Autism whiplash is a phenomenon in my household where my 11 year old PDD son has a “good streak” and then it turns bad on a dime. What constitutes a “good streak?” This is when there are LESS issues than normal and/or the issues that are experienced have a QUICK resolution. I mean, really, with autism, I’ve never had an issue free day with my son. However, if it’s a soft day, with less, that’s terrific. A good streak can last a day or two, maybe a week or two! Once I got the royal treatment with nearly a month! Wow! So, this is a good thing so far, right?
Yep, and this is where the autism gives me a gut punch. We are rolling along well and BAM! It’s like getting rear-ended in a car without warning.
Case in point. My son has a great deal of difficulty setting foot in the school’s threshold to start his day. Between the anxiety and quick anger, it is an ordeal. But sometimes, school CAN go smoothly. So, recently, my son had a good streak with getting to school and he was doing pretty well staying there. This had been for a week. My husband and I also noticed that he was having really good behavior at home (more cooperative, helpful, kind). We were feeling pretty good and hopeful. So, one day my husband took my son to school. This is a big treat for my son (because usual my husband is at work and can’t take him). My son adores his father and tends to behave a lot better for him, than me. So, hubby takes our boy over to school. Things are going well and the conversation is upbeat. Dad delivers son to teacher and notices that son has an odd look on his face. Without warning, our son attacks his father in front of school staff, starts hitting, and calls his father dirty names and was viciously verbally abusive. My husband was horrified (this rarely happens to him) and removed our son from school. Bad streak ensues. Exhaustion sets in. Hope sinks.
The autism has pulled this trick on my son and our family on and off this week. Good streak and then snap, it’s broken. Usually it comes on quick and strong.
Let’s discuss. How do you fellow warriors cope with whiplash? How do you swim in the muck of a let-down?
Kim Thompson's blog, Gritty City Woman, is dedicated to bring out the grittiness in all of us!