We had a morning full of preteen drama and little brother button pushing. This isn’t uncommon when it comes to brothers. Brothers were created to get on each other’s nerves. That’s where the normalcy stops and the Autism/anxiety/emotional delays complicate things.
While these guys pick on each other like typical brothers, their reactions to being picked on are rather extreme.
The boys are brilliant kids and for the most part, not very socially awkward. At the same time however, they are some significant emotional delays that make dealing with stressful or emotionally charged situations, very difficult for them.
They tend to take things very personally and don’t get sarcasm, even though they can be sarcastic themselves.
Emmett might be trying to pay Elliott a compliment but Elliott takes it wrong and there’s nothing anyone can do to unring that bell. Emmett’s the same way and once they feel that way, there’s no convincing him that Elliott didn’t mean it the way he took it.
Part of the problem is that they both are very literal thinkers, Emmett more so than Elliott though. If you tell Emmett that you’ll be back in a minute, he will give you 60 seconds and then expect you to be back. I have to very careful with my word choices and be very specific or else it won’t end well for me.
We’ve been working on this for years and there isn’t really much we can do because they are hardwired differently. That doesn’t mean we don’t continue trying to explain that many things are meant to be taken literally. They work on this in occupational therapy as well. I know that sounds weird but they do, or at least did.
This is something that will hopefully get better with age. Lizze is the same way but she also understands that she doesn’t always take things the way they were intended to be taken.
I’ve spoken with many Adult Autistics and the general consensus is that this can improve with age, maturity and experience.
Social Stories are another tool we can utilize to help them strengthen this area of their lives.
As for this morning, it sucked and it began at 4:30 AM because they woke up, unable to fall back asleep. They did get off to school on time and left the car in a good mood. At least there’s that.