I don't know why the little things always get to me. When my seven-year-old son, E., does something wrong around the house, I tend to snap.

E. has Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that has been talked about quite a bit lately. He was actually upgraded from PDD-NOS, a.k.a., Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, a.k.a., "It's close to autism but not quite, so we've got to call it something else."

Among all of his autistic issues, his biggest problem is impulsivity. When a thought enters his head, he acts on it. There's no waiting for the right time, no deciding if it's okay. He goes.

"I want to play outside" – and he's off, regardless of what time it is or if he's wearing shoes or has permission. (If we're lucky, he says it aloud instead of just thinking it, so we know what's about to happen.) He only remembers the rules afterwards. We've made a lot of progress with behavioral therapy, but there is still much more to do.

So dramatic things tend to happen around the house. Food messes pop up when he's hungry, books and Lego get taken from other people's rooms, and he loves the family digital camera so we have to keep that hidden.

And too often, when he does something destructive or inconvenient, I get really upset and I snap at him. I guess that's my main behavioral problem. I know I shouldn't snap or yell at him, for so many reasons. Every parenting instructor will tell you that the message gets lost in the yelling. The kid concentrates on fear, or on trying to get the noise to stop. So it's pointless. Plus, look who I'm yelling at. He is not one of my other kids who have a more developed ability to think before they act.

In Sara Yocheved Rigler's Holy Woman, Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer is asked how she never yelled at any of the mentally challenged adults and children she cared for. "There was nothing there to yell at," she answered.

And that's greatness, because most of us would yell anyway. Don't believe me? Think about a time you scolded your two-year-old. They're that age where you can convince yourself they know better, and shouldn't make ketchup spots on the rug. So you yell. At least I do.

The question is: why do I get so bothered? I know why these things happen — my kid has a disability. It looks like disobedience and thoughtlessness, but it's not. And it takes him a long time to learn anything behavioral, sometimes months or years, even though he managed to memorize my credit card number in under five minutes.

Who gave him this disability? G‑d. And who gave this kid to me? G‑d. So guess whose will it is that my kid continues to act up?

There's got to be a reason that I was given this child. I believe that, above all else, G‑d is trying to teach me patience. He's trying to teach me to resist my instinct to scream, to let out my frustration. I need to stop and think, to size up the situation and determine how to act. Because we're both working on our impulsivity, E. and I. I wonder who's making more progress. E.'s working hard on his behavior, every day, and he's got a system to help him. I can learn a lot from him. And he's helping me work on my self-control, by giving me so many opportunities to practice.