Autism Watch: 2007

Fear and Autism in California

Posted on: February 1, 2010

I don’t know about other kids with autism, but mine, when he gets scared, he gets really, really scared. Even when the situation is resolved, he’s still scared. He’s still scared days later when he thinks about it. If he’s not pushed, his fear can get to the point where he goes into complete denial of the situation that was fearful, and won’t ever go near it again. Sometimes it’s a big deal, sometimes not. Today? Big.

Since he got his service dog, we work daily on fine-tuning their relationship. The dog is amazing, and is the sweetest animal ever; he came to us trained, but we need the dog to realize BB’s in charge, and for BB to take charge and be in command. BB just has this lovey sweet high-pitched voice with the dog. It’s cute, but it doesn’t inspire anyone or anything to take him seriously. The dog is also 89 pounds of pure heart, but when he hasn’t taken a walk in a few hours, he’s 89 pounds of pure enthusiastic energy, making it hard for a 65 pound boy to walk. Tonight he had a bit of a scare, as he led the dog one direction, then changed his mind last-minute, and as a result, got a bit too close to the street for the comfort of a car that was going too fast through the neighborhood. All that added up to a freaked out little boy afraid to take his dog for a walk ever again.

In stepped big brother and his friend to complete the walk (as we walk the little terrier at the same time) and dh spent the next 20 minutes cuddled with a crying, sad BB on the couch, rebuilding his self-esteem and confidence. Attacked soon, the problem dissipatd, but BB has yet to take the dog back out. In another half-hour or so, we’ll try again. The dog loves BB, and there’s been so many positives to having him, so we need to remind BB of that. I’ll let you know tomorrow what happened.

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