When is your child with #Autism just being a “normal” kid?

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Emmett, my 4 year old with Autism, seems to cycle through a few different stages before returning to where he started. 

When he was younger, he was afraid to do anything on his own, especially go potty.  As he got older, he moved past that and excited to do things all by himself. 

As even more time has gone by, we find ourselves back where we began.


Emmett will not do anything by himself.

He won’t go potty by himself or even be on the second floor by himself. 

I’m a special needs parent and don’t know anything else. Is any of this “normal”? Do you folks see this type of reversion back to older behaviors in your ASD kids?

It’s sometimes really hard to know what’s “normal” and what’s something to be concerned with. 

When raising a child on the Autism spectrum, it seems as though every line is blurred and there are no definitives. It’s totally exhausting and confusing.

When is your ASD child, just being a “normal”  kid?

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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My 41/2 year old cycles the same way between dependence and independence. It’s most notable when he uses the bathroom At daycare he goes alone fine, but when he is home, he really wants someone to “watch him just in case”. He is starting to get into fear of the closet or go into rooms by himself. I would say that what you are seeing looks like normail kid stuff, if you measure “normal” by my kid anyway


@Donna 🙂


My oldest two of my three kids are neurotypical, so I have an easier yardstick for what “normal kid stuff” looks like. I still have to constantly remind myself that if you took the autism away, you’d still be left with a child who is sometimes bratty, whiny or mischievous. I try to look at my daughter and think, “Did her brothers do this? How would I react if she weren’t autistic? How close to that can I realistically go?” Because I think I tend to let her away with too much, feeling as though she can’t help it, or that she deserves a break because she’s got a really tough life. But in reality, she CAN manage with being held to a higher standard than she has been, and her life and future (and frankly, the rest of the family) will be MUCH better off if we don’t coddle her, and we DO push her to do better. If I know she’s capable but isn’t completing a task for some reason, I push her hard. If she gets frustrated enough, sometimes it helps her to force words out, and then I may get some insight into her reluctance. If it’s clear she just can’t do it, I’ll offer support, but I try to make sure it’s the barest minimum needed to get past the roadblock. A little bit of regression tends to happen even with NT kids, but autistic kids tend to dig in more, and be more stubborn. When my NT boys tried that, I’d remind them that being a big boy has not only responsibilities, but privileges too, and that being too little to go potty alone means you’re also too little to watch certain movies, play certain computer games, and means an earlier bedtime. It usually works. It’s hard for me to know if it would work with Emmett, since I don’t know if his communication skills are adequate to explain this to him.


Jenn50 great insight 🙂


I don’t know…A few years ago I was taking my girl to OT. My father was “bitching” at me as I was walking out the door with her (he was watching my oldest) about how it’s just play. ugh. I got in the car and as I drove to her therapy place I just cried. I just wanted to know what it was like to have a normal child. My oldest had a global delay but thanks to EC preschool she is ok now. But I have spent the better part of the last 4 years going back and forth to therapists. There is not a day in the last 3 years that Autism isn’t on my brain. again…I don’t know what’s normal..


michel72 Hang in there. You aren’t alone and if you need help, please sign up at http://www.myautismhelp.com