It’s a common syndrome, striking children of all types. Doctors have no way to cure it. Therapists dismiss it as a developmental milestone. It’s a traumatic experience for parents, bringing about fits of internal rage and torment, never allowed to manifest itself in the open but eats at the very soul itself.
It’s the “no.”
Michaela is really into the “no” word. It’s now her instictive response.
“Michaela, pick up the living room.”
“Michaela, you need to settle down.”
“Michaela, stop pla….”
“…ying in the dirt!”
It’s maddening. I know that this behavior is more a “6-year-old thing” rather than an “autistic thing,” but it’s still one of the most irritating experiences to endure as a parent. We’ve tried everything to stop it: naughty corner, losing privileges, explaining why it’s not nice, early bedtime… nothing seems to get through to her that this is not an appropriate response.
Probably the hardest thing about the whole “no” thing is the patience needed to withstand the adolescent barrage of verbal ammunition. Every time time my ears are subjected to that curse of a word a cringing reflex occurs. I instantly want to to snap back (and sometimes I do) with a “what did you say to me?!?” Of course, she knows that she shouldn’t tell us know, but it’s become such an automatic reaction for her.
I know it will pass and this post is mostly therapeutic for my part, but if some of you have recommendations on how to teach her (or if I need to suck it up and accept that’s it’s a natural developmental thing) then please share below!