So swearing seems to be an issue at the moment for me and balloonboy. I remember when he was very little, he had just started saying small words and was not very vocal, dare I say it, compared to other children his age. He was attempting to form sentences and anything he attempted to do was met with whoops of joy and full on smiles and praise from me. At this particular age he was obsessed with buses. Anything to do with buses, bus toys, bus you tube videos and buses outside. That is until he discovered bendy buses , then it was all about the bendy ones, then after that it was a lot more specific, he became obsessed with doigs model buses , which cost me a fortune . Anyway one night while reading our bedtime story together , he said “mummy, where,s my fucking bus?” . Well then an internal battle began with the voices in my head , do I praise him for his efforts to ask a question? which lets face it , it was a pretty amazing milestone to achieve, or do I reprimand him for swearing? I decided on the praise , since I believe that at this point he was blissfully unaware that he had just sworn at his mother, so I let this go and praised him. Well ….im not entirely sure this was the right thing to do……..
From this point on, swearing has become a little bit of an issue. It doesn’t help that he probably hears inappropriate words on films and possibly when I have stubbed a toe on something or stood on a piece of lego, but lets face it , they are like little sponges at that age, absorbing everything they hear. Its funny how they cannot hear you when you ask them to get dressed but when you whisper a swear word, they can hear it instantly and not only that , remember and repeat it, often in the most inappropriate settings such as loudly on the bus or when your at a family gathering trying to impress the in laws and show them what an amazing parent you are.
Needless to say, a few weeks after the bus episode, we were taking a nice little walk back from the park, when a lovely old man approached us as I carried my beautiful toddler in my arms, and asked my son what his name was, “fuck off ” was the reply. The man took this surprisingly well explaining that he had grandchildren and they had been known to swear too at times. I wasn’t so relaxed and ran home and probably opened a bottle of wine.
There have been several episodes of swearing over the years , all of which have made me smile, inwardly, however when it comes to dealing with it, the truth is , I don’t have a clue!. Its difficult to judge whether the swearing comes from an innocent place or not. I tend to presume with my son that he is not necessarily aware that he is swearing, but merely repeating words he has heard. Now he is a little older I am able to reason with him a little and explain to him that certain words are bad and he mustn’t say them. This does seem to be working. I am certainly not an autism professional but I am a mum that has studied autism in great depth and living with my son has provided me with the ability to offer my advise . In this situation my advise would be to discipline your child as you think is best. There is nobody but you that can decide how to deal with this behaviour and there is nobody that knows your child like you, so follow your instincts with this one. The truth is all children with special needs are unique and respond differently to situations and consequences. Please share your stories , I would really like to hear them and how you deal with it.
The biggest challenge we face can often be the judgement of other , less understanding people. I remember one day having a coffee with a friend and my son (i mean that is allowed right?) and my son was making a bit of noise blowing his balloon up repeatedly. This man sat near to us decided to moan about it, well , I politely explained my sons condition and this seemed to help but what I really wanted to do was tell the man to shove his walking stick up his ****hole, but then I remembered , I must not swear in front of my son.