By Kodey Toney
It's Not What You Want, It's What You Give
Growing up I was the younger brother. My sister would push me around, beat on me, and sometimes encourage me to do things I shouldn't, at least until I got bigger. I would say this is pretty typical with siblings. However, I noticed recently that our household was a little different. I'm not sure if this is true in all homes with a child on the autism spectrum, but it is around here.
Let me start by saying that Kruz is your typical little brother. He's just like I was as a kid...ok, I'm still a little like this. Kruz pesters, picks, and annoys with the best of 'em. He can get on anybody's nerve in the blink of an eye. This goes double for Konner, especially when he's already over-stimulated.
In fact, as I'm writing this Konner is in the other room screaming, "Go away! Stay away from me!"
Kruz tends to take over the role of the elder sometimes though by bossing Konner around. He manipulates his brother into doing things he either shouldn't or doesn't want to do.
This morning I was sitting in bed when Kruz came in to inform me (tattle) that Konner had said a bad word. I called Konner in to discipline him and then sent him on his way back into the living room. A couple minutes later I went into the living room on my way to the kitchen. As I approached the living room from the hall I heard Kruz tell Konner to, "Say it again." He was encouraging Konner to say cuss words, and then coming in to tell on him.
I just shook my head a little.
Now, before I'm judged too much, let me explain that I don't say bad words around the boys for obvious reasons, but with Konner's echolalia (repetitive speak common in children with autism) I have always made a conscious effort to watch what I say. He has learned most of this from the computer and YouTube.
This is usually accessed on his iPad which we purchased because there are so many great tools and apps that can help kids with autism. This is "Konner's" iPad. We have bought Kruz a Nabi, tablet, and he had an iPod touch. He only wants the iPad. Because of this he will talk Konner out of it. Konner will be in the middle of playing, and if I turn around for just a second Kruz will have it and Konner will be looking for something else to do. He does this with other toys too.
Kruz said the other day that he thinks they are all his toys.
That's not to say that Konner can't hold his own. He will make sure Kruz only gets something when he really doesn't want it. Konner will fight for something if he needs to.
I know that Kruz is taking advantage of his brother some, and address this when I can, but I also know that they are just being brothers.