
“I did a wee on the floor” is the answer
“Yes, Harry, We can see that, but why?”
“It was my potty”
Harry doesn’t use the ‘potty’. Harry has been using a toilet since he was 3.
I have no idea.

Harry is like a big toddler at times.
He’s very clever at certain things and ticking along well academically at school, well behind his peers in mainstream, but still, he’s progressing.

But he’s speech and language delay makes it very difficult to know exactly how much he understands about the world around him. Our biggest worry is that he doesn’t understand the difference between fiction and reality.
He saw Homer Simpson get his finger cut of; he laughed really hard and then went to the kitchen to get a knife to cut Joshua’s finger off!

There’s no consequential thinking: If I do This, then That will happen. If I cut Joshua’s finger off then it will be funny, just like on the Simpsons and I will laugh. Not: If I cut Joshua’s finger he will be in a lot of pain and we will have to go to hospital.
We are obviously trying to teach him consequences. But it is really hard to know how much he understands. And he will have a lot of trouble in his adult life if he doesn’t understand consequences.

Harry still hits other children. When he’s overwhelmed, confused, upset, angry. To be honest, we rarely know why he does it. It’s not all that often anymore, but I still can’t trust him around other children. I’m watching him like a hawk.

Harry is still ‘on’ everything. He needs to touch things. It’s a sensory thing, I understand that, but its frustrating that I can not just ‘let him be’. I need to know what he’s doing otherwise he might be doing something less desirable, like breaking things or drawing on the wall. Not long ago when he was upset he wrote swear words on the wall outside his bedroom. Yep, I had to re-paint that wall. The reason he wrote them was because we’d told him not to say them. Clever!  So he probably figured that that we hadn’t told him not to write on the wall, just “don’t draw on the wall”. This way he got to express his naughty words without actually saying them. He’s clever and can work things out, and we have to try to be two steps ahead all the time.

So sometimes he seems to understand perfectly well what he can and can not do and work a way around it. Other times he doesn’t seem to understand right from wrong at all. He might do/not do what we ask, but that’s because he doesn’t want the consequences we give him, not that he necessarily understand the outcome of an action. Just like a toddler.

His speech and language delay makes it very frustrating for him as he can not express himself as well as he’d like or we’d like. Sometimes this frustration comes out in violence or swear words, because in the heat of the moment he can not find another way to express himself. I feel so bad for him. I wish I could help him. And obviously we are, the best we can, but he will never ‘grow out of’ this disability. He will probably never speak without hindrance.

Harry also doesn’t understand the dangers around him. Without this logic that actions have consequences we have to try to explain to him in every scenario what might happen, and hope that he understands. Mostly I get the feeling that he doesn’t.
“Harry if you run out in to the road, a car might hit you and that will hurt”
Nope, we still can’t trust him.

He’s run off more times than I can count.
He has escaped our house on a few occasions.

One time when I was alone with the boys, I had locked every door in the house and thought it was safe for me to take a shower. I came out of the shower and find that he’s gone.
The clever escape artist managed to unlock the door from the kitchen to the garage, then unlock the door from the garage to our garden, make it over to the back gate, stand on an overturned plant pot, unbolt the gate and run off.

He’s like a very clever toddler. But a toddler none the less.
Even though he’s almost 10.
I love him to bits, but honestly, it can be exhausting!


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