For the Visual

I'm including some visuals and commentary for The Hub's post today.

"The Elder begins to meltdown. He doesn’t want to eat his Oatmeal. He tosses his milk cup, gets naked, threatens to pee on the floor, runs to his room, screams, and when he is set into a “wait area” he is crying."
This is when the Younger announces to me that "Brother take off train jammy-jams."
"He’s in a state of not using his words to tell us what is bothering him, even though we know that he can. Everything is familiar… bowl, spoon, milk, even the presentation of oatmeal is the same. Telling him that he has to eat his breakfast is making him meltdown even further. My Lovely and Talented Wife put the timer on the stove and tells him that he has 5 minutes to eat his oatmeal and then finally we get some indication on why he has been acting like a maniac."
He kept saying over and over again that he needed help. In other words he wanted me to feed him. "I need help, see?" as he begins to scoop of some oatmeal and casually dump it on the table. "You know how to feed yourself. What else do you need?" "My L-Max" "I hear that, and I said you can have it after you eat." He throws the milk cup and the spoon across the table and starts to throw the oatmeal bowl. I stop him. So now he is scooping the oatmeal out of the bowl like it is play dough. But here is the thing...he started eating it off his fingers so I knew that he was hungry. Well, he has a fixation with numbers, especially a digital countdown. My exact words were that he had "until the clock says zero or he loses L-Max time." That gets him going just about as fast as reminding him that black things grow on our teeth if we don't brush them.

"But I need a different spoon"
"Would you like a smaller spoon?"
I look at The Hub, happy that we found the lightswitch, to let him know that THAT is what this was all about, since I'm not sure he would have picked up on that otherwise.

"It turns out that he didn’t want the spoon that I gave him. The same spoon that I’ve served him the last 3 times, instead he wanted the smallest (infant sized) version of our silverware. Once he got this spoon he ate his food without a problem and without fuss."
He even took a HUGE bite of oatmeal that barely would fit the large spoon, much less the infant spoon. That's when I said, let me get the camera and take a picture of that big boy bite. So literally less than 30 seconds after receiving the spoon of choice, this is what he looks like:

He even came to church with me this morning and we got no reports. No news is good right?

So even among the great things that are happening with his intervention, we still have moments like these throughout the day, which probably doesn't come to much of a surprise to those of you who live with ASD everyday huh?

I'm so glad that The Hub blogged about this scenario. His perspective is quite interesting, especially when you take in account the recovery period (even for an adult on the spectrum it takes time - thank you for being brave enough to bare your true self- the good, the bad, and the not so pretty). For me, these are mole hills, speed bumps, that just put a blip in your day until you can find a solution, or redirect. Barely different from that of a typical tantrum from a typical 4 year old. It doesn't affect the overall time management of my day more than a typical tantrum would. The difference is the source of the frustration and the fact there is almost always a solution (the lightswitch) that literally can take them from dark to light (one extreme to another). (For The Younger sometimes we have to just let him "cry it out" and he still holds a grudge against us! Ha!) The most frustrating part is when you can't find the solution because it is so way out there random. Today The Elder was ranting on and on and on about his L-Max. An outsider would think, "what a spoiled brat, there is a time to play and there is a time to eat. you've been told before that you can't play at table, and yesterday you complied without a word." When the truth is that his behavior had NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS DESIRE TO PLAY WITH THE L-MAX AT THE TABLE, OR BREAKING THE RULES, OR DISRESPECTING HIS PARENTS. It had to do with the fact that TODAY he had no confidence in using a regular size spoon. Maybe he is afraid that he will spill it on his lap (common reason in the past). That would make him less than perfect, and he can't let us think that, right? Maybe he remembered that ONCE UPON A TIME that one time someone fed him at the table while he played with his L-Max and that might be the solution to the fear he woke up to this morning, so he thought he would aggressively request for his L-Max in hopes that he wouldn't have to use the spoon himself and risk spilling the oatmeal. Does this sound familiar????

What's interesting is I wrote the last post last night, slept on it, had this experience this morning, read The Hub's post, and then went ahead and published and then followed up with this one.

5 Responses to "For the Visual"

Marla (visit their site)

M would insist on a baby spoon when she was insisting she was still a baby and required baby attention. This was lovely at age six and above.

SOunds like a busy day! M also used to do the going on the floor thing. Sometimes while running from one part of the house to the other. I feel really tired when I remember that. She did pass through that phase by about age six.

Casdok (visit their site)

Love your visuals!!

Susan (visit their site)

Great visuals indeed!

You are such a "learned" mom, and that is super-inspiring and admirable. There is hope for me one day to be able to cope with any and all things that come my way!!!

Elissa - Managing Autism (visit their site)

Oooh.. I just about lived through that with you... all too familiar for my liking!
Glad you found the lightswitch!!

mommy~dearest (visit their site)

Very cool that you are able to pick up on the underlying causes! I've had those moments with my son, at times, and it's such a great feeling when it magically "all comes together".