Now Reading: “I Think He’s Trying To Trick Us! He’s Being Sneaky!” something he’s never done before…

“I Think He’s Trying To Trick Us! He’s Being Sneaky!” something he’s never done before…

So Kyle’s doing something the past few days that he’s really never done before. He’s trying to trick us. He’s trying to play us. Let me explain.

Kyle is pretty much potty trained (knock on wood). I wrote about our potty training methods HERE.

Now what I mean by potty trained is that he doesn’t have many accidents. He still can’t communicate that he has to go, but he can hold it and he will wait til someone takes him…or at home or in familiar surroundings he will drop his pants and enter the bathroom and “void”.

The dropping his pants. That’s where the trickiness comes in.

Lately he is OBSESSED with looking at his reflection in the mirror. I recently wrote a blog post about it with video of him laughing looking in the mirror (read).

He’s gone thru this mirror obsession before but never to this magnitude. He will go from mirror to mirror around the house and look at his reflection and laugh and laugh.

He will also find his reflection in other things you and I would never think of. He finds his reflection in the window, and the bathroom tiles, and the door knobs, etc, etc.

But back to the going from room to room. At night he goes back and forth between mirrors in his playroom…

the dining room…

and the bathroom….

The dining room mirror play is kinda is dangerous. The bathroom mirror play is dangerous and destructive. At least once a month he knocks out the pipes under the sink and water goes over the bathroom floor.  So, at points during the night, the wife and I are literally playing goalie and pulling him off the bathroom sink every 3 minutes.

“No climbing!  Get down!  What are you doing in here?  Do you have to go potty?  Do you wanna sit down and try to go pee-pee or cocky?  No, well that’s the only reason to come in here, so get out!”  🙂

So the past few days we’ve locked the bathroom door at points…like for the 19 minutes when the wife & I try to sit down to eat dinner.

Now, in the past, during the other phases where he was mirror obsessed, we would lock the door too, but we had to be careful that when he did have to pee or poop (go cocky) we got there in time.  In the past we’d find him with pants & underwear off, completely bottomless, at the bathroom door desperately trying to get in… or in the worse case scenario– (only once or twice)– he would pee on the floor if we didn’t get to him in time.  It’s was like a classic case of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”… 🙂

So the last thing we want this time is a potty training regression.  So during those 19 minutes when we are scarfing down dinner I’m continually checking to see if he’s bottomless.

And for the past few days, maybe for the first time ever, it seems like he’s trying to play us…he’s trying to trick us.

We will see him run past us bottomless and say, “I’m sorry buddy, do you have to pee, I’ll open the door” and he goes in and goes straight to climbing on the sink & looking/laughing in the mirror!    “Do you have to go or not?  What’s going on here?!”  I make him sit on the toilet and nothing.  He doesn’t have to go.  He’s been tricking us.

He’s used his noggin to figure out that being bottomless means bathroom access…

And as much as the goalie work of pulling him off the bathroom sink every 3 minutes is mind-numbingly annoying… his sneakiness is something I’m kinda proud of…

And I guess sneakiness is a kind of progress…

So you can file this as another example of what I wrote about in my post “What Progress Looks Like On My Corner Of Autism Avenue” (read)


Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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22 People Replies to ““I Think He’s Trying To Trick Us! He’s Being Sneaky!” something he’s never done before…”

  1. I work with a three year old with autism and sneakiness is very much at the top of his skills list. Itis progress though, it's that problem solving thought process.

  2. THAT is problem solving!! Definitely progress!!

  3. That's great! Our little man recently started trying to "cheat" at a basic board game we were playing to learn about turn-taking. We felt the same thing. Yes, cheating is not great, but the lateral thinking and cause/effect reasoning he put together to come up with the cheat… we couldn't help but be pleased and proud of him!

    Carry on sir. You are making a difference.

  4. WOW !!This is a 3 STEP PROCESS !! WOO HOO !! First I drop my pants, Second my parents run to open the door, (I laugh at how they are wrapped around my finger)Last and most important I get to look in my mirror !!! WINNING !! 🙂
    Have you tried getting him a mirror to carry around, like a woman's make up mirror, they have plastic around them and have their own stand, the rage in the 80's w/ big hair ! Not sure if they make them anymore but they were pretty sturdy. Kyle , you are "The King" !! 🙂

  5. Awesome… I feel proud when my 2 with autism figure out something new… even if it means more work for me… My Dano is quick, and my Gracie is quicker… but when I want to get frustrated, I remind myself how awesome that they figured something out, and I laugh my butt off, then of course I have something new to watch out for, but in the end I am proud…

  6. Anonymous

    Awesome news for Kyle!!! What a milestone to reach! My son does some funny things…….he will go and knock on our door. He thinks by knocking that we will get company because that's what he hears before someone comes in 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    LoL This just made me laugh so hard!!!! Way to go little guy!!! Another Milestone!!!<3<3<3

  8. That is great. His is using wonderful problem solving skills. granted this is not a problem to anyone else but him, bu tit is a problem that he has solved. I have no idea how to hinder this behavior for safety reasons. It is wonderful progress for him.

  9. It is progress! The first time my Evan ever tricked us I was secretly proud too. Right now we are trying to get him to use his new DynaVox. As of now he will ONLY ask for candy corn…..he has figured out that we are just so excited that he is using it to ask for something he will probably get it. Sneaky little $h!t 😉

  10. We found, for our son, that covering the mirror was enough to communicate that it was unavailable at that time. He knew the mirror was there but seldom tried to uncover it. It was almost out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Good luck.

  11. I did not read all the posts but I am wondering if you ever thought about taking the mirror out of the bathroom or covering it up with something that he can't take down. I would think that if it wasn't there he would only use the bathroom for the reason intented and would not go in at other times. Maybe if you replaced what you are using with a mirror you can hang like a picture then romove when you are not using it. Just a thought.
    Mother of a daughter on the spectrum.

  12. Anonymous

    Oh…. love it! We use a Christmas bell shaker for him to let us know and our son watches tv in the window reflection when eating. 🙂

  13. love that he is doing more things… sneaky or not. I think he knows than we all know about some things… as all autistic children do….. thanks for sharing… i am becoming Autism Granma soon.. getting my granson out of foster care..ya hoo… long and fun road ahead.

  14. Brilliant! Like Diane said, I think "clever" more than tricky or sneaky! I celebrate good problem solving – even if it is actually annoying!

  15. Way to go, Kyle! That's some good progress right there in the cognitive skills department. If nothing else, he sees cause and effect to an extent and doesn't see it so literally. That's amazing! Woohoo!

  16. Other King Kyle's MOm

    Great Progress. As I said before, I have seen nothing but progress since they upped Ky's depakote. Could it by chance-who knows? But getting great progress notes for 2 months straight is wonderful! Have a very Merry!

  17. Anonymous

    I love it when the wheels turn- no matter how annoying the behavior is. I actually said "I think my daughter is trying to manipulate me" in an IEP meeting the other day and meant it in a good way. I was proud of her too.

    Congrats! Your kid is trying to play you!!
    Danielle Fisher
    Mother of girl, 6y, ASD

  18. Diane

    Not so much sneaky as clever!! Good putting things together Kyle! Cause and effect, you have to love it.

  19. very big (although annoying) progress! Our son is obsessed with getting his string wet and will also drive us nuts with the bathroom. We have also locked the door…with the same issue, wet pants or a tricky.

  20. Sounds like my 11-year old! EXCEPT mine is constantly swiping food and dropping it down the bathroom drain as he stims on his reflection in the mirror.

  21. Christina - New Zealand

    That is fantastic, made me giggle. I'd be so proud if my son would do that…and yes i could see how it would drive you nuts. As for the mirror, my son will never look at his reflection, so I love how the king gets so much joy from his!! Merry Christmas AD and family. =)

  22. Kelly

    I think sneakiness is progress! My daughter is totally sneaky sometimes which will drive you clinically insane, but also makes me think "wait a minute, look at the thought process that went into you tricking me…." By the way, she is STILL staying dry thanks to your potty schedule :)! Yes, we too have to remind her to go like once an hour, but whatever, I'll take it!