Thursday, December 20, 2007
My son has autism
Kids with autism do random things
It is what it is
I am at my son's speech therapy center which is for kids with autism and they treat all sorts of disorders there. It is not Chuckie Cheese or Gymboree. It is what it is.
My son happens to be in a very good mood today. This means very hyper and friendly. This also means going up to strangers and giving them hugs and getting really up close in their face to look at them. It's called, stimming.
While waiting he is all over the place, climbing on chairs, going up to people, smiling, having a good ole time. He sees a woman with a stroller as she is attempting to exit the room. He jets over there ,before I can even jet out of my chair, and jams himself in between the door and the stroller.
Clearly he wanted to purposely annoy this woman right? He purposely wanted to be a pain. Not the case but you would have thunk it by the way this mom reacted. She started screaming. Screaming! like my son had hurt her daughter! all the while he is smiling and trying to get a good look at the cute little girl in the stroller who is saying "hiiiiiiiii". She screams "ExCUUUUSe me, ExCUUUUSe me" several times. This was all a matter of seconds but I made it as she was pushing her stroller out the door at any cost and all I could manage was a trailing " He DOESNT understand" as she fumed off rolling her eyes.
Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, my son innocently wanted to take a look at your little girl. Sorry he did such a horrible thing. Saying "excuse me" to a boy with autism is going to make him say "oh shoot, yes, of course, what was I thinking running into you" . Really. Yeah, that works.
A half hour goes by and my son happily comes out of speech. As I finish getting the details of his session from his teacher he runs to another little girl. This one a little older than him. She has some sort of disorder and looks paralyzed somewhat into her wheelchair. I jet behind him but he is just so much faster than I. He tries to touch her eyes and succeeds. He was not hurting her, just touching her eyes. Is it the right thing to do? no. Is it a pleasant thing to feel someone do to you? not really. Is it a devilish thing to do? I don't think so. Not if the "attacker" weighs no more than 40 pounds and has the biggest smile on his face as he says "baby" which is what he calls all little kids. I sternly call out to him not to touch but wait, the girls' father gives him round 2 of "Excuse me! Excuse me!" After I take my son's hands away, apologize to the man and tell my son "Do not touch" I turn around to the father and manage to say " He does not know not to touch. He does not understand it". He also rolled his eyes and continued talking to the woman next to him as I walked away.
Once in the car I fumed at both of these incidents. I understand this man was upset at the world. I have been there. I have plenty of bad days but screaming at a little boy at a center where it is obvious every single child has some kind of issue is just ridiculous to me. I would never do such a thing. In this center, out of all places, I am thee most accepting, embracing and understanding person to all the kids I encounter. My heart always breaks when I see them walk through those doors. Why? because like I said, it's not Gymboree or Chuckie Cheese. They are not there for fun. They are there because of a problem (s).
I cannot tell you how many times kids have come up to my son to take away his toy or to do something similar. It is what it is, it is what some do. I have never screamed at them. In fact, before I even direct any words to the other kids I look for the parent who I am sure is running huffing and puffing behind them. When that's not the case then with a smile and in a non accusing way, I reposition my son or retrieve the toy and say something like " no no" or "you want to play?" If a parent apologizes I simply say "don't worry about it". That's it. No drama, no screaming, no nastyness. Is that so hard?
In hindsight, I wish I could have said to both "No, exCUUUUSE You! Excuse you for not understanding that he did not mean to overstep his boundaries, that if he is doing such an odd thing and is at a center that is mainly for autism then it must be because he has autism or something wrong with him. Excuse you for not seeing that I was right behind him and not hiding behind a magazine ignoring his behavior. Instead I was rushing behind him to make sure everything would be ok. "
Come on now.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I have been gone forever.
So much to update!
1. Well, on with the bad first; I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago. It was crappy and it was my second since the birth of my son. The last m/c was in 2005 and now this one. I was incredibly sad and I am still mad though not sure at whom. It's not hindering my good spirits though. I am like that. I can be completely passionate about a topic and push it aside for other things. The minute the topic comes back, my feeling resurface right away. I was so upset that it actually left an impression with the doctor. On one of my follow up visits he asked "How are you doing? not physically but....." and he pointed to his head. Great, he thinks I am insane because I busted out crying when he told me there had been a miscarriage while doing a sonogram. Is this not how all women react to their 2nd miscarriage? How was I supposed to act?
In any case, nothing I can do. I had to have a lovely d and c procedure and we can start trying again in March. Case over.
2. On to better things, my little chipmunk is doing so good! Guess what? he is potty trained! well, almost. For pee pee he is. It is a huge step! I cannot believe it. I knew that once he did it once it would stick. He is older now and can pick up things quickly once he "Gets" them. No magic formula. We did what we always did and would give up on. Lots of water, no diapers in sight and we would make him sit in the potty. I would let him watch the portable dvd player while sitting. It coincided that he really really really had to go. It was bed time already and he had held it ALL DAY. He started to wimper for a diaper as I changed the movie playing in the dvd player. He was so interested in what I was going to play that he let it go. Yup! he peed. He did so much that I had time to call my husband and my mother and we all started chanting for him excitedly! woohoo!
The next day he went in school once and once at night. The 3rd day the same. By the 4th day my husband sent me a text that he requested to go while at the park with him and went standing up! (he had been sitting) That same night we ran into him peeing on his own. Instead of coming to get us to take him, he just walked in, turned on the lights and went by himself! Hillarious to see him doing such a big boy thing. I love it.
Now on to poop. Not as easy but I am confident the day will come. He will come and bring us a diaper to put on him when he has to go and will hold it until we put it on. In a couple of weeks we will start with round # 2.
3. Let's see, what else.....he has been improving on sight words tremendously. Learning pretty quickly and seems to like it!
He now regularly uses his staple sentence of " Mommy, come with me please" " or when reminded "I want_____" but much much easier than before.
4. Today we started again with the DMSA suppositories. Last time we thought it coincided with a horrible yeast outbreak. Since then, we upped the probiotic to fight it and we are trying it again. Maybe I will get an early Christmas gift? hmmmmm
5. Which brings me to my next topic- Christmas. We have decided to wrap some gifts already assembled and leave others out and let him discover them on his own. He usually walks right by them so we will see. He actually saw one I was wrapping a little while ago and ran to take it away from me. I told him he could touch it after nap. Of course it will dissappear after naptime and he won't remember it but the good news is that he was interested!
6. Oh oh! remembered one more thing! he tried pop corn at school! that is huge considering he eats the same things all the time.
7. He is also hanging from his arms more and more at the park in school with the teacher. This is a big change in upper body strength he never had before. IT's pretty cool to see him swing like a monkey!
That's it for now! Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a fabulous holiday!