Thursday, January 15, 2009

"In what way is that an insult?"

I'd just told my 12-year-old that his room smelled like "boy".  I did mean it as an insult.  The room stank.  But Diver out-thought me.

Lately I've been reminded that Diver is as smart as I am. And that he is becoming a teenager with all that implies.

Of course that happens to all kids after 12.  But with Diver, who has an ASD (autism spectrum disorder), it is especially loaded.  We are so used to guiding, preparing, managing, micro-managing our kids that the push/pull of adolescence is, like all our parenting, magnified 100X.  

"For all intents and purposes, Mom, you are over-parenting," he told me earlier this week.  I was dropping him at a planning meeting for a YMCA youth rally he'll be attending--10 hours away in St. Louis.  And he has traveled before and gone to camp in Canada.  But to go on a 10 hour bus trip that leaves at midnight to a big event with hundreds of teenagers who will be up all night playing and learning and playing...   Yeah, well, I had some over-parenting to do.  It has taken a lot of over-parenting to get him where he is today.  Stable.  Independent.  Managing his emotions.  This is a kid who dropped out of school last year at the age of 11.  

This week his therapist said, "Its like he's neurotypical.  If I didn't know he had autism, I wouldn't know he had autism."  

It's a wonderful thing.  And its over-parenting that got him here.  So I'll continue my merry over-parenting way and let him complain like any other teenager.


  1. Outstanding! I count myself as one of the "over-parenters." I hope my efforts bear fruit as yours have.

    BTW, I love the concept of Susan 2.0. I'm still trying to get to Phil 2.0. Not sure I'll make it before I have to be Phil 3.0. Cheers!

  2. Phil-You are my first comment -er ! Thanks.

  3. its over-parenting that got him here.

    Amen, sisTAH!