I had a lovely day today. My new diet plan is going great, the kids are all back in school, and I got to visit with my husband for a little bit in the middle of the day. The weather is cooling off and it feels like Fall could be in the air. Its days like this that make me feel like things are turning a corner...like maybe we are going forward instead of backwards???
There is always an underlying looming feeling inside me when Skyler is at school. I am so used to the way things were last year. There was rarely a day that I didn't get called into school because Skyler didnt come out from under the table or even worse he hurt someone in his random fits of rage. You just cant shake that feeling of fear and desperation.
This year has proven to be much different than last year. Now granite we are only in the fourth day of school but much to my surprise, I have not received one phone call yet. I am so proud of my little guy. I am crossing my fingers toes and knees that the year continues to be productive and calm as it is this far.
Today we planned to take a trip to Wal-mart for my step-son to spend his birthday money. I volunteered to do it because my husband was to have a very busy day and I wanted him to be able to come home tonight and spend time with us instead of shop. I don't know how many times its going to take for me to learn my lesson. In my generosity I fail to remember that I am taking four children under the age of ten to buy presents for one. To add to that already complicated scenario, I didn't bring a snack for anyone and I'm also not taking into consideration that I have an autistic child who has NO way to process why he isn't going to get any presents. This is a recipe for disaster!
Why is it that the moment a child sees food they immediately think they are hungry? Number one FAIL was that I didnt bring food to this Walmart adventure. And my family is different, I can not just go get a free cookie from the deli. I have one child who is gluten free(Skyler) and the other one who is really allergic to anything with corn and soy in it. So free cookies or samples of any kind are out.
Upon entering Walmart I realized it was a big mistake. I decided to pull up my big girl panties, tell myself that it was my choice to do this and then to make my trip as fast and efficient as possible.
Things were going ok until we reached the toy section. This is the part that Skyler realized that we were not shopping for him and he was not going to receive anything....all this despite me telling him and trying to prepare him for what lay ahead. I felt so bad for my step son Joey who I wanted to ENJOY his shopping experience, and I think he did in the end but I do wish it could have been better.
Autism melt downs remind me of a crocodile. Did you ever watch the crocodile hunter(Steve Irwin) wrangle a crock?? Steve would jump on top of the crock and you would see the crock sit still for a bit until you would hear Steve say "hes building, watch it hes building" in his very cool Australian accent. Just after he would say that the crock would explode and go into a rolling "I want to kill you" stance and it would make all the hairs on your arms stand up. This is very much what an autistic melt down feels like in the beginning. You know the child is upset so you are doing everything you can to calm them but any touching or calm talking only makes it worse and it builds and it builds until there is a very loud screaming explosion.
So this is what happened in Walmart today......not once....not twice....but three times....in different areas of the store. So then I knew that everyone in the store knew that my child was upset.
Everyone knows now.......
It used to upset me when Skyler would make such loud screaming noises in public places. I used to be so embarrassed and I would apologize as much as I could. It brings tears to my eyes even now as I type this to remember how hard it was for me to try to "handle" his behavior and outbursts.
The difference now is I am starting to just be OK with it. Now don't get me wrong, I still correct my son and I do expect him to have the best behavior that he can....but those are the key words "THAT HE CAN!"
The truth of all this is that he cant always handle his emotions and he cant always control how he feels. Its my job to help him understand how he feels....not to apologize all the time to people around me who give me dirty looks that seem to say to me "why cant you handle your child" or "you don't have control of your child." As time goes on he will learn to handle his emotions a little better....in the meantime....I will love him through it.
Thanks for listening......