Our Military Life Blog

Autism and Social Cues

Well I will start off by saying that Zion had a great Thanksgiving break! I actually love being able to stay home with my little ones during the breaks and getting to spend some quality time with them. Zion was super excited about eating Turkey. Lately, he has been wanting to try new foods, and I am TOTALLY okay with that! Zion normally just eats pizza, chicken, mac & cheese, pb&j, and grilled cheese among some other things like fruit snacks. So the past couple of weeks he asked me to make him his 1st enchilada, and then he kept asking us when it was time to eat turkey. Luckily, he liked both, so we can add 2 more foods to his small variety menu.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we adopted some basic trainees from Lackland AFB for the day! Every year they ask for families to host the basic trainees for Thanksgiving. Since this was the 1st year in our new house, it was something that we had decided to do a long time ago. We were pretty excited to host the trainees, as most of them were in the first couple of weeks of boot camp. They were such sweet kids (I say kids because they were 18 and 21) and we gave them as much time as they wanted to use the phone and call friends and family. They spent all day with us and got to eat a great home cooked meal. When we took them back I was actually kind of sad because I felt like they had become a little part of our family. Unfortunately, I was so focused on hosting and cooking (and eating) that we forgot to take pictures with him. That was a total fail on our part, but it will be on my agenda for next year. Zion did great with the trainees and he became comfortable with them after a couple of hours.

I have noticed lately, and even in the past, that Zion is not getting better at recognizing social cues. This means, he doesn’t really understand when I am upset, or if a peer is upset, annoyed, frustrated, etc. I watch him play with his cousin and his friend from down the street, and sometimes he just doesn’t get the social cues that people give. This can be frustrating because the people he’s playing with may not understand that Zion doesn’t understand, if that makes sense. He tells us that kids at school are rude to him and Jeremiah has said that although Zion says hi and bye to everyone when he arrives and leaves school, very few kids say hi and bye back to him. As a mother, this can be pretty heartbreaking and I am not really sure what I am supposed to do. Would ABA therapy help with this? Would they work on being socially appropriate? These are things that I have to think about now that he is still young. I realize he is only 4, but I worry. I worry every single day that he is going to get picked on for being socially awkward. This is my outlet to share these things because I don’t really talk about these feelings with anyone. I realize that isn’t healthy, but it is hard to talk about these issues with people that just don’t really understand. I am going to end here before the tears come.

Thank you so much for reading. Zion and I truly appreciate every ounce of support that we get. We are part of not only the Autism community, but the military community, and we are truly thankful for the support. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I will see y’all in a couple of weeks.