Mother Uncovers “Hidden” Emotions of Autistic Son

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:


  • Aly Harmon says:

    My twins, both on the spectrum, had met police officers 3 times before they turned 3. Escaping out windows at night to go ‘play’ wasn’t unheard of. I finally resorted to sawing 2×4′s down to place in the space between the top of our decades old windows and the top of the sash to keep them from opening them. Alarms didn’t help much and they were way too smart for every lock. I installed double key deadbolts on every door leading outside…family joked that anyone could get in but no one was getting out!

  • Ana says:

    Soy madre de un nino autista de 12 anos, el nunca a demostrado que se enoja ,es un nino muy alegre siempre esta sonriendo,eso suena bien pero me preocupa cuando se relaciona con ninos mas grandes o personas que no lo conocen, casi siempre los demas creen que el se burla de ellos porque todo le da risa,aun asi nosotros que ya lo conocemos sabemos cuando esta preocupado o triste, el mayor problema que el enfrenta ante la sociedad es la comunicacion, no es agresivo al contrario es muy amoroso y con ninos mas pequenos es muy cuidadoso casi protector,con el problema de los recientes acontecimientos , donde fue esa terrible desgracia hablan q el causante de todo eso era autista …no se que tan cierto sea eso pero las personas ahora creen que los ninos con autismo o con nececidades especiales son peligrosos,recientemente encontre en una reunion a una madre preocupada porque a su nino lo tenian en una clase con ninos especiales y le pregunte cual era la razon de que su nino lo tenian alli y me dijo que su nino tenia solo problema academico, la mayoria de anos que mi nino a estado en la escuela a sido con ninos normales y eso le a ayudado mucho a relacionarse y hacer amigos y me senti muy triste al escuchar a esta madre que creia que nuestros ninos hivan a afectar al de ella , la entiendo pero es dificil pensar que nuestros ninos nesecitan una oportunidad yo tambien quiero ver a mi hijo crecer y ser independiente , ellos aprenden mostrandoles , poniendoles ejemplos, poniendoles palabras en su boca de como responder , al tener una persona un maestro con ellos ensenandoles estas cosas de la vida ,seria maravilloso,para las personas que puedan pagar es facil, para nosotros es muy dificil conseguir este tipo de ayuda y la mayoria del dia ellos pasan en la escuela seria alli el lugar perfecto para ensenarles ,de la casa nos corresponde a nosotros los padres, gracias por la atencion
    Ana Prado

    I am a mother of an autistic child of 12 years, never shown to get angry, it is a very happy child always smiling, that sounds good but I am concerned as it relates to older children or people who do not know, almost always others believe that mocks them because all you have to laugh, yet we already know him know when are worried or sad, the biggest problem that faces towards society is communication, not aggressive on the contrary is very loving and with younger children is very careful about protecting, with the problem of recent events, where was this terrible misfortune speak q the cause of all that was autistic … not how true is that but people now believe that children with autism or special nececidades are dangerous, in a meeting recently found a mother worried about her child had him in a class with special children and asked what was the reason your child what they had there and said that their child had only academic problem, most years my child has been in school with normal children were and that really helped him to socialize and make friends and felt very sad to hear this mother who believed that our children HIVAN to affect of it, but I understand it is difficult to think that our children need an opportunity I also want to see my son grow up and be independent, they learn by showing them, putting examples, putting words in his mouth to respond, to have a person with a master teaching them these things in life, it would be wonderful for people who can afford it is easy, for us it is very difficult to get this kind of help and most of the day they spend in school there would be the perfect place to teach, the house up to us parents, thanks for the attention
    Ana Prado

  • Truly Sieli says:

    My youngest and only daughter Angelia is on the spectrum and turns 11 this month. When she was only 5 we lived on a canal that backed a golf course and shortly after we sold our golf cart she decided to swim across the canal butt naked. She did this on 3 different occasions and to this day I don’t know how she got out of the house. Several months after her last swim I found an Autistic child her age drowned in a nearby canal. I’ll never get that image out of my head. We sold that house about 8 months later and fortunately she no longer wanders….

  • Helen Chin says:

    My son of 23 years old with autistic features never wanders out of the house. In fact he is always watching the automatic gate to make sure it closes after we get in the driveway. He once pulled me into the house and locked the grill gate before going upstairs.

    However I am appalled at his attitude towards crossing roads. He strolls across even though there is an oncoming car and I have screamed at times. I have no choice but to resort to holding him by the arm and getting him to walk along side even though it is rather immaturish.

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