Monday, February 22, 2016

Similarities And Differences On A Teenager With Autism

My son Tommy has autism. He's a teenager. I've noticed that he's different from a lot of other kids his age, but there are also plenty of similarities as well.





1. All teenagers have a smell about them. Whether it's BO or too much cologne, some sort of scent is usually wafting from their bodies.


2. I don't have to worry about my son sneaking out at night. He's really big on rules. If I told him to be in by 10, he'll be back by 10.


3. His moods are all over the place like a typical teen. One minute he'll be smiling. The next he's all:



4. He won't risk smoking. Or getting drunk. He cannot believe anyone would do these things. "Don't they know their lungs will turn black? Why would anyone want to get drunk and stupid?" He's just as appalled over people doing drugs.


5. He spends hours on video games like many teenagers. When he emerges from his room, we sometimes start clapping. "You exist!" I'll sometimes shout.



6. He might not be driving when he's 16. He tends to panic and shut down when he gets overwhelmed so he might need more time to cope with these feelings before he gets behind the wheel.


7. I'm not sure when he'll have a girlfriend. He still struggles with understanding different emotions. He misses social cues. If a girl that liked him was sarcastic, he wouldn't get it. I have faith that there is a girl out there for him though.


8. He's not interested in sports. He never has been. He tried track in fifth grade and wasn't a fan. He's not exactly coordinated. He tries hard, but playing catch with him is tricky as he can't really catch the ball or throw it. He'll try to be polite if Tom or another man in the family offers, but you can tell he's not really enjoying himself. Football has always bored him. "This looks dumb," he once told me when he saw a game on TV.


9. He probably won't be going to any school dances. There's one coming up and I asked if he wanted to go. He was like this:



10. He doesn't walk around with earbuds in his ears all the time. He cannot stand things in his ears and he doesn't care to listen to music at all hours of the day.


11. He eats like most teenagers. He never seems to be full. I once watched as he ate a footlong sub from Subway in five minutes. And he was still hungry. However, his diet isn't like a lot of teenagers: he doesn't like soda. It's too "spicy" for him. He doesn't like chewy candy. He freaks if you put cheese on his burger. He'd live on rolls if I allowed it.


12. He hates wearing shorts. He's noticed that a lot of boys his age wear shorts--even if it's freezing. He doesn't comprehend this. If it's below 72 degrees he must be in a long-sleeved shirt. If it's above 72 degrees, he'll wear a short-sleeve shirt and sometimes I can get him in shorts, but he's not a fan. He also hates wearing flip flops. Even if we're going to the pool, he prefers to be in socks and shoes. When we go to the beach I can get him in flip flops but only because he can't stand the sand stuck in the socks.



Honestly, I'm happy he might not ever be like the "typical" teenager. He is who he is.




He's Tommy.

63 comments:

  1. He is a pretty awesome teenager to me! :)

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  2. Aw what a sweet boy. Having a rule follower has it's perks!

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  3. Pretty awesome, though.
    The smell thing. I wonder if that's for boys and girls? I guess we'll find out one day!
    And I don't like soda either. It hurts my throat. I have some sensory stuff myself, or I did as a kid.
    There is certainly a girl (or more than one) out there for this kid.

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  4. He sounds a lot like my son. Be very glad about the not ready to drive thing. Teaching teens to drive is not an experience you are ever, ever, ready for. He'll find a girl that strikes his fancy when he's ready. She'll just have to like him for exactly who he is.

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  5. What a great post! And what is it about teenagers and their smell?! Haha

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  6. He seems like an awesome kid!! And he will eventually get into the dating world, and who cares if that isn't until college! High school is enough pressure as it is to worry about dances and dating. xxxoo

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  7. My middle son calls soda "spicy" too. He doesn't like any of it.

    The teen years--- I'm scared that we're almost there!

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  8. He's pretty dang awesome! My boy won't be a typical teen either, but I am ok with that.

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  9. He's pretty dang awesome! My boy won't be a typical teen either, but I am ok with that.

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  10. Tommy sounds pretty cool to me PLUS he's wearing a BA shirt that I'd love to have in my collection. :)
    I was just talking to a mom this morning with a son who is on the spectrum and she's having issues with the school keeping to his IEP. I could tell she needed someone to talk to this morning and I was there to hear her out, she told me about her concerns, she's a bit fearful of junior high and other kids. Tommy is in junior high (right?) and he seems to be doing AWESOME.
    Thanks for sharing with us at #MMBH, pinning this. :)
    XOXO

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  11. My husband has Aspergers. He doesn't get sarcasm, or hints, for that matter. I've had to learn that I can't just drop a hint and expect him to pick up on it. If I wanted roses for Valentine's Day, for example, I'd have to say "Dear, you need to buy me a dozen roses for Valentine's Day."

    If you raise a decent young man, someone out there will love his honesty and other good traits.

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  12. He's awesome and smart too!! He needs to tell all other teenagers to not get drunk and do stupid things!! And school dances are over-rated.. I just remember them being all drama and not really that much fun.

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  13. I dated a guy over the summer whose son is Autistic. He liked and disliked the same things as your son. I am with Tommy on the smoking and dances. I have never smoked. I was a swimmer in high school and valued my lungs.

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  14. He sounds like a pretty cool kid. I really enjoyed reading this.

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  15. I can't believe how much he's seemed to grow as I've read your blog! My girls think soda is too spicy too.

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  16. Yep, sounds like a typical teenager to me! My 16 year old nephew has autism, and he and Tommy have a lot in common. Except the shorts - my nephew wears shorts almost every day - and it's cold here!

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  17. Great post! I've noticed with my own teenager, that I spent her elementary years praying she would fit in, but now I'm high school I'm thankful that she doesn't fit in so much! Sounds like you've done a fantastic job raising him.

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  18. I love this! Drew is only 9 but he told me that he won't have to be reminded to wear deodorant when the time comes...lol He also is very against smoking.

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  19. He sounds like a great teenager.

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  20. I love this post because I love hearing the things mommas love and notice about their kids. Sometimes I think that we just memorize them when they are young because their communication is spotty and we have to know them inside out just to function, but your writing shows how much the years only increase how fun it is to get to know our kiddos and what makes them tick :)

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  21. loved this! he sounds like a great kid. and sports are totally dumb, hehe.

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  22. Your Tommy sounds like a wonderful kid! I have a 16-year-old with Asperger's, and he shares a lot of the characteristics you mentioned. Truth be told, my special needs 16-year-old is a LOT easier to deal with than my typical 15-year-old...so there's that, LOL! But all kids are great if we appreciate them for who they are!

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  23. What a sweet boy and you sound like you are a great mom for Tommy. Great post showing how awesome he is!

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  24. As someone who has tourettes and is addicted to videogames growing up, i can tell you that he will develop into his own amazing self. Everyone is unique and amazing in their own way.

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  25. I say the same thing about my son when he emerges from his room. A couple of years ago he would play video games once in a blue moon. Now it's like where's my baby boy.

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  26. We all have similarities and differences and the great thing is..that's okay! It's perfectly fine that we all have our own little idiosyncrasies. Tommy is a great kid, he is perfect version of himself!

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  27. As soon as I started reading, I got "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in my head. He sounds like an awesome kid! I also hate sports and can eat a footlong sandwich in less than five minutes!

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  28. from the points that i have read, it seems to me that you have a nice boy. spends most of his time playing video games that is good. he can be infront your eyes most of the time.

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  29. Whoa! He is indeed Tommy. He seems He is a very nice kid. Do keep taking care of him. All teens are similar in some ways no matter who they are or their skin colors.

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  30. He sounds like a great kid. My oldest is 12 and just starting to show some of those teen traits.

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  31. This is so sweet! It's great that you know exactly who he is. I was once a nanny for a 12-year-old with autism, and it's not easy, but I learned a lot!

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  32. What a handsome young man! I love that you highlighted what makes your Tommy, Tommy. We are all unique in our own ways - that's what makes us special :)

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  33. It's interesting how the things society sees as "wrong" with our kids are often the things that make them so uniquely loveable. My younger daughter has her own little plethora of things, many of which are sometimes bothersome or inconvenient ... But I love who she is nonetheless.

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  34. Oh man, I love his T-shirt, hahaha.
    What are your thoughts on social skills classes? Do they offer that at his school? I'm curious to know what you think about social skills groups! Even as a teacher, I feel conflicted. Sometimes I feel they should learn the "norms" and other times I feel frustrated that we're taking what's so wonderfully unique about our kids and trying to mold them.

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  35. Elias has autism and it's 4. Like you a see a lot of similarities and difference. I let him know everyday that I love him just the way he is! the face of your son for the dance xD

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  36. I wish all teenagers were like Tommy, a rule abiding citizen. Sometimes his being an innocent child like will set him free from suffering on one or more teenage problems.

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  37. He sounds like the best teenager. I wish all kids were like him.

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  38. Autism or no, all people and teens are different. Aside from the social aspects, he seems pretty well adjusted and happy with his routine.

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  39. It's so awesome that you share this with your readers. He sounds like such a great kid and seems happy. That's awesome!

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  40. I really appreciate your posts about your son because it allows me to understand how they view the world. He sounds pretty amazing! Well-behaved and very obedient! Not like my kids who are all over the place.

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  41. He may have autism but still he is so adorable. I hope he soon can adapt well in the environment and people won't judge him. -Anosa

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  42. He is an adorable young man, and yes I also think only babies can wear shorts, haha.. I like to see teenagers knows the proper decorum.

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  43. I think your son is one awesome teenager. I like everything you wrote about him. God bless him!

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  44. What an adorable young man! I like how sensible he is with regards to smoking/drinking. Sounds like you've done a wonderful job with raising him. :)

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  45. Thank you for posting, making me smile. He sound so much, in fact almost identical to my lil man, whom I lost 6 years ago. Same thing, on shorts, shoes, school dance, and the most awesome video game player and I'll add something, he didn't like certain material to touch him (he said it felt scratchy and sandpaper),you're doing a great raising him ... You sure made my day. I miss my lil man so much. :)

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  46. Your son is adorable, looks like a one happy guy. You are a wonderful parents, and I salute you who everything that you do. I think parents with Autism kids are wonderful because of how they raise their kids despite how they are. They still show what a parents really is. You did a fantastic job raising your child.

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  47. Your son sounds like a good and thoughtful teenager! It's good that drinking and smoking don't appeal to him at all. I hope that's the case with my children when I have kids.

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  48. I am currently volunteering at a children's charity that supports kids with autism and I do see quite a few kids with autism. Some ranges from high functioning and others low to moderate functioning, but they are all different. From your story I have definitely learned a lot and I hope to learn even more as I also have a five year old girl with autism.

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  49. he i s a good looking guy! your son looks like a nice teenager! remember, he's adorable!

    - Wwendy@wendypolisi.com

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  50. Tommy sounds a lot like my James in a few years and we can definitely relate to many of these similarities and differences! Although not always easy, I love that my son's autism helps us to view the world through a unique perspective.

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  51. He sounds like a really great kid. When I read that first one I busted out laughing. The kids I babysit def have a certain stench about them....I have to literally crack the window when I pick them up from school.

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  52. I love this!!! He sounds exactly like my cousins son, he is an amazing kiddo!

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  53. your son is really amazing! i remember my cousin with same age as him, they're good at school!

    -Karlyn Cruz

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  54. Thanks from sharing your story and your son. My teen hates being on my blog so that's one difference. I'm glad you're focusing on the unique aspect of your son. I'm sure he is an amazing boy.

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  55. My daughter was never diagnosed with Autism they diagnosed her with ADD but she has many of these characteristics. I will say that she is now 20 and I had many feelings you shared about wondering if she would drive, ever have a boyfriend, etc. She is still at home but she has found a guy that is perfect for her and has plans to eventually get married an move out when she has finished her school. She can drive now, I still worry but she is able to. So even though I think I will always worry about her way more then I do my other girls I have found some piece of mind knowing that there is hope for the future. She was much slower getting there then our other daughters but she is getting there. I just remind myself that just because she does it on her own time doesn't mean she won't eventually meet the same milestones.

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  56. Your son sounds pretty awesome. I have a cousin who also has autism, but his condition is a bit more advanced. He's awesome too!

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  57. My son can't understand why someone would smoke either. Following rules? That's another story. lol Your son is adorable - even when moody! My son is like that at least once a day - usually more! ;)

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  58. I also have an autistic teenage boy and some of what you list is very similar. There are some things that he struggles with and there are some things that he can't comprehend and he totally misses that teenage nonsense. For example most teenagers don't like doing chores - in fact they avoid them like the plague. If I go to the barn to take care of our horses and don't wake him up to come with me - he becomes very upset because he can't believe I would make him worry about me like that...

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  59. So you get to trade not dealing with typical things like smoking ... so you can focus on the social things which are so important at this age. Good luck

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  60. He sounds like a good growing up teen. Having a follower of rules has its perks. A great post to show, to accept Tommy as who he is.

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  61. Sounds like he is a pretty healthy teen - I like number 2 :)

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  62. A teen that likes and abide by rules! Send him my way! I love him already. My son has a few of those same stuffies in his room and enjoys games just as much. And yup, he's a teen too. I'm just happy to see another teen boy who still keeps his stuffies. I don't want mine to ever get rid of his.

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