Most people are aware of the vast spectrum in Autism and some of the challenges are different from individual to individual. When my son came to me the other day and mentioned "Tiger Mom." He commented that though I wasn't nearly as strict, I came very close. So it caused me to do a self-evaluation of the way I was parenting him and my two other children.
Here are some of the things I do on a daily basis (Well, I try):
- Basic Hygiene (teeth brushed? shaved? wearing clean clothes?)
- School Days ( even/odd classes? homework? cell phone? ITouch? Wallet?)
- After School (how was your day at school, who did you have lunch with...)
- School Work (check his planner for homework, makes him explain what each classes covered, and what is due, make him show me his homework and his bag ready for the next day)
- Nightly Duty besides hygiene (check his iTouch, Facebook, cell phone to spot anything inappropriate)
- His Room: Absolutely no electronics! (Internet usage is allowed where I can see it. I check history to see the sights he visited.)
This doesn't include the constant reminders regarding his posture, eye contact, tone of voice, and awkward gestures, which comes from being an Asperger Child.
I made this my daily routine. There are days when I don't have to remind him of these remedial things that comes naturally to my 8 year-old or even my 4 year-old. Strict? Maybe be. But all in all, it is working for me and my son. I would probably do similar things for my other kids when they are teenagers.
I have read places on how to transition your Aperger child into adulthood. It said to let him make mistakes so that he can learn from it. Also, someone once comment that I was forcing him to be normal, playing a part in a play like a robot, and I wasn't accepting him and his disorder for what it is. Does that mean that I let him alone to his own vices and let him fall back academically and socially? If he knew how to self-correct and be self-aware, he wouldn't have this disorder.
So call me rigid, ignorant mother sucking the individuality from my son, but he is now a sophomore in high school with lots of friends, he is an honor student in honor classes, participate in JROTC, weekly Korean classes, and is currently in 2nd year Spanish. And most importantly, he's happy. It is far different from when he began to talk at age 4, and the numerous schools that didn't know what to do with him.
So I continue, like many parents with Asperger or any other special needs; one day at a time.