Monday, May 14, 2012
You're Not Alone: Adventures of Parenting a Teenage on the Spectrum #02
Today I came to the horrible realization that things are only going to get worse in the next few years. I feel like we have been coasting along in Middle School, we have had many hurdles but things have been relatively calm. My son Corey’s social issues are really beginning to cause him to stick out. His lack of social graces makes his little brother crazy!
For instance, Corey chews on everything! I mean everything! He has destroyed headphone cords, blankets, and clothing. When we go out to eat, he devours his straw to the point that it is gross. We have tried many things. Gum worked for a while, until I started finding chewed gum all over the house...in the carpet, in my closet, on the counter, in the refrigerator, and in people’s and animals hair! OK no more gum allowed! I have looked at the Chew Sticks online but they look so infantile that I think they would draw more attention to him not less. Corey also pulls off the back of remotes and chews the back. I have ducktaped the backs and put in big black letters...Corey No! but nothing has worked. I would love to hear any ideas others have tried.
Another issue is that Corey doesn’t care about his appearance at all. Even when I point out the obvious problems he just doesn’t care. Hygiene is a major issue. Corey hates the taste and consistency of toothpaste, and he has AWFUL breath (probably from chewing on everything!) so its always a fight to get him to brush his teeth.
Corey’s pants are always falling down, and he seems to think this is a funny thing. His brother yells at him everyday to pull up his pants. We are trying to remind him every day to wear a belt but he just doesn’t care.
I was not the most fastidious about my own appearance growing up and it caused me no end of pain. Finally in high school, I started to care and things changed for the better. I am hopeful that somehow that switch will be turned on for Corey. He is such a sweet, generous, giving and caring young man, but often people can’t see past the other things. I am worried. I am hopeful. I am scared. I am nervous. I am a parent.
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: kharied