Mummy, Rhys pulled my hair” shouts a little voice from the other room. I run in quickly. Rhys and his sister are both seated at the computer watching their favourite show – Peppa Pig.
Rhys continues to watch the show with a face of innocence, but I know he did it. He gets annoyed at fluffy stuff, and hair that is not pulled back neatly into a pony, and tossles down a three year olds face. If he wants her to stop talking he touches her mouth, in a method that is so much easier than using speech. Because talking is difficult for my son, communication doesn’t come easy.
I believe in teaching the difference between right and wrong, there is always a lesson to be learnt. Those lessons can be just simple ones, letting a child learn at their own pace, and move at the level of their ability. But I believe that as parents we have a role to teach and find ways to ensure our children grow up to be adults who care and do good.
Before Rhys was verbal I had implemented a method where he had to apologise for wrong doing. I was creative in the process and ensured Rhys understood when he had done wrong. I would change the tone of my voice and use only one word – ‘naughty’. Then I would get Rhys to give the inflicted party a hug as a physical sorry.
Unfortunity the hug has remained as he has become verbal. That’s the thing with autism. Everythibg I teach Rhys takes ages, and hours of dedication, but as soon as Rhys gets it, it sticks. So to change the process that has been implemeted or tweak it, takes just as long!
So sorrys still come with a hug!
“Rhys, naughty. Say sorry to Jessie” I request as two innocent big blue eyes look up at me. He acknowledges my request, leans into his sister and gives her a hug, but at the same time gives her a big smooch on the lips.
“Uuug! Rhys” comes the response. I ignore my daughter’s over dramatised response and happy with the apology delivered, I leave them to continue with their television show.
Later that night, as I gather the kids to bed, I announce “Ok everyone, say good night to Daddy!”
Each little human approaches their father and gives him a cuddle. As Rhys approaches to say goodnight, he leans in and gives his father a kiss.
“Uuug!” shouts my husband.
“What?” I asked taken back by the reaction.
“He just slipped me some tongue!”
Well looks like my three year old may have got a bit more than she bargained for earlier today! Things have all gone a bit French in this household!