Autism -  Not An Excuse

Zowie Kaye by Zowie Kaye

Zowie Kaye

Zowie Kaye

My Big Fat Greek Family – we love our food and love each other even more. We're a like liquorice allsorts, all a bit different. I’m a full time wor...

Me: Cameron – why is your rubbish all over your bedroom floor?

Cameron: My bin is full!

Me: So why don’t you empty it into the big bin?

Cameron: You know mum – because of my autism, my brain works differently to yours and so I didn’t think to just do that!

Me: Absolutely not Cameron – what have I told you, it is not to be used as an excuse.  You have not done it because you are being lazy – you wouldn’t forget to get your treat after your tea, would you?

These are the types of conversations that have become the norm in our household over the last few months, whenever Cameron is asked why he has done something.

I was pulled to one side recently and told by the child minder at after-school club that there had been an incident where Cameron has also used the same line on them.

On a separate occasion, I had been out shopping and upon my return he came bounding down the stairs to beckon me up to his room.

He was sat on his bed; arms out with a big grin on his face, presenting his bedroom to me:

“You are very welcome mum – I cleaned my room and also used the hoover!! So what about some chore money for me?”

We consciously kept Cameron’s autism from him, not because we were ashamed but purely because he is that bright that I knew as his mother he would start to use it as a “get out of jail free card”!!

And because he is so bright, I know his ability and have always pushed him to conform.

We were encouraged early on in this school year (5) to tell Cameron about his autism, we had planned before high school but we wanted to support school and they said that he was starting to stand out from the crowd a bit more and other children were becoming less tolerant.

I did say to school – we will tell him, but I cannot be held responsible when he starts to try to use it as an excuse!!

So here is a brief list of some occasions he has UNNECESSARILY whipped out the “A” card:

  • Not wanting to clean his bedroom
  • Telling his teacher maths work wasn’t fair
  • Why his handwriting work shouldn’t be done – when he didn’t do it in class
  • Not wanting to be “it” during a tig game with younger children (although he was willing to be chased)
  • Not wanting to eat his tea but move on straight to pudding
  • To use the “wellbeing” room in school to play on the iPad during lunch

There you have it and these are just the ones off the top of my head.

It’s so hard not to get frustrated with him because when I pull him up on his behaviour in doing this he goes very sheepish, so he knows what he is doing is wrong.

I was told by a top paediatrician “Cameron is clever enough to grow into a well-rounded individual that will just need an understanding wife – don’t worry about him Mrs Kaye, he has the makings of a engineer or scientist and you should be proud!”

Sigh – now I just need to get him to apply himself, for his own sake and to understand there is no excuse!

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