I listen to a few different autism podcasts and sometimes moms of older children are sharing stories of what it’s like when the a child with autism is no longer a child. Lately, this has had me thinking. Courtney’s 7 and yes, those teenager years and beyond are still several years away but we are getting closer and I can’t help wonder, what would it be like when she’s older?
Someone close to us said to me recently after we had to wrestle Courtney out of the car, “I worry about her when she’s older”. I knew exactly what she meant by that and I worry too. What did this person mean by that?
Back story…I can remember vividly receiving an email from Courtney’s pre-school teacher just shortly after she turned 3 that she bit an adult in the classroom and it broke skin. We had just started seeing some of this behavior at home but hearing it happened at school broke my heart. My little girl was becoming aggressive. Friends and family would tell me not worry because even “typical” kids would go through a biting phase at this age. While trying not to worry, I did work with the school right away to start working on a plan to diminish this behavior.
Four years later and this “phase” is still a huge part of our daily struggle and worse than it has ever been (thank you Covid). So why do I worry about when she gets older? Aggressive behaviors exhibited by a 45 lb 7 year old will look a lot different when she becomes a 100 lb teenager. If you have spent any time with my little girl you know she is as strong as an ox. She’s only 7! This doesn’t cause me to worry, this scares me. Fortunately Courtney has an amazing team both at school and home to help us continue to find a way to decrease these behaviors and give her other ways to express her frustrations while be insanely patient and understanding.