Autism Watch: 2007

It finally happened.

Posted on: January 24, 2008

For a long time now, mornings on school days have been difficult. No, you can’t play Wii! Turn off the Gameboy, it’s time to get dressed! Pause Spongebob and go brush your teeth. No, you aren’t staying home. Yes, you are going to school. No, you can’t quit school. Yes, you have to wear jeans, it’s raining. And so on. We’ve taken games out of the equation: no more electronic games before school. (“Cool, I can draw pictures?”) I have had to resort to telling ds that he will have to go to school wearing a pajama shirt or that I’ll carry his shoes if he keeps throwing them. There is no escaping school, or the attire that it requires. I had this ongoing worry that one day he would actually make me prove this. And so, yes, it finally happened.

Yesterday morning, ds had a major meltdown. MAJOR. M.A.J.O.R. (I’d turn that red if I wanted to take the time.) He didn’t want to go to school because ‘everyone tattles on me.’ First, the immediate problem was getting him to school, important items in hand if not on his being. The secondary problem was to find out if they really are tattling on him, and why. Afterall, autistic children aren’t known for their diplomacy and shining social skills.

Long story short, after I forced him to get dressed, dd carried him to the truck, and I rode in the backseat, holding the seatbelt so he couldn’t unlatch it, and holding ds so he couldn’t climb out. Thank God the school is 1/4 mile away; I’m not as similar to Elasti-Girl as I’d like to be. While I climbed out of the tiny backseat of dd’s tiny truck, dd got ds out. She carried him to the classroom, while I carried his shoes, backpack, and jacket. His wonderful classroom team of teachers didn’t blink an eye, but jumped right in to help him adjust. We stayed secluded for a little while in the backroom, and by then, he’d gotten to the crying stage of this meltdown. Dd had to leave for work, so she left me there, and a quick call to our other ds assured me a ride home. (Nice having older kids who can come to your rescue.) Little guy by this point was muttering that he couldn’t stay due to the tattling, he was quitting school, and I could never ever leave his side. Ever. His aide got his shoes on, and his teacher assured him that the imagined tattling wasn’t nearly as bad as he was portraying. (But, I still think there’s some merit to his concerns.) A few minutes later, I kept to my word that I was leaving soon, and he had to stay. I left, with him crying and his teacher and aide talking to him. Talk about heartwrenching, but if I’d caved, we’d face this battle daily.

Such is life on the autism parenting spectrum, yes? I heard someone say the other night how you can sometimes look at your child and think “nah, no autism, he’s just a kid.” (I realize not everyone can say this, so I don’t mean to be ignorant of that. My son just happens to be verbal and as such, those are the parents we often run into at therapies, classes, etc., that group by similarities in kids.) I could agree with him, as there are times I look at my son drawing pictures, or playing with his 57 Pokemon character stuffed animals, and see just a child in his own world, having a blast. Autistic? He’s fine, he’s just a kid. Then BAM, there it is again. You realize he hasn’t looked you in the eye all day, or he’s lining up his cars, he’s telling a group of irritated kids how they’re going to play tetherball with him, or he’s staring at trash cans just a little too longingly. Or as in my case, a horrible meltdown that takes hours or has your child sobbing hysterically over something so minor, he can’t really even remember what it is.

Bam.

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4 Responses to "It finally happened."

Yes, we share some similar issues indeed.
Best wishes

It’s painful sometimes how we deceive ourselves hoping that our little ones will find their way, even on a different path, to happiness and fitting in to what’s expected of them.

babs

I know it is so hard when you want to give in, but know in the case of our children they will remeber the ONE time we cave and play to it every time. Our kids share some similarities, I get the “BAM” factor all the time.

You never know what each day brings, right? Nice to have the ‘net to talk to others who can relate.

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