Monkeys jumping on the bed

February 5, 2010 at 5:38 am 6 comments

     C is a pretty happy kid, or, as we like to say, he’s a pretty happy kid – except when he’s not. He can whine with the best of them, and despite our consistency in not changing an answer once we give it, he still feels the need to push the issue at least a dozen times before completely losing it when the answer remains no. Sometimes I fantasize about sending him off to live with the Duggar house (if you don’t know who they are more power to you) for a week or two for behavior boot camp, but then I remind myself that autism lives at our house. There’s a reason for troubling behavior when it happens. I may not always know what triggers it, but there is most definitely a significant trigger and it’s not just about bad behavior. 

     This night, C rose to new heights of unhappiness, and it pains me to say that for the first time ever, I was actually afraid of my child. Scared that he would hurt me, I was left fretting about what his teenage years might bring if this is what we’re getting at 8. The multiple tantrums that started shortly after I picked C up from school seemed to only escalate in their severity and, frankly, violence.

     If you really knew C, you would be stunned. Aside from the fact that he’s a mere 46 pounds and I am, well, not 46 pounds, it’s uncharacteristic for him to go to this extreme. Fortunately it’s rare and unusual, and probably takes him by surprise as much as it does us. C’s teachers would not believe it was possible that a child who behaves beautifully at school could be such a Jekyll and Hyde at home on occasion. So much so this evening that even Husband, who always thinks we are great parents, said he felt like crying. I know it’s bad when it gets to that point. Actually, it’s never made it to that point before tonight.

     We have a plan, though. As C and I snuggled in his bed before lights out, I suggested some things he could do when he gets angry that won’t hurt himself or anyone else. He didn’t want to hit his pillow because he didn’t want to hurt its feelings (and have the now anthropomorphized pillow give him bad dreams). Instead, we decided, when he feels as though he’s about to lose control, he will go into his room and jump on the bed. That’s the plan for the moment, and I think C felt empowered to have a solution that he liked. And hopefully, it will diffuse the situation enough to keep C, and everyone around him, safe.

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Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Nearly wordless Wednesday You’ve got to have heart

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lynnes  |  February 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I just want to tell you that I understand and empathize. When people comment to us that we’re lucky because, ‘G is so high functioning,’ we say yes, he’s very high functioning – until he’s not. Instead of Jeckyll and Hyde, we refer to the Incredible Hulk to try to explain what it can be like.

    I hope the solutions C chose will work for him!

    Reply
  • 2. Shivon  |  February 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    It seems we lead parallell lives. DIego just had an episode that escalated to violence over the Christmas holiday that left me sore for days and dreading his older years. The pysch mentioned med ut its just not so out of control that I feel Diego needs them at this time. I did order some cards that are for self-calming and will let you know how they work. Hang in there 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. pixiemama  |  February 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Yikes.

    Jumping on the bed is a great solution. I hope C can remember what he needs to do when it’s time.

    Have I mentioned that Foster is up to 71 lbs? All I can do now is body-block him, but I have to say, he has yet to take a swing at me, for which we are all thankful. The other kids, however, have occasionally been targeted. Oy.

    xo

    Reply
  • 4. tiredmama  |  February 6, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you are going through that. My C is amazingly strong, too, when he is in the fight mode. I’m glad to hear that the jumping on the bed could help. Perhaps, I’ll have to try that here, too. 🙂

    Reply
  • 5. therocchronicles  |  February 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Jekyll and Hyde is a good way to describe this. We have the same at are house as well, mostly always happy, and then NOT.

    Glad you figured out something that may work for him. Keep us updated. Jumping is good-do you have a mini trampoline? That may be another solution (in case he breaks the bed!)

    p.s. I’m loving AZ in Feb! Willing the rain to stay away from Tucson though.

    Reply
  • 6. robinaltman  |  February 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I’m sorry you have to deal with that, but let me cheer you up. . .
    When Alex and Kev got just old enough to be “latch key kids” they begged me to take them out of afterschool daycare, and I gave in. One day I drove home from work to find Kevin weeping by the mailbox.
    “Alex came after me with a knife,” he wept. I was stunned out of my mind. I drove Kevin down the driveway and went to get Alex. He was up in his room, hiding under the covers, crying.

    “Kevin is going to think I’m nuts,” he wept. “He’s never going to love me again.”

    It was horrible. I called my friend, crying myself. She has older kids, and she and her husband put it in perspective. They told me how their daughter hit their son over the head with a baseball bat, and how their son stabbed her with a pencil. I felt sooo much better. Their kids are really nice, with no residual signs of psycho-killer-ness.

    So, I guess I’m thinking that kids with relatively “normal” impulse control, can lose it and get physical. And if that’s so, how much more tough must it be for ASD kids, who are processing the world a bit differently, with an even tougher time with self control? C, and all the above kids, are lovely, and I think they’re going to be fine. It’s just hard, so hang in there. Kevin and Alex haven’t killed us in our sleep. . .yet.

    Reply

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