• Jack H

"We are real pissed. Don't treat me like a baby"

Being belittled is never fun.




Understanding

From an outside perspective it looks like Calder can't understand anything - but he does. Sometimes people think he's stupid, a fact I am very much aware of because I have had friends ask me about him: "Does he know that he shouldn't eat dirt?" "Does he know not to dig in the trash?" "Does he understand what I'm telling him?" The answer to those questions is yes, yes and of course, yes. He is not an idiot. He is not stupid. He knows that he should not be rummaging around in the trash can. And on top of all this, an important fact of Autism that has been proven over and over and over again is that is NOT an intellectual disability. So what is it? For Calder, and many others, it is an issue of self control, not understanding.

This is why Calder does not want to be treated as a baby. He is 12 so he understands the world as a 12 year old. He does not understand it as a baby. He doesn't need someone constantly watching over him like a hawk to make sure he doesn't hurt himself. He already knows what hurts and what doesn't. He doesn't need someone to explain what was already said in simpler terms. He got it the first time. He doesn't need someone to hold his hand and guide him on a walk. He knows where he's going and he knows how to go back.

Calder's is not a baby, he has had 12 years to learn what he can and can't do. Of course some of his activities don't seem very safe. For example, Calder has a play structure and he likes to stand on top of the top. When we have people over they are usually scared that he is going to fall off. But he never does, in fact he never has. Why? Because he is not a baby, and he understands that while it's not the smartest choice, he's not going to hurt himself. Now of course there are certain actions that we try to prevent like his eating dirt, rummaging through the trash and swinging the fridge doors. But over time, most of these events have become rarer sometimes due to prevention and other times, at least to my belief, Calder is old enough and smart enough to control himself.

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