Social Cues

Today is Presidents’ Day, which means that schools and my office are closed.

The wife and the baby have baby-and-me class on Monday mornings, so when we do have a federal holiday on a Monday, I stay home with the Monster, then swing out to the JCC with him to go retrieve the baby, letting my wife have some time for a workout.

Of course, this also means that *gasp* I have time to go run to Starbucks and get a coffee.

Last time that this happened, I had a lovely conversation with another parent regarding autism and the differences in what each state requires.  This time, though, it was quieter and the Monster wasn’t being quite ‘stereotypically’ autistic – meaning that he wasn’t toe-walking or doing something that openly might give away that he’s not NT.  (Well, okay, aside from my reminding him every minute or so to squeeze my hand so he didn’t let go, but I do know plenty of parents of NT children who do likewise, if only to keep them from going wild in public.)

On the other hand, while he’s okay with making eye contact now and again, he still doesn’t pick up on social cues around him.  While we were waiting for my drink, the barista behind the counter said hello to him, and on her second attempt to be friendly, I had to stroke his head and prompt him to say hi back.  Likewise when it was time to say good-bye (and even then, requiring a second cue to look at the woman he was saying good-bye to and to raise his voice to be loud enough to hear).

I know that this is one of his IEP goals for the coming year – they’ve been working on the social interaction goals with his classmates, but we need to figure out a way to fade out the prompts for responses.  As I joke, my only excuse for my lack of responses to social cues is the fact that I’m anti-social… but he’s not me.

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