Thursday, 19 May 2011
I’ve talked before about my son’s backseat driving in the car. Well, things are about to go to a whole new level.
Kai has discovered the speedometer.
My intrepid wife is usually the one who drives our son to his various therapies, karate class, swim lesson, and doctor visits. The drive from his swim lesson to karate class is particularly tough because the time in between is short. Since Kai always has anxiety about being late, this drive can bring out the worst of his backseat driving.
This week was not any different. Fearing that he would be late to karate, Kai implored Mom to drive faster. My wife pointed out the speed limit sign and told Kai that she could not go faster because you have to obey the speed limit rules.
Now, my son is a stickler for rules. I think that many kids with autism see things in black and white, which, when it comes to sticking to the rules, is generally a good thing. He knows that he will be held to the rules, and expects others to as well. He sometimes will talk about another child at school who did not obey a rule and received a time out. At home, if I raise my voice, he will tell me that I am breaking the rule about not shouting.
So, on this occasion in the car, he seemed satisfied with having to obey the speed limit and was quiet for the rest of the drive to karate class.
On the way home, while driving along the same road as before, Kai spoke up. “Mom, you’re going too fast. The speed limit is 35 and you are going 40.” Uh, oh.
We want our son to obey rules. So, how do we explain about speed limits?
“Well, I know the sign says the limit is 55, but that means that you can go 60.” “I know you are supposed to obey all rules, but it is okay to not obey this one.”
Nah, I’m even having trouble with that one.
So, it looks like we will be driving a little slower from now on. I guess I will have to get more comfortable in the right lane of the interstate highways.
But, what I want to know is, how can I put a dimmer on the speedometer?