Tuesday, December 11, 2018


People are, in general, polite.  Of course there are times when we're upset or in a hurry or something's off and our manners go out the window.  We've raised The Bigs to say yes ma'am, yes sir, no ma'am, no sir, please and thank you.  They're pretty good at it.  It's also something I try to model for them.  B-man is another story. 

B doesn't understand the need for politeness.  Politeness and manners have become equated with British people in his mind.  And, as he'll tell you in a quick second, we are Americans. 

He doesn't understand why it's funny to burp and fart in the car with your brothers but you have to say excuse me when you burp in a restaurant.  Or, for that matter, why you have to try to quiet your burps in public.

He doesn't understand why it's rude to walk away when someone is talking to you. He's can still hear you and he has some where to go. 

B does care about others.  He can recognize when his friends are upset and comfort them.  He just does not get some of the social things, like manners.  So, it's our job to teach him.  Like most social things, I frame it in love "this is how we show people we love them." That's easy for him to understand and it seems to help him understand things like saying yes ma'am. 

But 'excuse me' when his burps is still a struggle.  We just keep telling him it's gross and saying 'excuse me' is the right thing to do.  He doesn't get it.  We keep saying it.  We try to make it a rule.  He's good at rules.  X+Y=Z.  Maybe he'll get tired of us correcting him and start doing it.  Maybe something else will click in that AU-some brain of his. 

Eye contact used to be a struggle for B.  He just couldn't do it.  I didn't want to force it so we started working on body orientation.  Line your body up with the other person's.  I'd read from some adult autistic people that sometimes eye contact is actually painful so I didn't want to force him into something that might hurt.  Gradually, his eye contact improved.  Kinda without us noticing.  I realized it when I got some TimeHop photos of a visit with Santa four years ago.  He couldn't look at the camera at all.  Now it's barely an issue.  I'm sure his manners will end up the same way. 

No comments :