When talking to Squeaker, you must understand that there are rules.
Rule One: You must agree with everything he says.
Rule Two: If he says it more than once, you are required to repeat it.
Rule Three: You must agree with EVERYTHING he says.
Example 1. Today’s car ride. Police car passes.
Squeaker: Somebody’s in trouble?
Me: Well, maybe.
Squeaker: Yeah, Mommy? Yeah? Somebody’s in trouble? Yeah?
Me: Yes, Squeaker. Somebody’s in trouble.
Squeaker: Somebody hurt? Car’s on fire?
Me (wondering where the heck he got the idea that police car = car on fire): Um…I don’t think so.
Squeaker: Car’s on fire? Yeah, Mommy? Yeah?
Me: Could be, I guess.
Squeaker: Yeah, Mommy? Yeah?
Me (sighing): Yes, Squeaker.
Squeaker: It’s bad?
Me: What’s bad?
Squeaker: Police car’s bad. Yeah?
Me: No. The police car isn’t bad. The police help people. They’re good.
Squeaker: It’s bad.
And this is where I give up on a productive conversation…
Example 2. Friend’s house. Both children have watched an episode of Sesame Street where Zoey has a “pet rock” named Rocco.
L: This is Rocco. (holds up rock that she’s named Rocco)
Squeaker: That’s not Rocco!
L: Yes, it is.
Squeaker: No! That’s not Rocco! No!
Argument persists, resultant in tantrum.
This is not the video, by the way. But it’s the same rock.
Now, I do realize that I need to teach him that it’s okay to disagree with others and that he will not always be right. I’ve seen autistic kids in middle school who don’t work well in groups because, basically, it’s their way or the highway and they melt down. I don’t want that to be him. I just don’t know how to teach him in a way he’ll understand that he cannot always come out of a conversation as the “right” person. And that people use different works for different things. For example, he calls a pacifier a pacifier, but that’s what we call it. L calls it a binky. The fact that they use a different word for the same thing gets him all in a tizzy. How do we make him receptive to differences in opinion and vocabulary??