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Sunday, Apr. 21, 2019 - 8:03 a.m.

I will say that the egg coloring went really well. The first egg-coloring in years that didn’t devolve into a melee of some sort. It was actually fun.

Later mom was watching the boys while I tried to help Q sleep. U had frozen strawberries, which he eats with his hands (like he does basically everything now, including a bowl of ice cream). Mom told him to wipe his hands off so he wouldn’t get the juice on the good chair and so naturally he immediately goes to the chair and touches it.

So I come back out and she tells me this indignantly. “That child...it’s like anything you tell him, he does the exact opposite!” “Yes.” I said. What I did not say: That is what we have been telling you. And the bossier you are, the more pointedly he does it. Until your entire relationship is defined by his opposition to you and everything you are. (*cough*)
“That’s NOT NORMAL!”
Followed by some hand-wringing about how hard he was going to find life and have we ever considered punishing him? Maybe that would help?

But that moment, that...”this isn’t normal!” moment. It’s as though all this talk of autism was theoretical and she really didn’t see it? And then suddenly a lightbulb went on. Not sure she has connected it to autism yet but still. Now to get to the “it is in fact not normal, he is autistic and conventional disciplinary measures are NOT going to change that. I won’t talk about that time I stood there resolutely whacking his butt every time he kicked me for I don’t know how many consistent reps, a pretty standard “oh ho ho whack his butt, show him who’s boss and he won’t do THAT again!” prescription and if anything he only doubled down. I feel bad about even trying it, but it was worth it for the confidence with which I can now say: no. Punishment will not work.

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