Thursday, February 6, 2014

Parenting with a Child that Lacks Maturity

I can remember others thinking I was a over-the-top controlling mom.  They probably were right! You see, I have a child on the autism spectrum.  Very early in his diagnosis I read a book that said that most children diagnosed on the spectrum had a social/emotional maturity of ⅔ - ¾ of their chronological age.  I found that statistic to be “spot on” for my son.  As I have maneuvered through this special needs parenting world, I have found that this helps me to know how much to let go and how much to “parent” as if he was a younger child.  

I tried to send him on a field trip without me in first grade.  He was almost left at a public park.  He didn’t come when the “whistle blew” to get on the bus.  As the bus was leaving the teacher was counting to make sure she had everyone.  You guessed it, he was on the bus.  When they went back to the playground, my son was in a back corner of the playground and he hadn’t noticed everyone was gone.  He was seven but  more like a four year old emotionally.  Enough said.  

I often use my son’s emotional age to help myself and others figure out the support level he needs.This may help you figure out the level of “parenting” that is most appropriate for your child.