Perhaps this isn’t the best way to wrap-up Autism Awareness Month but I feel I need to pass this along. In the spirit of full disclosure, however, not all the details have been corroborated and, in fact, some are a little fuzzy. Yet where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and I’d like to think, at the very least, there’s a lesson to be learned.
I got a call the other day from my wife telling me that our autistic son had hit another boy in the back while in the bathroom (in addition to “flicking water on him”). Obviously, this concerning for a number of reasons; one of which being that it’s just not like Matt to go on the offensive like that.
In many ways, Matt’s autism forces him to avoid confrontation. He’d sooner apologize (whether he did something bad or not) or ignore the situation outright. It’s sort of in his personality to walk away from situations that are uncomfortable.
Yet in that bathroom, something had to have set him off and upset him. Perhaps someone did something to him. I’m not saying that that something couldn’t have been considered minor to the rest of us or, conversely, had to be egregiously offensive. I’m just saying something had to happen to have made Matt react in a way that included hitting another kid and flicking on water on him.
Even when I talked to him on the phone after school, he just kept apologizing and promising never to do it again. In his mind, he just wanted the whole thing to be over with.