Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Preparing for Halloween

I'm both excited and terrified at the same time. Our last Halloween experience was not the best. DS had a great transforming costume that was fun, warm and nonrestrictive all at the same time. Even so we only trick-or-treated for about an hour before it became overwhelming. (this was pre-diagnosis and our first time trick-or-treating in a large city so we figured enough was enough and had taken it slow to begin with) My dh loves halloween but hates crowds and even though we had gotten a pretty small amount of candy (what he loves about the holiday) he was ready to call it a night at 7PM. We had only gone a few blocks too.

What ds has chosen to be this year is Indiana Jones. He had me buy him the OFFICIAL Indiana Jones costume instead of us making it ourselves like we usually would. Because of this the jacket with attached shirt is restrictive, the pants are long and uncomfortable and the hat is ill-fitting. He insists that he MUST carry a whip and a gun because Indy carries a whip and a gun and he has to be just like Indy.

I'm really worried that if he carries said whip and gun he will go around hitting people with the whip and pretending to shoot people which we have been trying to discourage. The greater threat being the whip.

I'm also being pressured by my friends to take him with a large group of other kids to trick or treat and see a large parade. I know that these things will be HUGELY stimulating and way more than he would be able to handle but a part of me doesn't want to exclude him from his friends. He's just a kid after all and should be allowed the same privileges as the other kids his own age. I was thinking that maybe if we could do some of the things with them but leave before the big parade I wouldn't feel like we were denying him anything.

We are also considering going to a festival in the park the day before. The crowd will still be big and possibly overwhelming but it will be in the middle of the day so it won't be scary and it is close to our house so we can leave when we want to. All of these thoughts are well and good but I'm worried about how we will be able to pull it off on the big day.

Wish me luck... I'm going to need it.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Aggressive Love

I love my son and he loves me. But sometimes he gets emotional over something and doesn't know how to express it with words. Yesterday is a great example. He wasn't feeling well so I allowed him to stay home. He was really loud making noises that were nonsense and I asked him to calm down. Instead of calming down he jumped up and started climbing on me. He was giving me very tight hugs and saying "lovey lovey lovey" over and over. I know what he meant by it but he was rather aggressive.

He pulled my hair and grabbed my glasses off of my face. This very physical show of affection left me with a headache and a few bruises. But because he was trying to tell me he loves me without knowing the right words to say so I just hugged him back and said I loved him too.

His progress is slow sometimes and other times he makes a huge jump. I am very glad that I get to spend time with him but I need to get him to understand limits. His anxiety about the outside world is hard to deal with sometimes. Today we are planning a very simple trip to the store. We are making a list of things to get. I know that he will need to take a small toy or stuffed animal to help him cope with the noise and stimulation. I will try to give him a job while we are there to keep him distracted from the people walking around and making him uncomfortable. It's hard to get much done when he's having an Aspie day as I now call them. I'm sure we will come home both of us frustrated and upset and I will get pummeled with hugs again but the outing will hopefully be good for him.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Serious Case of Insomnia and Start-it-itus

I'm up here at 2:30am writing this post. I had a stoop sale today (yesterday?) and it didn't go very well. I didn't sell very much. Oh well. I'm pretty sure that I will be able to sell some of this stuff on craigslist or something. In any case, I made a few really cute little carrots yesterday (day before?) and sold one of them. In the process of making them though I made a few attempts at flowers and a raddish.......none of the flowers turned out very well so I kept taking them apart to try and fix them. I also started 2 pairs of gloves another sweater and a hat and a pair of mittens. I have a few mitered squares made from this blue cotton for a blanket.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Soccer Woes

Last week after we got back from our vacation I took ds to soccer. Soccer is a great interactive thing for him. It's one of the few social activities he usually enjoys and has fun with. I thought it would be a good way to get him back into a routine and since we only had 5 classes left on his pass I thought it would be good to use one of the classes we had left. We went to the afternoon class which is usually less crowded and as expected there was only one other little kid there.

I should have seen it coming because he had been having a hard time listening from the beginning of the day and had run away from me as soon as we entered the park. I could see him but was still mildly paniced that he might get carried off because there were a LOT of people in the park for whatever reason. He stopped when he got close to the soccer field though and waited for me since I had his class pass. We waited for his class to start together and he was really excited to get going. He almost forgot to pick up his name tag from the coach because he was so excited to get started. I watched him go about his business in class and he was getting along just fine until it came to the part of the class they call the "big game." This is always a difficult part of the class for him since he tends to get a little over competitve and only wants certain people on his team. Today was no different. He got very upset when the coach paired him up with the other kid in the class and was going to have them two against him. Apparently ds got so mad he started saying a lot of bad words. The coach brought him over to me so he could have a time out.

I decided that we should leave since there was only 10 minutes left in the class. I was very embarrassed by what ds had said and to make matters worse he threw a huge fit when I told him we were leaving. He got away from me and ran all over the park. I finally was able to get him to stop and had to pick him up and carry him out of the park. He hit my back and screamed the whole way, earning us many confused and shameful looks. I even heard a few parents (not too quietly) telling their own children that I was a bad mommy for not letting him have his way or that I was being mean to him or that they would get the same if they didn't behave.

A few days later we went to soccer again. This time in the morning when there were more kids but less interfearance from other people. Most of the people watching were parents or sitters of the kids in the class. Ds was having a much better day, though he was still running way ahead of me on the way down to the soccer field. He got a bit upset about how muddy it was (it had rained the day before) so the coach (a girl this time) was kind enough to move us to a grassier part of the field. Everything was going fine but the coach kept blowing a whistle very loudly.

Ds has auditory processing issues that make loud sudden noises hard for him to deal with but he was very brave. He kept going through the class for a while but it finally became too much for him and he started to cry and get upset. After only a 5 minute time out though he was able to tell the coach what was bothering him and continued with the class. I was so proud of him for being able to communicate his problem for someone other than myself. I knew it was a noise issue because he was covering his ears but I thought it might be the traffic on the road next to the park or the people talking since background noises frequently bother him more than foreground noises.

Overall he loves soccer so I am glad to be able to keep him in that class.

Tension and Release

My family and I have gotten back from a vacation recently and I'm so glad to be back. I realize that he didn't mean it but our son had a bad last two days away from home.

My mother-in-law was hosting us for the last week or so of our vacation and we stayed at her house over night before our train ride home. That day had been a bit disappointing because we had planned on going to the pool before we left but it started raining before we could leave the house. Since we couldn't go swimming we spent a small amount of time at the playground before heading back to her house. After dinner I told my ds he needed a bath so we went up stairs. He asked if he could take a shower instead and I agreed. He rarely prefers a shower over a bath so I was glad that he was being a bit open to things... until it came time to turn off the water and get out. He refused. He started yelling NO! as loud and annoyingly as he could. It was way past his bedtime by now and I knew he was tired so I insisted as gently as I could that the water was getting cold and he would be cold soon too. Again he yelled NO! and slammed the shower door shut. I was tired and a little frustrated so I reached in and turned the water off which made him start freaking out. He yelled and cried and slammed the shower door repeatedly. He was mostly inarticulate with his upset, just yelling no over and over and since I couldn't reach him due to the shower door obstacle I tried to sooth him with a compromise of turning the water back on if he would let me wash his hair.

He calmed down for a moment to think about it but we were interrupted by my sil coming in to tell us goodnight before she left. I asked him if he wanted to say goodbye since he wouldn't get another chance but he silently shook his head and as soon as she had left the room he was full force again. His yelling got worse and I started to panic, thinking that my mil would probably think I was torturing him up there so I desperately grabbed him out of the shower and wrapped a towel around him tightly to protect myself from his arms flailing while I bear hugged him to try and get him to calm down. He kicked me very hard in the knee a few times but eventually this worked to get him to calm down. He was almost ready to talk again so I eased up pressure a bit and he started trying to talk but he was still upset so it came out as single syllables and nonsense. I gave him a moment to collect himself just reassuring him that it was ok to be upset and just tell me what he wanted.

He started asking if he could get back in the shower and I reminded him of our compromise. He got upset again so I asked if he would rather go get ready for bed and have Grammy read him a story. This seemed a favorable alternative so we left the bathroom. He got dressed and ran over to my mil with a book asking to have her read to him but she told him no and started asking him if I had hurt him!

He was confused, poor little guy, and said he didn't know. He had sunburns on his arms and I had accidentally grabbed his arm on the edge of one when I was getting him out of the shower. He remembered this and said I had hurt him but didn't know how to tell her I didn't mean to so she of course assumed the worst. She started telling him that he could come live with her and she was very rude and short with me the rest of the night.

DS being easily influenced by bribes was instantly over the moon at this suggestion and started begging me to go live with Grammy. My dh was completely out of the loop though so he assured ds that he could come visit but never live with Grammy because mommy and daddy would miss him too much. Ds was disappointed but totally over being upset about the shower by this point so I told him it was time for bed. He was excited about riding the train so he didn't put up his usual fight, though it did take him a long time to actually fall asleep.

Our ride home on the train was a little difficult at first but it was made easier after we found a set of four seats facing each other. It was also nice because there weren't tons of people so we didn't have to share our seats with anyone. Otherwise it was very hard to keep ds entertained for the trip home. We had movies and games and toys and pillows but he still fidgeted constantly and kept asking for things we didn't have. We stopped at a station long enough for me to run in and get some lunch for all of us and ds wasn't happy with my lunch choice for us even though it's something he asks for all the time when we are at home. It was obvious he was getting a little nervous about being on the train for so long, so when the train started moving again I started up a movie for him to watch and that seemed to keep him entertained for another hour or so but we still had a hard time getting off the train and into a cab to go the last little leg home. When we got home I had to clean and put things away so he settled into playing a video game.

My dh was worn out from his unaccustomed duty of intervening when ds gets too out of control. It's usually me that does all the redirecting so it was nice to have him there to help out. Dh helped me clean up a bit then rested on the couch with ds while I knit in my chair.

It was so nice to be home!