Home > Autism > My son’s upset with me & I’m happy about it!

My son’s upset with me & I’m happy about it!

No, I’m not a mean person. I don’t relish in other people’s unhappiness.

But when you live with someone with autism, anything that deviates from the person’s ‘normal’ behaviour is a cause for examination, hope, and even, celebration. For sometimes, it means that there’s a form of breakthrough, and perhaps this is the one that would tip the scales in your/their favour from now on.

In general, Lucas is a happy boy, and he loves to travel. We are blessed as he’s very well behaved and it’s very easy for us to bring him overseas on vacation. He doesn’t complain about long plane rides or the waiting or the long queues (Mom is usually the one grumbling). He loves beach holidays and is happiest in the pool or walking on the sand along the beach.

He has come to associate certain things with holidays – luggages being the most obvious ‘clue’ to him. He would also watch us when we pack, to see what goes into the luggage. When I used to travel for work previously, Lucas would stay with his grandparents which he doesn’t mind.

Last week, my husband had to go on a short work trip, and I decided to accompany him. As Lucas had school, I decided not to bring him with us. So I explained to him earlier in the day that he would have to stay at his grandparents’ place for a couple of nights.

We took a cab to the departure centre, and enroute, dropped Lucas off at the grandparents’. Throughout the cab ride, Lucas sat staring out of the backseat window moodily. I knew he was upset as he was disinterested in the music playing in the background, and when I prodded him in the ribs (which usually cause him to chuckle), he merely ignored me. Not a smile could be seen.

When we reached my parents’ place, he reluctantly waved goodbye and walked off. I learned when I returned that he took a long time to settle down that evening for bed. Instead he kept pointing to pictures of me at home.

Fortunately, his moodiness didn’t last long and his teacher reported that he was his usual happy self the next day. And just as thankfully, when we returned two days later, he was thrilled to have us home and to be back in his own home.

Most parents out there would say that it’s usual for children to miss their parents when they are apart and that this is normal. And that is precisely why I’m pleased about it – because it is a normal. Previously, it would never have bothered Lucas when we travel without him. If he was bothered, he had never shown it.

Now I hope that one day soon, I’d have to actually call him each day that I’m away to tell him that ‘Mom is coming home soon’.

Categories: Autism
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