Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She's screaming again, it must be Monday

Autism. It inhabits my house, every part of it. Sometimes, I can't think. And if I can't think, I can't write. Part of the problem is that it's Monday. But it's also just...life. Every time I sit down to put my thoughts on paper, some crisis hits and I have to break out the proverbial fire hose or do recon. I have so much to say, but I cannot get my thoughts in order. Chaos reigns supreme in my house. As I write this, my youngest child is sitting here alternating between, "I don't care what you say!" over and over again, and "EVIL!" and just screaming. There is only so much that you can listen to this before you start to tune it out. And don't tell me to try to make it better, nothing does. It is Monday, after a particularly busy weekend, and this is par for the course. Albeit, a little louder than usual. Such is autism in my house.

As I write this, my son is in his room egging his sister's behavior on, and trying to see how far he can push me. He is supposed to be writing an essay, but unless I stand on his neck, figuratively speaking, that's not going to happen today. He just slithered past behind the couch thinking I didn't know he was there. Now, he is making faces at his sister. Again, he thinks I don't know. I am about ready to pounce on him so we can work on his double-digit multiplication, so he is trying to maintain a low profile.

I had to resume this post after I dealt with JBean. She was out of control. Hitting me and throwing Legos, not enough to hurt, but enough to be really annoying. I finally picked her up and deposited her in her bed, with her screaming, "You're hurting me! I really wasn't she was just overly sensitive. I tucked her into bed, with her weighted blanket, including her arms. Think: swaddling a baby to calm them. I sat next to her with my legs over her, not my weight, just my legs. She was screaming, but I know her well enough to know what calms her.

After a bit, she was quiet, and I could see the comprehension shine in her eyes once again. I picked up the closest stuffed animal, which happened to be a multi-colored patchwork elephant, and told her to hold him. Then I asked her what color she was feeling. She pointed to red. "So you are angry?" She nodded her head. I told her it was good that she could tell me how she was feeling. Then I pointed to white. "This is peace. It's a good feeling, and if you add it to the red, you can end up with pink. Do you think you could be pink?" She nodded, her eyes wide. "I could try, " she said.

Then she pointed at purple. "What's that, " I asked. "it's 'I'm Sorry," she said.

And she was.

Crisis averted, peace restored. At least until lunchtime, anyway.

But this? Is why I can't write.

Tina writes on her own blog, Send Chocolate Now! and is a featured blogger at OC Family,and Orange County Moms Blog. Autism Sucks is her brainchild, because, well, face it, sometimes it does.


  1. At what point can we run away to that desert island? Soon please.

  2. I absolutely LOVE the colored feeling elephant. Good job, Mom.

  3. It's interesting that you say you are writing blocked, but you have a powerful post here. The elephant and the colors to describe feelings was pretty amazing. Bravo!

    You also identified a couple of my biggest gripes--1. I HATE having Legos thrown at me. It is irritating. And inevitably I will step on them (of course with bare feet) and that hurts like heck. 2. And the hitting. Shudder. Although, luckily, that ingredient is pretty rare in our autism stew over the last couple of years.

  4. Madmother: no forwarding address...promise? I'll bring the cocktails!

    tami: the feelings elephant is working really well! She has identified more colors/feelings today! And screamed more, as well.

    Kim: thanks. I just have so much I want to write, and this is all that will come out. It's frustrating.


  5. That elephant is such an awesome idea!
    *hugs* Sorry you're having such a rough day. I hope tomorrow is a calmer day for you at least.

  6. This is just what I needed to read yesterday (but couldn't reply because we were having a meltdown-a-thon) as it sounds like my house :( . I also think the colour elephant = emotions is terrific.

  7. Desert Island survival packing:
    Cocktails (and wine, and whisky, oh just everything alcoholic)
    Chocolate (one of those magic, endless Tim Tam packets would do)
    Books (to be read uninterrupted)
    Laptop with internet (to keep in touch with sane people. Do desert islands have broadband?)
    Adult food (you know, with spices and textures)
    Personal masseur
    Camera (for taking beautiful photos of sunsets while strolling)
    Sarong (for covering the bits hanging out of the bikini)
    That'll do.

  8. I love you! I have two boys on the spectrum (ages 8 and 12) and this is the first year we have had to deal with anything behaviorally and now we have it in spades- hitting, spitting, running, destroying. I used to pride myself on doing the right things, now after a horrific transition to a new school my boys are changlings and I am at my wits end. The school counts on me to show them how to work with our kids, but their inconsistency and incompetency now requires a behaviorsl specialist- I don't have that kind of qualification!


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