Monday, June 11, 2012

Autism: Can't Leave Home Without It

We're back! I'll be recovering through next week.

James developed Pink Eye and the Summer Flu while we were on the road. While I am thankful there were no horrific constipation issues or ER visits, managing James' testing behaviours and both kids' sensitivity issues while being the single parent/caregiver 24/7 for over a week nearly pushed me past my limits.

For the first night in a long time, I can sit down and get some observations down:
  • Don't keep James up past 9pm. It's not pretty the next day, especially if we're headed to some place like Disneyland (good luck with that because fireworks from Disneyland start at 9:30 and can be seen and heard from our "Letter Q Hotel").
  • While not ideal for getting a good night's rest, it's sweet to sleep next to my buddy (and a good safety procedure, as he can still roll off a bed). He starts off hogging the bed diagonally but can be nudged over to one side. He still looks like my little boy while asleep.
  • Bring and use more hand cleaner. James still mouths handrails when maxing out from sensory overload. Also? He's now using the boys' bathroom by himself. Hand washing is vague and inefficient, plus we still have that wiping issue.
  • Writing letters and playing Angry Birds really help focus him, even when he's being a King Stinker. Try to give him these breaks *before* he gets too naughty and lands himself in Time Out in the stroller or facing the wall, wailing and melting down in public.
  • James loves to help -- let him take bags to help load/unload the van. He's good at it and it gives him exercise. Ditto with cleaning up.
  • Remember that special attention/time with big sister is more important than ever. Let James watch TV or play a little Angry Birds on my phone while I take time to brush out and style her hair or read out loud to her and ask what she's enjoy doing on vacation.
  • James' gag reflex is getting worse. Don't try to make him be quiet when he's trying valiantly to not throw up. The anxiety triggers an awful mess. Also? he will always say he's feeling fine, even when producing evidence to the contrary.
  • Must wrap son with a beadspread like I used to with feral cats. It's the only way I can pin him on the bed and keep his hands and legs from interfering with getting antibiotic eye drops in his eyes.
  • James will now display behaviours that are more aggressive when he is frustrated/upset.
    -- He screamed so loudly in a food line that he startled people near us. I saw those
        eye rolls and stares.
    -- He bit a small toy in half when I physically removed his hands from the bin
        (where he'd been furiously messing with them in a temper) and instructed him
        to stand still, and
    -- ... he tried to swipe a group of ceramic mugs off a display shelf.
        The sales lady was very nice but he earned that little swat on the rear,
        order to make an apology, and little chat with Mom in the middle
        of the store.
    Not yelling or showing despair were the two best things I could have done and they were effective, but dang! I wanted a drink after. Yes, I am in charge -- don't even *think* of trying that one again, because it's *not* acceptable. Let's go some place quieter and all calm down. 

Do they have Calm Down Bars? They should.

No comments: