Autism from a mama who has been there. I am going to try to post every day this month. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Age-appropriate versus expectations.
There are many different parts to your child. And your autistic child will be a different age in each area. This makes it pretty tricky to parent but, at the same time, once you know your child's developmental age, easier.
Socially, educationally, spiritually, physically are just a few of the different aspects you will have to determine. Your child may have memorized every dinosaur fossil found by man but still not know the name of his/her classmates.
Fortunately, there are plenty of developmental charts online now. Figuring your child's developmental age in all these categories may seem overwhelming. Still, once the work is done, you have a foundation for a better understanding of your child, what is appropriate, and give you an idea of what might come next. And you can share this information with family and educators.
When explaining to your other children (and other family members) why it appears that this child gets away with things they couldn't or isn't allowed to do. They must understand the distinction between biological age and developmental age. Then your child can have allies instead of enemies.
Physical growth doesn't happen at a set pace, and neither does developmental growth. There will be periods of stagnation (don't get discouraged) and giant leaps forward. And each area is going to develop differently. And just when you think you have it figured out ...
Knowing the developmental age is essential in knowing how to set up chores, restrictions, consequences, and teaching for continued growth. Take expectations and toss them in the trash. No one expects a toddler to mow the lawn, and developmental age isn't visible from the outside.
Celebrate the small stuff. Be flexible. Laugh.