Gavin is very, very, very black and white in his thinking. We had to work very hard to help Gavin understand basic safety concepts like don’t talk to strangers. He took that lesson to heart and to the extreme.
For the most part, Gavin will not talk to strangers. This is good but he’s got no concept of the grey areas.
Here’s a great example of what we’re trying to work on and how Gavin totally owned it today.
When Gavin and I walk the track in the morning, we walk by all the same people almost everyday. When we pass someone, we exchange pleasantries such as hello or good morning.
People make it a point to wish Gavin a good morning and he almost rudely ignores them. He’s not trying to be rude but rather he’s following his very black and white understanding of not talking to strangers.
He and I have been working on understanding that if he’s with a grownup and someone says hello or good morning, it’s okay and even polite for him to say it back to them or simply say thank you.
This really freaks him out but this morning while walking, we prepared and practiced. When people walked by and said hello or good morning, Gavin very quietly said it back to them. Frankly, I don’t know if they actually heard him but I did and I know how far out of his comfort zone he was in doing so.
I gave him a big hi-fi version and we practiced a bit more before he tried it again. I’m pushing him a little bit because he needs to understand at least the very basics of person to person communication.
As mundane as this may seem, Gavin was really stressed out over this. I realize it’s tough for him but this is something we have to work on.
My fear is that he will wander off sometime and never ask for help because he won’t talk to a stranger.
Today was pretty major progress and I’m really proud of him. 😔