my brain is tired from a long day. I don’t know what to put here except that I am perplexed by J’s recent meltdowns and outburst.
We’ve had some ups and downs around here. J’s new meds were working great and then the side effects kicked in and he was falling asleep in the middle of the day. Then I changed the time to give it to him and it wasn’t kicking in in time for the school bus. So we had some bad incidents (including biting and losing a tooth (already loose). So we changed times again. Can’t tell you if its working since he is now sick with a head cold that turned feverish tonight. UGH!
So did you notice the new blingy badge over there <——– Savvy Source is doing 12 days of giveaways starting on December 9th. Click the badge and get all the details. I will be blogging on my page over there (http://www.tucson.savvysource.com) about our personal favorites in the books and toys department. There will also be some fun holiday blogs by all the city editors on the holiday page. Have a happy holiday season and I hope you win something. There are lots of other giveaways out there as well this month.
Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder if medicating my child is the right way to go. He has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, Severe Separation Anxiety, and Sensory issues. He is taking medications for ADHD and Anxiety. The very first set of meds he was on in October did nothing, but he was far worse when he was off of them. This set of meds, doses since beginning of December, have made some huge differences. His teachers comment all the time on how much progress he has made and how much they enjoy having him in class. People at church stop me and tell me they are noticing a change in him. Still, Some days are hard and make me question if it is the meds or the training creating the difference. But days like this past Friday remind me that it is the right choice for our family.
Some how I forgot to give him his meds in the morning. When I went to pick him up from school a few kids came out before him and the teachers mentioned to the other parents that it had been a hard day for all the kids in the class. Then J came out. His lead teacher told me that it had been a rough day. He constantly needed to be redirected, he had a few meltdowns, and he really couldn’t focus. His teachers were chalking it up to post-Valentines sugar rushes. It was at that point that I remembered he hadn’t had his meds. We really needed to go to the store for pull-ups and diapers, but Little J fell asleep in the car. So I dropped Little J off at home in his bed, hubby is on Mids so he was home, and J and I headed off to the store. While we were there he continually asked for a toy, normal for a 4 year old but he took it to another level. He started lashing out trying to hit me. so I put him in the cart and he kept climbing out while we were moving. He repeated the word “toy” like an angry mantra. then while we were looking at grownup books (I needed to pick one for book club) he saw the fruit cups and changed from “toy” to “fruit.” Now I may have bought the fruit if it wasn’t for the anger and hitting and the fact that we had some at home. I decided we were done. Unfortunately I couldn’t leave without the stuff in the cart so we went to check out. He continued to lash out and almost fell out of the cart. the cashier was trying not to stare, but did tell him if he didn’t sit down he would fall out. I was trying my best to keep out of arm’s length and ignore his “fruit” diatribe because engaging him when he is stuck on a loop does more harm than good. When we got to the car and I buckled him in he was still very angry. By the time I started the car and looked in the mirror, silent tears were falling on his cheeks. I felt horrible because I knew it was partly my fault. I should have given him his meds and I should have fed him before taking him to the store (he is extra cranky when his blood sugar is low.) I debated giving him meds when we got home but I felt like it was too late, plus he needed a nap and he can’t take ADHD meds before sleeping. When he woke up he was still in a super bad mood, unfocused, and just not himself. Luckily in the cabinet I have the old dosage which is 1/2 of the current one so I gave him his meds. Within 40 minutes he was J again. It kicked in sometime during dinner.
So after that day, I realized our choices are truly justified. One day like that in 2.5 months is one day too many. If he wasn’t on meds, I would need to be. My nerves were completely frazzled and I’m sure I owe his teachers an apology, they are saints.
White Cloud, why do you torture me so?
A hidden obsession in our house is the type of pull-ups worn by J. We rarely think of it because we started buying them due to price and never stopped. Except once a few months ago, DH bought the Huggies pull-ups (with Pixar Cars graphics) at the BX since Wal-Mart and White cloud were out of the way. That is when we found out that J was obsessed with the Bugs Bunny graphic found on the White Cloud brand. He had a meltdown for about 3 days over having to wear the Cars ones. He only wears them to bed so a package lasts a long time and it wasn’t in the budget to go out and buy another one. He settled down after a few days and was only mildly grumpy over having to wear them. Well that taught us a lesson and we make a trip to Wal-Mart every month for the right ones.
Earlier today I was sticking things under the sink where we keep the pull-ups and noticed that the new bag I bought earlier in the week had a different picture. They were trucks, not rabbits. But the old bag was still under the sink so I figured we would cross that bridge when we got to it. Tonight we get home from a friends house and I send J in to change. Next thing I know he is yelling, “I want the ones with the rabbits!” When I go to check on him it turns out that the old bag is empty (he doesn’t know to throw it away when he uses the last one.) I tried to show him that the words were the same but the picture was different. No go. I tried to show him that he had a choice of monster trucks or construction trucks and that they were both really cool. No go. I tried to show him that he still had one Cars pull-up left. Nope, no go. He is very angry about the situation. BUT I let him have the one that he wore at nap time and didn’t wet, so technically still clean. I told him that he could wear the rabbit one tonight but tomorrow he will have to wear a truck one. He agreed. However, I’m leaning towards believing that he was only agreeing to the first part.
I am expecting another bedtime battle tomorrow. So why couldn’t they just leave well enough alone? Did WB take back the rights to Bugs Bunny? Was it really necessary to update the pull-ups? Who buys them for the pictures on the front anyway? Well I mean, besides us. GRRRRRRRR.
I promise that tomorrow I will sit and do our Christmas re-cap. I am on the mend, but only if I take lots of drugs to keep the congestion at bay.
But I will leave you with a story from today.
J has been doing great lately going with the flow and we’ve seen very few meltdowns. Most of them are short lived and mild compared to a few months ago. So tonight he decided to get his plasma ball (you know the lightening looking balls that when you touch them the current follows your finger?) that he received for Christmas out of the box and styrofoam packing. It had been repacked to make it home from the grandparent’s house. I didn’t realize he was doing this, or I would have stopped him and done it myself. His dad who could see him didn’t think to stop him!!! So he got it out of the box and when he opened the styrofoam it crashed to the ground and shattered. Crying ensued. He came running to me in uncontrollable tears and was sad and angry all at the same time. I had to send him to his room for his safety while I cleaned up the glass. He was still crying. Once I got it swept into a pile I went to comfort him. (yeah where was his dad? He felt that looking up a new ball on ebay was more important. He is still having trouble connecting with J when things aren’t going along swimmingly) So when the glass was clear and we said he could come out he started pummeling the couch and then sat in the middle of the floor and just cried and screamed. I managed to get him up and to the hallway so that we could “Stomp our grumpies out” but this mostly entails me stomping and him watching, but he lightens up and usually ends up laughing. Not tonight. So we went in his room and he decided the best way to get ungrumpy was to start a pillow fight. Shortly after Little J joined in and as they chased me out of the room I coulda sworn there was giggling. Later after dinner I was looking up new plasma balls on ebay and he sat next to me to look too. I didn’t mention that I was going to buy one, I was just looking. He kept staring at them and asking “which one is my lightening ball?” Turns out his dad had already purchased one. So the crisis is over and happiness will be back tomorrow.
The new plasma ball will be here in a week or so. Glad we got another since he did proclaim it “my favorite present.”
reposted and UPDATED from a previous blog site:
I was reading some past blogs of other moms with autistic children and they referred to their past experiences as a very autistic Thanksgiving and a very autistic Christmas. It got me thinking what all that entails.
You see I love the holidays. I love to decorate, hang lights, put up my numerous holiday bears including the Dated Snowflake/Keepsake Teddies from WalMart and the kiss kiss bears from CVS, bake pumpkin bread, blast Christmas carols, watch Christmas movies (ad nauseum), think about snow, get holiday family portraits, have big family gatherings, etc etc. I LOVE it ALL.
But J doesn’t. All of that departs from the normal routine and it sends him spinning out of control. Oh he may give the appearance of enjoying something like all the Christmas lights but then we must go for crazy walks to see them all. And he enjoys the cartoon Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but to the exclusion of all else. Pumpkin bread is great for him but it moves his bowels a little fast. Pretty much everything else causes major crisis meltdowns. He will probably spend a good portion of Christmas day either isolated in his room at my parents house (by choice), in time out for lashing out against his cousins, or crying. That I can’t really avoid except to help him regulate himself (in the presence of 14+ people). We are going to have to talk about it A LOT. Luckily I know he will be getting some of his most wished for items from Santa/Grandma and these might keep his attention for a good portion of the day.
But here are some other things we won’t be doing that ideally I’d love to do.
Spend lots of time at the Starry Snowy southwest night where they brought 50 tons of snow to the base and that included tons of people. We stayed long enough to look at the snow covered in kids, watch the tree get lit, and grab a cookie. Little J touched the snow, J cried because it looked too icy. And then he cried because after refusing to enter the snow area for kids under 5 he wanted to climb up the hill for kids over 48″
We also will not be going to the breakfast with Santa provided FREE by the base. It is hard enough to eat at a Table with the two munchkins, even harder out of the house, throw in a room full of noisy children and you are mixing a recipe for disaster. And what would be the point? Although we “believe in Santa” it is a vague concept in this house. To try and introduce the kids, who would inevitably have to wait in an insufferable line, to a stranger in a big suit in beard would definitely be asking for the grumpies at best and uncontrollable crying at worst.
Along the same lines, we will not be visiting Santa at the mall. Granted I never did this as a kid, but I always dreamed of taking my own kids. (side note, Santa usually came to the PTA/Christmas production in elementary school)
My biggest dilemma is that Little J may possibly enjoy some of these activities, minus the lines, but I would feel guilty if I had pics of him with Santa and none of J. It wouldn’t matter now, but years from now….well I just don’t want to have to tell him “Sorry honey, mommy just couldn’t deal with the anticipation of a meltdown.”
I know that this is not the end of the world for my kids not to see Santa and get their picture taken. And really they have no idea that they are missing anything. But I feel like I as a parent am missing out. I WANT TO GO SEE SANTA! (with my kids)
We are still going to try for a cute Christmas Family photo, but if J is wearing his lion t-shirt and worn out sandals, it is not my fault. (As long as no one is crying, we consider it a good picture) I tried to get him to wear closed toe shoes tonight for seeing the snow, it was an all out battle. Then we went to buy him new sneakers and he wouldn’t try any on. AND THEN I tried to talk him into a pseudo sandal that had a closed toe and he insisted that his are just fine. Well I guess if my motto is “I’m wearing sandals as long as there is no snow on the ground.” then he can wear sandals all year long in AZ (I just wish he’d wear some new ones that aren’t falling apart) If I ever get him to wear a new shoe I am going to buy 2 of every size for the next 4 sizes. then he can be obsessed with them for as long as he wants. P.S. he’s been obsessed with the same pair of underwear for over a month now, and buying extras didn’t help because one pair is already worn out. I can count on one hand the number of times he has worn a different pair of underwear (and never the look alikes) always with a fight. But he’d rather wear nothing or a pull-up than to have to change. Lots of hand washings and wasting of electricity in the dryer. Seriously!
So a very Merry *cough* Autistic Christmas to us
ADDED December 20th, Santa came to class today at J’s school and they said it did not go well. He stayed as far away as he could get and was withdrawn for the rest of class. I guess I made the right call.
I had no idea that the dinosaur pajamas from a couple nights ago would totally replace the cowboy shirt. I thought maybe we could alternate them so that I could do a little less laundry. I was wrong. I found this out because J threw up again last night, all over the new PJs and I didn’t wash them. He wanted to wear them tonight and it was the end of the world when I wouldn’t let him. I even offered up the cowboy shirt and was shot down. That was a little underestimating. The Forgetful part is that I did put his blankets that he NEEDS for sleeping in the wash but forgot to put them in the dryer until after we got home from shopping at 9:30pm. So when I offered up other solutions he batted them out of my hand and kept inching towards the laundry area (for the PJs and the blankets.) I told him I would bring him his stuff when it was dry. He finally decided to take one of my old quilts, I billed it as one of mommy’s favorite blankets from when she was little. Then I went to check the laundry and lo and behold his stuff was dry, extreemly hot, but dry. So I rushed them in to him. The mood he was in he would have waited up until they were ready.
Happy thought: I got the boys to ham it up tonight with giant candy canes and santa hats for picture presents. (We usually get some done as a family but we have run out of time and energy.)
I have been meaning to tell you all about J’s obsessions. Many of his latest obsessions have been clothing. He’s been wearing the same Pajama shirt since August, the same pair of underwear for 6 weeks and the same 3-4 shirts for 2 months. He was stuck on one shirt but I was able to broaden his horizons due to the weather. Just this week I was able to slip in a look alike pair of underwear that I was previously unsuccessful with and get him to wear a similar pair with very little arguing.
But tonight was a major breakthrough. MAJOR. Ever since the great swim lessons regression this summer he has been wearing this one certain set of pajamas. That in itself is not terrible. BUT these are size 3T and he wears a 5/6. We said goodbye to them for about 2 weeks but the bedtime meltdowns got worse instead of better and since I had been the bad guy on this I let hubby offer up the shirt portion of the set since it fit okay. He has been wearing it ever since. My mom even commissioned from a friend some new PJs in his size, he absolutely refuse to wear them, didn’t even want to try them on. I bought him some super hero and cars PJs, nope didn’t even want to talk about it (at one point he took all the new ones and hid them). One night during the stand off I was so desperate that I emailed the boutique company that had made the originals (they were a big brother gift) and asked if they happened to have some of that fabric left or could tell me where to find some, I even spilled my guts about my son with autism who was melting down, I WAS DESPERATE. They kindly emailed me back with pictures of similar prints but J was not interested. After that I posted a pic of the pajamas on a national forum of over 700 moms to see if any of them had a pair or could look for the fabric. One mom warmed my heart by telling me that she had printed the swatch and would be carrying it in her wallet to check out fabric stores. No luck so far.
So we come to tonight. My mom and I were out shopping and I saw PJs on sale so I stopped because they had dinosaur ones. Little J had been asking for dino PJs in a different store the other day but they were all the wrong size. So mom picked up a pair for Little J tonight, he wears a 3t and these were 4t, but what the hey, they were cute 3 piece dinosaur PJs. then as we were on our way to a different section I saw boys size PJs on super sale. They also had a dino pattern so we got them too hoping that J would like them enough to wear them. When we got home I showed them to him and he enjoyed identifying the different dinos but said he didn’t want to wear them. then he told my mom that they were disgusting so she said she was going to take them back. At that moment he saw the pair we bought for Little J and started pointing and pouting. At first we thought he wanted to put the other ones back but he finally verbalized that he wanted the other pair not bought for him. I was so excited (but didn’t show it) that he was showing interest in a pair of PJs not labeled the “cowboy pajamas.” So I decided to let him try them on, I mean if he’s wearing a 3t he can obviously wear a 4t. So he tried on the shirt and it FIT and was even a little long. Then he chose the shorts over the pants and put them on. ALSO a fit. And he wore them to bed without asking about the cowboy pajamas. I am so happy!!!! Yes I am happy about pajamas, but more than that I am happy about him accepting and welcoming change after the numerous meltdowns we’ve had. So the pajamas bought for the other kid in the wrong size were just meant to be for J.