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Talking Babies & Trusting Toddlers — 3 Things I Noticed About Typical Kids

Talking Babies & Trusting Toddlers -- 3 Things I Noticed About Typical Kids

(originally written & published on January 15, 2014)

I’ve joked before about how the wife and I kid around sometimes and say things like “did you see that talking baby at the party earlier?  she was all talking & stuff.  she thinks she’s hot sh-t…”

And I’ve written before about how I’m not sure how great a “typical parent” (read) I would’ve been.

But the past week it’s really hit home how unfamiliar I am with typical kids and what typical kids are capable of.   I mean Kyle is 10, and as y’all know completely non verbal.  I guess I kinda know what a typical 10 year old would be like, but these babies & toddlers… they’re so freaking advanced!  I had no idea!  LOL

There were 3 things that happened this week that made me think about all this…

1) I was at the diner with my mom yesterday morning before working after taking her for some medical tests.  And there was a baby in the diner.  Had to be maybe 9 months? (definitely under a year old)  I walk in and he was all “da da da da da” and guess what
the kid was sitting with his dad!  9 freaking months!?! Holy crap!  And then one of the waitress must have been related to the kid cuz she brought him around to all teh tables and he locked eyes with me… he had great eye contact… i think he even waved goodbye to one of the other customers… at 9 freaking months!

so he was a pre-speaker, great eye contact, pointing, and waving at 9 freaking months… TYPICAL PARENTS…don’t take these things for granted people!

2) This YouTube video I guess has been around for about 6 months, but I just saw it for the first time last week.  In it a 20 month old girl says “Hi daddy!” a bunch of times and then sings along with an old Elvis Presley song complete with lip syncing, hand gestures, and facial expressions…  Watch it all the way through, it is absolutely adorable… a bit long, but adorable…

Adorable, right?  But holy crap, she’s only 20 months?!?!  Can all 20 month olds do that?  Or is she exceptional?!  Either way, as cute as this video was,when I first saw it, I was watching it for its cute factor with one part of my brain, and in the other part of my brain, my jaw was on the floor that 20 month olds were capable of this…

Parents of typical kids…don’t take these things for granted!!

3) This third one I need your help with,,,I need you to let me know if all typical parents do this, or if this dad was crazy.

Kyle and I are in the men’s locker room at the Y.  I’m helping Kyle get dressed (basically I’m dressing him) after swimming.  I can hear another dad trying to coerce his 2 typical kids into getting dressed.  Can’t see them cuz they’re in another row of lockers.  The kids sound young (maybe 2 & 3?), but they seem to be following directions as far as I can hear…and he’s trying to teach them “next time Billy towel dry your hair before putting your shirt on”

I hear that and already I’m thinking wow “2 year olds can follow 2 step directions?”

But then I hear the dad say “Billy you’re done, walk out by the pool and look for mommy in the bleachers…if you don’t see here come right back into the locker room…”

And then I see this little teeny tiny little boy run past me as he says “ok daddy”.  I think he was the younger son.  Maybe 2 years old, 2 and a 1/2 tops.

And I’m thinking “This dad is sending his 2 year old back to the pool area by himself??”

Is that typical?  Or is this dad crazy?!

I couldn’t trust my 10 year old kid like that.  First I’d be worried that he would just go out and jump in the pool with his clothes on…  🙂  Seriously…  And if he didn’t do that, I couldn’t trust him to follow all those directions “Go out by the pool.  Find mom.  If you don’t find her come back.”  That’s like a 3-4 step direction.  And then there’s the whole “stranger danger” thing…

The whole scenario just seemed dangerous to me…but again what do I know?  I’m an autism/epilepsy parent.  I hold my child’s hand on the stairs and we literally never let him out of our sight when we are out somewhere.

If you’re a typical parent, don’t take for granted the fact that you can trust your kid to follow directions and the fact that you can let them out of your sight.  But I still think 2-3 is too young, right?  Or is that just cuz I’m out of touch with the typical world (or cuz I live in the NYC area and we worry about “stranger danger” more?)

Anyway…That’s all I got.  That’s all I wanted to say…I’m gonna end the post here.

I didn’t mean to make this a “woe is me” post.  I didn’t set out to write that and I hope it doesn’t come across that way.

As many of you long time Autism Daddy followers know I’ve totally accepted the fact that my kid has autism/epilepsy and I’ve totally accepted the fact that my life is always gonna be different…but I’m still gonna always notice things… and these are 3 things that I noticed about the typical kid world this week…


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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62 People Replies to “Talking Babies & Trusting Toddlers — 3 Things I Noticed About Typical Kids”

  1. there a wide range of nt also I saw that in day care some talk early some not till almost 3 but were watched to make sure there were no delays .so every kid is diff for sure

  2. Anonymous

    I think 2-3 is too young as well. Especially by a pool, but I guess you have to know your kid and base your decisions off of that.

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing. I always smile when I read your blog as my special needs 6 year old's name is actually Kyle. ( I know your Kyle is a pseudenoym though). I have a very smart 9 year old girl too so I have extremes. One really smart and articulate one and one special needs low functioning one who is non verbal.

    I find that I mix with 2 different parent groups. Parents of gifted kids who are parents of kids like my daughter and the other group is parents of special needs kids. What I find is I can't talk about the other kid in the different parent settings. Parents of gifted kids don;t want to know about special needs kids. They think life is tough with their gifted kids (as I have found they are a huge challenge). And vice-versa…parents of special needs kids have no concept of what it is like to be a parent of a gifted kid. As a parent of a special needs kid like mine, I would do anything for him to call me Mummy. I also find I have acquired a complete lack of interest other than a superficial one in my nephews as they surpass everything my boy is capable of at a younger age than he is. Every time I hear about things they are doing I feel it is like a kick in the gut.

  4. Anonymous

    Just like Jen Rose in the earlier comment, we have a 4 year old boy with ASD (mild) and a 1.5 year old NT girl. She blows us away every day with what she is capable of and how well she communicates. We keep speculating on how much is just different personalities/temperaments, how much is typical vs ASD, and how much is girl vs. boy.
    A small part of me fears that one day she will surpass him in some ways and it makes me feel badly for even thinking it.

  5. Anonymous

    Sorry but I hate this article! you must love it that that girls mom got arrested for leaving her daughter at the park while she worked at Mcdonalds!

  6. My little guy is only 4, but I can relate to this post. I'm new to this blog and wanted to say thank you for being so real and honest. Makes me feel a lot less insane 😉 Don't care what anyone else may critique of your blog ….but an honest take on this journey is huge therapy for us all. 🙂

  7. First of all.. that was a crazy dad. If the kid was really that young and not just tiny for his age, yeah, nuts. lol Second, I have 2 children with Autism, One high, one low, and then a NT child (short of the anxiety, but no ASD) Both my Low functioning and my NT child were speech delayed.. Of course, my low functioning ASD is worse, but whatever. I do have a high function VERY verbal 10 year old daughter and I go to the park, put my youngest, low functioning kid in the swing (or did anyway, before he started hating it) and some mom would come over with her kid that was the same age or younger and that kid wouldn't shut up, and I'm always amazed. I went to a 5K this summer and sat next to a little boy in the back of a friends car that was almost exactly the same age as my son, and that kid didn't shut up either, he spoke in huge sentences, telling me all about his transformer toys he has at home, and I sat there, dumbfounded.. and once again, reminded that my kid really does have problems. When you are in the midst of all of it, I guess you forget how different your kid really is.. then you meet another kid that is the same age as yours and they are doing NORMAL everyday 3 year old things, and you look at your 3 year old that can barely put together 2 words, and it's shocking. It feels like the kid must be really advanced, but most of the time, they are just normal. I see videos of my friends kids all the time doing things, talking about things, and I'm once again brought back to my reality. I'm hopeful levi will progress and be high functioning someday… but yes. it can be shocking and amazing when you see a NT kid. lol I guess I've forgotten what it's like to have a talker, because I forgot that they normally do that by 3 years old. lol

  8. I have two asd children both are rather high functioning. Today my little boy (age 2 1/2) said Hi Daddy for the first time. I almost cried. I also have two adult children who are not asd. and yes I must admit I did take the smaller things for granted. My little boy mimics a lot of stuff and is just now starting to really find his words. Thanks for posting this.

  9. mommalonge

    I'm a developmental specialist in early intervention so most of the babies and toddlers I see are not doing those things so I get to celebrate with the parents when we get them to that point. I also have some occasions where I evaluate a kiddo who turns out to not have delays and I get to remind myself what a typical todder looks like.
    As far as the multi-step directions, I'd trust my 4yr old autistic son to follow those directions more than my typical 3 yr old but then my asd kid perseverates on rules.

  10. I too have a hard time but never with myself or my son's autism. Although he is three and non verbal still, something he has made HUGE progress in over the past few months. But instead as i too watch those parents of typical children. As their children tug asking questions. Voices that look for answers, pointing out something beautiful that has caught their eye. Little sponges soaking up everything around them with the ability to ask, to interact! And that parent on their phone, too busy for a 30 second answer. The Mr is far too creative for boring words, but the mom in me would give anything to hear them..
    Never take that for granted. Something i remind everyone around me of when they complain their child made a mess of their clothing as they ate.. they ate! As they steer them around puddles that we autism parents all know were created to be jumped in.. i agree. I am at peace with our autism, but they should never take for granted that their child is not.

  11. Anonymous

    I wouldn't send my 2 year old NT child out to "look for Mom" by himself. I would at least follow. I have twins – one autistic and one not. Talk about seeing the differences between typical and autistic! The gap gets bigger and bigger the older they get.

  12. Anonymous

    My daughter is 9, verbal and high functioning. That said, when she was 2-3 years old I could not take my eyes off of her for a second. We live in a condo complex with a fenced in pool and between the ages of 1 1/2 and 4 we could not take her there without at least 2 people to supervise b/c she would try to jump into the deep end the minute we got there. She also used to dart out into the street any chance she got. I probably wouldn't have been able to take her to someplace like a Y at that age for fear she might run off or drown. Also, even at age 9, she can't follow more that 2 step directions. I have to break everything down for her or she gets confused.

  13. My 4 year old has Autism and doesnt see danger anywhere.I have people staring at us when in public,near streets and in carparks when I am trying to hold onto his hand to stop him getting hurt or hit by a car and he is screaming because Im holding his hand.He runs everywhere..but I dont care because my priority is to keep him safe.My mind boggles that most parents can walk along with their child happily walking by their side knowing that they will be safe.We dont have that luxury and I will always be watching my little man like a hawk :O)

  14. Anonymous

    I normally don't comment on things, just read and enjoy, but I had to comment because I have been thinking this a lot lately. My son is 11, has autism and is Deaf. He has always been non verbal, and even with signing it is very rare that we see a spontaneous thought. For 9 years it was just him, and some of that time was just the two of us. Then about two years ago I had another baby. She is not quite two yet, but sometimes I feel like I am in an episode of the Twilight Zone! She talks (nonstop) and sings and uses sign and knows her colors. And I sit there thinking, is she supposed to be doing that? It is crazy!

  15. My firstborn is a typically developing kid. (she's now 15 and really bright, actually) My 2nd is now 12 and non-verbal with severe autism. I think I'm not stunned by what typical kids do. I've been there. But I may feel more acutely what's been lost – what's missing? I mean – having a non-typical kid is hard. Full stop. But the things typical parents deal with – they have no idea what we've got on our plates.

    We can't deny them their hardships and struggles – but some days I want to feel HEARD or understood. About how hard this is. People sorta say they feel badly – that it MUST be hard. But they don't really begin to understand what toilet training an almost 13 year old is like. Or what no reliable sleep for 12 years is like. Or being a single parent dealing with all of this is like. Feels like I want a pity party – maybe I do! But we do ok – march forward – but typical parents don't know how good they've got it. You're right.

  16. I get your point Autism Daddy. When were dealing most of our lives to our special child, we tend to forget the reality of what is supposed to be. And yeah! They should never take that for granted. But I more adore you than those who have typical children, they usually tend to forgot how blessed they were.

  17. Ok… um first up !! NO sending a toddler by themselves to look for someone in a public pool is NOT typical!!! In my opinion is dangerous!! no one is watching this kid and even his mum doesnt know he is dressed and on his way out… someone could take him or he could fall in the pool!!! As for the dressing in two steps… Stuffed if I know my daughters nearly 11 we still break it down to step by step!!!! as for the 20 month old… Mine was SCRIPTING not doing that so I would say she is a genius!!!! in Mensa ready to undertake her doctorate in neurology! Yup she is working for us now 😀

    But you and AM are doing brilliantly with the KING and dont just shrug it off… YOU ARE!!! and HE IS!!! And I have found as ASD parents we really do NEED to hear that we are doing a good job… even just as parents we need to hear it.

    But as for free-range parenting… sorry in a space like this as much as i hate to admit it… i become the ever neurotic HELICOPTER Parent! We just have to be…. its a safety issue!!!

  18. Anonymous

    I have twin boys that are almost 3. My one son was diagnosed with severe autism and is nonverbal. I would never let my other son out of my sight to go by himself anywhere alone in public.

  19. I was on target mostly as a kid. I learned to jump at 4 and had some occupational and physical therapy due to poor coordination in some ways. I have quick hands on the computer now, though. I trouble following directions until some point after age seven. At 7, I could parrot directions but couldn't quite understand. It was like I knew the parts, but not the whole. It was a bit like a scattered puzzle, where I could see all the pieces but they weren't together. I've always been really smart, though. At four, the age of my Asperger's diagnosis, I could trace shapes and play at the playground. I seemed typical at playgrounds, my mom says. I could run, swing, climb, slide and since I could talk, there was no indication of anything. I'm one of the happy autistic people, which also contributed to how I could pass at playgrounds if people didn't know. I was a hyperactive kid.

    1. I= I Had in the fourth sentence.

  20. It must be hard on you realizing how behind your son is (or how advanced typical kids are compared to him). I too often underestimate children's abilities. Like, in a blindness parents' magazine, there was an article explaining developmental expectations, and kindergartners should learn to tie their shoes and seven-year-olds can be expected to make the bed. I, being blind and autistic, can do neither at 27. Also, I remember when I was in fourth grade, I was in lunch group with first- and second-graders at the school for the blind, and all were expected to make their own bread. (So was I, but I never managed to do it right and even now I can't do it.) I first spoke at an early a ge (ten months), but now that I have some communication problems, I find myself being surprised at even two- or three-year-olds speaking.

  21. Holy Hell. A "Free Range" lunatic is on the loose in here! I didn't even know what that term was until I was just reading these comments. I looked up one of the links and it recommended that you leave a 2 year old alone outside to play because they won't get hurt or abducted. Say whaaaa?! Do you not read the news, Anonymous Free-Range Freak?! You can bet your sweet fanny that if that 2 year old does get hurt or abducted while you are in sitting on your lazy, negligent behind in the house, you will be going to jail for a long time.

    By the way, if you haven't noticed, this is an Autism site. Our kids are prone to wander and are drawn to water. What the heck are you talking about, leave them alone and don't watch them? Are you flippin' c-r-a-z-y or just trolling for some attention?

    1. Anonymous


    2. Anonymous

      Maybe you can help me with something very serious. I also can't take my eyes off my asd child at home or out. I am sick now and don't have the ability to keep up with my child. Are there any residential schools to help me and my 6 year old? That I can feel safe with my child there?

    3. Jake


    4. Anonymous

      Sorry If I overreacted to the blog post!

    5. Anonymous

      Im autistic and you hurt my feelings! Im the one that wrote those comments and Im sorry that I offended you I dont have really good typing skills and please be nicer and dont threaten me that I will be going to jail Im only 15 years old! I understand kids can drown near the pool but you should mind your business about other parents If that dad finds out that he is mentioned in this blog post he will probably be embarressed! I do not wonder and I have to be supervised 100 percent of the time in school because im autistic and even I can be independant Im sorry if I overreacted to the post you made me cry!

  22. PB

    Dear AD, I am the mother of a 21 month old typical kid, but your blog, (I have started following it recently), really hits home on a few counts, the main one being — It makes me count my blessings and really appreciate what we have. When my kid accomplishes a small thing, like eating something on his own using a spoon, or scribbling something with a crayon.

    Please do not get me wrong, I am not gloating about my kids accomplishments, but just pointing something to myself that we really take so many things for granted, and do not stop to appreciate what we have, and hopefully make me a better parent as well.

    For instance, one of your posts mentioned, the things that you would love Kyle to do, which parents of normal kids will not, say, jump in a puddle and get his pants wet. That remark hit home so much. The other day, I was taking my kid for a walk, and he was excited to see a puddle, and I just let him jump in it.

    My wishes and prayers for your courage!

  23. Jessica

    I have two things to say… I have four kids, my second is autistic. The little boy might have looked small for his age, the father also said "go out and look for your mom, if you don't see her come straight back". He obviously follows directions, which included if you don't see her "come straight back". I do that as well, granted not for a two year old, but I know a child who is in 3rd grade who looks like a kindergartner. If my kids hesitate when I want them to do something, I won't have them do it, they have to be confident in my instructions to do it. My view of my autistic son who is now 12, most of the stuff other kids learn automatically we have to teach, and I try to start early with his independence knowing it'll take him 3 times longer to get it, so when he seemed ready to go to the corner store on his own and asked to, I had to let him go and allow him to try, even in the midst of news articles of autistic adults going missing and ending up in another city. My kids have it ingrained to "stay together" I and most of the time I will send them off two by two or all four My oldest son, was quite responsible from a very young age, and some things I had him do probably other parents wouldn't. But my sons personality and seemingly advanced ability to make good decisions (in this case the good decision would be to check and see if you see her, if not come straight back) made me confident in his ability for example, he got separated from me in a store once with my younger daughter, he might have been 4, and he went to the cashier and they called me over the loud speaker. I didn't teach him that (I don't think), but his ability to make a good decision made me happy. That's what training them in independence and decision making does. Yes it could go wrong, and the parent has to be on the ball if they "don't come back" for instance, drop everything and check… (or my husband and I will call each other and let the other know that our child is being sent out.)

  24. Anonymous

    Strangers are harmless!

    1. Anonymous

      Im autistic and you made me cry! I am the one that wrote the comments! You really made me upset! Im only 15 years old

    2. Do you mean except for the ones that will kidnap your children, rape them and decapitate them? Google Adam Walsh or ANY story of a stranger abduction. Dude, you need to get your head examined. Seriously!

  25. Anonymous

    Helicopter parents hurt families! stop overprotecting your children they are fine you are all just paranoid and for centuries people let there toddlers out alone and they did not get hurt!

  26. Anonymous

    And there's free ranging and then there's stupidity…

  27. Anonymous

    I have an NT and an autie – the difference in speech (or complete absence of) and processing time is a constant head messer for me. By the way that little bloke being sent out to the pool area – too young.

  28. hmm I have a 7 yr that is NT and it's hard to get her to follow directions in the locker room at our pool. 1) they have a tv on with cartoons and 2) everyone and their sister is in there trying to get ready.
    SO when I am at the gym watching all these NT kids I"m like ummmmmmm

  29. Sam

    I'll bet that Dad got reamed by Mom as soon as he came out of the locker room!

  30. Anonymous


  31. Anonymous

    Let kids be free range kids! In the 80s 2 year olds were outside by themselves kids can be independent NO MORE NANNY STATE! THE NANNY STATE HAS TO END!

  32. Anonymous

    No Hellicopter parents! Live like it was in the 80s!

  33. Thanks for posting this! I have a 12 year old son with autism and a 14 year old typical daughter. In line with the subject of your post— there was a TV commercial running during the holiday season that drove me crazy every time I saw it. A mom was in the mall with her two typical children, a boy and a girl. One kid was probably 7 and the other probably 9 or so. The mom was standing by an escalator and talking to the children. She was standing between them. First she turned to her daughter to say something which caused her to turn her back to her son. And them she turned her back on her daughter to speak to her son. The mom did nothing wrong, but I still yelled at the TV every time. Several things were wrong with this scene in MY reality. First, I would not even be at the mall with my two kids without extra adult support. Secondly, my daughter AND I would both have an autism grip on my son's arm so that he wouldn't run away. Third, I could never turn my back on my son or have him out of my sight for a second because he would disappear. And forget about stopping in front of an escalator — hello tantrum! Thanks for your post – it's always a nice reminder that there are others out there thinking the same things as us! 🙂

  34. No, that Dad was completely nuts.I have two ASD children, and our youngest is 2 1/2 and (so far) NT. I'd never let her go unsupervised near a pool, or anywhere else by herself.

    1. Anonymous

      NO THE DAD WAS NOT NUTS he believes in free range kids remember the 80s? Where all kids of all ages were outside by themselves!

  35. I know exactly how you feel!

  36. I have a 10 yr. old son with high function autism, although his speech level (expressive) is very far from his age, using one word usually, he is attending school in fourth grade, able to read, spelling (very good) and when is necessary use simple sentences, he is pretty smart on his way:-) Usually I said people who talk about him like he doesn't understand, be careful, just because he can't express himself, doesn't mean he can't understand. (Otherwise very rude to talk about somebody in his presence like he isn't there.) Anyway, I've never let my son out of my sight (should say not far that my arm can reach;-) when we're out, and even home I'm permanently checked him even he is a very good and calm mood, I've never knows when he start to doing something dangerous, just because he is so curious:-) I have opinion about typical kids, because I had a chance to be close my nice she was between 0-9 and I almost live with them. I have to say, her mother (my sister) or me never trust on her early ages so much let her go alone like a pool or a busy sidewalk etc. I think wasn't so smart what that dad in the pool did, let the little one go out the pool alone.

  37. I have a 3 year old NT child and he's super smart for his age (according to his docs, day school teachers and mommas based opinion) and he can follow multi step directions. (Aaron, shoes by the door, socks and jacket off, then potty it's bedtime) and he was totally rocking out word for word to Carrie Underwood at around 2 so those are right about on point. But as well as he follows directions I would NEVER EVER trust him around a pool unsupervised! He hasn't learned to swim yet and that's just too damn early.

  38. I've been an autism auntie for about 5 years now. Honestly I hope to change my mind about not wanting kids in my future. But I have always thought If I do become a mom that I would rather be an autism mom then a typical mom. Because we don't take the little things for granted and I feel most autism parents are hands down some of the best humans on this planet!

    1. Anonymous

      I have a nonverbal five year old….. I love my daughter and she brings more joy into my life in some ways then my non autistic children ever did, but the statement saying you'd rather be an autistic mom so you don't take things for granted…. wow….that just blows my mind that anyone would want that for their child…… im 33…. and I'm scared to death about what will happen in the future when I'm older and can't take care of , my daughter or what abuse will happen to her when I pass on if no relatives are up to the task…. it's scary…… no parent should have to worry about their own mortality and how it will affect their child.

  39. Anonymous

    I have one ASD son who is 5 and my NT daughter who is 3 and a half. Since they are 17 months apart my daughter has passed up my son in a few areas. I gotta say that it never really bothered me. I just see them as both being on their own time table to do things.
    As far as the pool….a typical 2.5 year old could probably handle those directions. However, I don't trust the situation. The kid could fall into the pool, or someone could snatch him. The part of the direction that would trip my son up is the word "if". If mom isn't there….then…. Not happening here!

  40. Anonymous

    We have 5 children, our twins are the youngest 5yrs and one of the twins the oldest she has ASD, the rest of our kids are typical I guess you could say. Lol. I as an asd parent and "typical" parent, definitely never even before the twins took these things for granted. I for one still until this day will not let my 9 and 10 year old out of my sight (crazy world out there)! For me having 3 kids prior to o our ASD daughter I thought talking before one was normal well at least according to a pediatrician, so my older three children all did. Along can the twins one is your "typical" child and the other is ASD. Our little asd did not speak a word until almost 3 years old. I accepted it and thought oh this is normal for her, although she was smart, smarter then all the other children we had. At 7mths she would grunt and clap. Grunt was for No and clap was for yes. She was clapping or grunting when we would ask her questions, it was always right too. Alphabet, numbers, shapes etc. My typical kids never did this before or by 1 years old. March of 2011 she came up to the baby gate as I was in the kitchen coming dinner, clear as fault said, "Hi mommy." I had to take s double take and saw it was not her twin. Jumped the baby gate ran down the hall into my room and jumped on my bed up and down (husband was on bed) crying, she talked she talked. I could not stop jumping. She walked into our room said, " Hi daddy!" We were never so happy in our lives. She hasn't stopped talking since. I enjoy every minute of our little repetitive ASD LOVE BUG talking.

  41. I have two kids with autism. One high functioning the other low functioning more like your son. One thing that really stuck out in my mind was observing a 2-3 year old child walking on a sidewalk next to a busy highway in small town, St. Elmo, adjacent to Chattanooga, TN. I was on a patio with my wife sans children and I was amazed that neither parent seemed that concerned nor were they holding their child's hand. My youngest is six and I would not ever let him walk next to a busy road like that without a death grip on him.

    I guess the other thing that gets me is watching kids less than one and a half years old actively wanting to and trying to potty train themselves. My oldest finally potty trained at four and my youngest… well we haven't found out what motivates him to try.

    I will say one thing on a positive note. We have been taking both my kids to restaurants since they were infants. As a result and probably due to some luck they know how to pretty much sit in a seat and behave. They also realize they are going to get something special they wouldn't normally get like a coke or pizza or French fries and usually are just as good and often more well behaved than children their own age.

  42. Anonymous

    I have 2 sons one is high functioning (aspergers) but the other one is a typical normal child. I would not send any 2 year old away from me with no eyes on them, children are easily distracted, My 8 year old can now visit a public restroom by himself but I am right at the door waiting, and after a few minutes I yell in whats going on come on bc they like to play with all those things we don't have at home hand blowers self flushing toilets auto sinks, again easily distracted. My high functioning son still needs lots of help but when he was a baby we thought he was deaf and had him tested numerous times. turns out he was talking to himself at night in his crib, he was speaking in complete sentences at 10 months old, but he would not speak often, my normal child followed normal progression except with speech he spoke early as well but i always talked to them and read to them, I talk a lot normally anyway, every child is different we have different challenges with each one. I love your blog and I love both my children but they are as different from each other as grass is to the sky.

  43. 2 or 3 years old, unsupervised near a pool??? No that is completely irresponsible. I too am the parent of an only child with autism but have cared for many NT children and again I say NO, leaving a 2 year old… shoot allowing any young child to be left unattended by a pool is asking for disaster. I would imagine this father probably assumed the people by the pool would look out for his child, but his child is not their responsibility.

  44. Jen Rose

    I have a 6 year old ASD son and a 2 year old NT daughter so I can see and hear the differences between the two. Sometimes, I'm like…"She is so darn advanced" but is that because I am making comparisons? She asks me questions (full sentences) and expects and is interested in the answers!! She's telling her older brother "good boy", if he eats something new (almost like she GETS it). Pretend play…..WHO KNEW? The things happening in her head totally catch me off guard. And I wonder, is this what all NT kids are like? I think having an ASD kiddo first has changed my perspective by leaps and bounds, so I really appreciate all these little things…. not sure if I would had the roles been reversed.

  45. Anonymous

    My kids are 14 months apart. My oldest is autistic. Since they are so close in age, my youngest eventually started beating my son to milestones and is now much more developmentally advanced than he is. I would go to her doctors appointments thinking she was the most advanced girl of her age to walk the planet. Talk about a burst bubble when I realized she was normal lol (we didn't know our son was autistic yet). As far as trusting them goes, I do trust my daughter much more but it would all depend on the kid. Some 3 year olds can handle that kind of direction, others not so much.

  46. Frances

    That seems a little young to let a child walk through the locker room back out to the pool on his own…but like you, I don't really have experience with kids like that. When we moved, our neighbors let their 2 year old daughter come over to play in our backyard unsupervised almost every day. Sometimes she would slip into our house on her own. Totally freaked me out – I never allow my boys to wander unsupervised, and they're much older! But that was the neighbor family's "normal."

  47. Anonymous

    Having friends with NT kids complain because they "won't shut up" drives me crazy. I reminded this friend that it is a blessing for their daughter to talk as much as she does and that I pray every day that I get to hear my son talk (He was 4 years old). He is almost six and am fortunate that he talks and talks and talks. I relesh the give and take he has with us and his younger brothers. I will never take my little ones' voice for granted. <3

  48. Anonymous

    Thank you for posting. I thought we were the only ones dealing with Autism and "brain glitches" (epilepsy). Yay for the buy one get one free diagnoses! I also have an almost 3 year old non verbal child but due to apraxia. I had the same experience picking him up from church nursery the other week. All the kids are the same age saying Hi Mommy I missed you mommy I and I just get a smile. I always forget how serious his disability is until we are around nuro typical kids.