Sunday, April 17, 2011

Autism part 1: things that are hard

 As I am in a good mood and no longer banging my head on the wall over behavioral issues...I thought I would go ahead and post part 1.  Part 2 was posted here.

The understanding gap.  One day Bub understands things, the next is like he has no clue what is being said to him.  It's like the circuit in his head to his language processing areas aren't reliable, sometimes they work, other times they don't.

He has a hard time concentrating on "non-interesting" things (to him).  I've actually been considering going to see his behavioral pediatrician again to discuss possible meds that may help his concentration level.  I've been reading up on alternative therapies as well, I hear good things about Chiropractics, but since my experience in seeing one that was WAAAAY too deep into new age beliefs and practices, I'm kinda scared of venturing into that pool to find one that may be helpful...

He doesn't usually understand how his actions have an affect on other people, that he at times (most times, honestly) considers other people as objects.  That he forgets/doesn't understand that other people have feelings too.  That other people can hurt, be sad, be scared just like he can be.

Inappropriate laughter.  I really hate it.  Especially when I walk in and find him doing something HE KNOWS is naughty, but did it anyway.  It is so hard to stifle the mad and be rational when he is sitting there giggling his ass off while you are TRYING to explain why what he did is wrong.

Not knowing what filters into his brain.  example: for 6 years this kiddo would not keep a bandaid on for more than 1 second.  after he cut his finger after breaking a window (oh yeah, that was a great day...) he finally understood that bandaids help stop the bleeding and make you better.  Yeah, he gets that now.  He gets that so well that he is freaking out if he has ANY cut/bruise/hangnail without a bandaid on it.  one extreme to the next...

Hiding his skills and knowledge.  I know what he can do.  His teachers know what he can do.  His therapists know what he can do.  Put him in a testing situation with people who don't know him, and he shuts down and is labeled as "severely below".  This from a kid who can write his own name, write 1-20 & match things that are the same.  I know "normal" kids at age 6 that can't write their names or write 1-20 or match.  puff.

Some of the rituals that have become our life.  I hate when they start and I can't find a way to interrupt it before it becomes established.  I hate that it takes months upon months just to modify it a tad so it's not so touchy.

How obsessive he gets with certain things.  He will fixate on one toy or activity for several weeks, and woe to the person that keeps him from it or touches it.

He only rarely tries new foods and point blank refuses foods that are "mixed up" (casseroles, sheperd's pie, beef stroganoff, etc), or have sauce other than ketchup.  (!)  but if it's a candy/pastry/sweet he will eat the whole plate and get sick.  I know it all ties into his sensory processing, but huff!!!  HE USED TO EAT THAT STUFF and NOW HE WON'T!!!! 

He's afraid of cats.  and big dogs.  and little turtles and lizards. 

How some people stare at him in public when he's enduring a stim that is loud or visually big.  It sucks how they think it's ok to stare at him, but if people started staring at them they would be uncomfortable.  Just because he's doing something "weird" to help himself calm down doesn't mean he doesn't notice them staring...

It's very hard that when I try to be reasonable and gear myself up for accepting the possibility of the worst-case-senario about Bub's future, instead of listening and helping me start to plan for the worst, and hope for the best...I usually always get, "oh, he'll be fine...He's going to turn around".  This is autism.  Kids don't just "turn around".  Kids and their parents and their teachers work their asses off for weeks and months to -maybe- see minimal changes, like holding a pencil the "right" way 8 out of 10 times.  Bub is 6.  he's not talking.  The chances of him talking are low at this point, not impossible, just low.  I -NEED- to be realistic about that or because otherwise, it will break my heart.  why can't people  understand that?


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