It’s night time…do you know where your 9 year old is?

Jonathan decided he was done swimming.  He proceeded to walk home without telling any of us.  Luckily, after much worry, all of us got home safe and sound.

Naturally, he could tell I was very upset yet concerned about his behavior because I’m his Mother and I love him.

What did he do that?

What was his explanation?

Jonathan said, as if it were no big deal “Don’t worry mom, I took the back alleys so I would be safe”

Hmmm…night time, back alleys and 9 years olds certainly do not mix nor does it give a Mother that warm fuzzy feeling of “safety.”

Funny as it sounds now, I count my blessings that nothing happened to Jonathan during that lonely and dark trek home. It still chills me to think about what could have happened given his autistic condition.

No surprise, we have faced many challenges with Jonathan. Here are a few of his escapades:

-At three, he walked towards a major highway barefoot in the snow.
-At four, he took his two-year old brother with him to go down a chimney like Santa.
-At five he hugged the big wheel on the school bus just before it’s departure.
-At six, he rode his bike across a busy highway without stopping to see if any cars were coming.
-At eight, he put broken glass in the next-door neighbor’s pool because he was mad at them for not inviting him to swim.

Escapades indeed.

After one of those stunts I got very mad at him and yelled “Jonathan, what do you think you are doing? You could have been killed.”

He said “sorry, mom”.

I snapped back in my anger saying “sorry doesn’t cut it”.

He began crying which shocked me.  He said “You hurt my feelings.”

Up until that time, he didn’t display his feelings in the traditional sense, so I didn’t know how to perceive his feelings. Sometimes it appeared he didn’t even have feelings…though I knew he did.

Always pay attention to your children’s moods and mannerisms.

Be on the lookout for any slight sign for emotions no matter how insignificant they may seem at the moment. Even though Jonathan did not display emotions often I assure you they were there…under the surface.

What interactions have you had with a special needs person that was emotional?

How did/do you discipline a special needs person you’ve had to look after?

How have you noticed special needs people react to warnings, discipline or your disappointment?

I want to hear your story of relating to a special needs person.

To share your story leave comments below.

I look forward to hearing your unique story.

Karen Simmons
Mother, Wife, Author, Founder & CEO of


P.S. To help you understand and cope with getting in tune with special needs individuals emotions, I would like to recommend several tips and strategies.

Download a video presentation that will help you crack the code of special needs emotions by click this link: