When I’m in public, I have been told that I am mature beyond my years. This is usually because of my respect and politeness towards others, natural gift of working with little kids, use of a mature voice, speaking intelligently with adults, and my business interests that are not like a “typical” teenager. On the other hand, my parents and little brother have often described me as immature while I’m at home. This may be due to instances such as when I don’t pay attention to personal space, use a different “immature voice,” fight with my brother over the littlest things, run around being hyper, or when I go into my brother’s room and refuse to leave when he tells me over and over again to leave. This brings up a question in my mind. Why do I act differently in these different settings? I have had this question for many years now, and recently I have started to somewhat come up with a partial answer.
This topic was discussed in my recent triennial IEP. My case manager and educational specialist said something that I found really interesting. She told me that many individuals on the Autism spectrum exhibit these types of behaviors. She noted that some individuals (especially high functioning ones) on the spectrum act better behaved or more mature outside of the house. This is because the home is usually a familiar and safe place to be. She told me that it’s very plausible that I have so much anxiety and stress during the day (especially at school) due to all of the work and social interaction expected of me that when I come home, I can let it all out. She said that I (both consciously and unconsciously) know that my house is a safe place where I can let loose and nobody will judge me and nobody will not love me!
My mom also mentioned during the IEP that additionally I may act less mature in front of my family because my family sees me unmedicated from time to time. (You can read more about my insights on the topic of medication by clicking here). I have to agree on this part with my mom! I rarely go to school without taking my medicine. During my two years of high school, I can only think of two or three times where I actually forgot to take it and went to school. When I’m at home, especially after school and during the weekends, there’s more of a chance for me to forget my medicine. I also get into more trouble in the mornings, when I haven’t taken my medicine or it hasn’t kicked in yet. When I don’t take my medications, I get totally off track and it becomes much harder for me to get through the day without any issues. I can totally imagine having an absence of medicine in my system directly affecting my maturity level from time to time.
I think the two reasons described above about why I may act less mature in my house are very insightful and provide my family and I with some answers. This isn’t a solution, though. Instead, this is the start of the process towards having a solution. We know why I act immature in my own house from time to time, but now my attention needs to be focused on how the immaturity can be stopped or reduced. Once I problem solve this, I think that I can not only have better coping skills, but things at home will also be much smoother.
I am extremely honored and humbled to be awarded a spot on the "Top 35 Autism Blogs In 2018" list by Action Behavior Centers! This is one of the many things that show me not only how much I've achieved helping others, but also how much I love to help others in the Autism community. I'm so excited to be apart of this elite team of Autism bloggers trying to make the world a better place! Click here to see the honoree list!