Fixations and small blessings

11 12 2007

I know that it’s typical for kids with PDD to fixate.  J is stuck on Monsters, Inc.  While the movie is really great– and, I used to love it… There are scenes that now make my skin crawl.  How many times can you watch the same part?

J listens to a couple of scenes over and over again. It’s “normal” for him to do this– but, I can’t help wishing that he would watch the movie all the way through from beginning to end– just once without me having to hide the remote… and even then, he leaves the room and doesn’t watch it.

My husband is very creative– he comes up with these really funky things that work with J. They have this pretend knob that they turn and J moves on. When J fixates on a movie scene and says the line more than twice, my husband reaches over and “turns off” the movie on J’s forehead.   It’s pretty funny.

This isn’t supposed to be belly aching but it probably comes across as such. There are so many great things about J– and his idiosyncrasies.  The kid can read! He’s seven and is reading at a 3rd grade level. He has an iron trap of a memory and has a very angelic voice so the “12 days of Christmas” is a real pleasure to listen to when he’s doing the singing– he gets all the words without stumbling– I can’t do that!

There are so many “normal times” that I feel blessed just to be J’s mom and other times that I question if I can really handle this.   J is our only child– not by choice but, it’s for the best. He gets a lot more than the 20 hours of “mandatory” 1 on 1 time that Temple Grandin recommends and I believe it’s helping him. Frankly, we are making sacrifices to give him that time.  For J’s whole life one of us has been home with him.  It’s my turn again and I’m going a little crazy. So, I’ve opened a store on Cafe Press (www.cafepress.com/bullfeathers), I’m cleaning closets and selling stuff on Ebay and I’ve painted three rooms in the two months I’ve been home.

Let me back track a little– I absolutely hated my job and the money wasn’t all that– for the amount of time I worked the pay came to less than minimum wage, and oh! the stress!  Anyway, I quit about six weeks ago and I’m so much happier! It’s probably conceited of me but, I believe it’s good for J.  We don’t really do that much. But, we stay in a routine– and that’s important for him.

There was a comment from “FragileWhat?” in reference to my last post saying that his/her child has swallowed all of his/her teeth before FragileWhat? had the chance to see it.  I hadn’t thought about that little thing– playing tooth fairy– as a blessing.  Thank you, FragileWhat? for helping me see this as a positive.  Simple things are more complicated with a special kid.

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J lost a tooth yesterday

8 12 2007

J smile tooth

J is amazing– he surprises me all the time.

He got off the bus yesterday with a tooth in his hand. He was so excited! “Mom! Look my tooth!” We went inside and put it in an envelope on which he wrote “tooth fairy” and he ran it to his room and put it under his pillow.

My dilema– what’s the tooth fairy going to put under his pillow? He doesn’t understand cash. Everything is a “million dollars.” He hates brushing his teeth so maybe I could use this as an opportunity to get him to do it without the physical fight. A new toothbrush with the character du jour might work… but, I’ve already tried that a “million” times…

He needs a new backpack but, what’s the fun of that? He loves DVDs– especially special features which he watches over and over and over…  but, if I give him a DVD we’ll have issues getting him out the door for school. He loves to read… but, I think he’s moved on from the Fraggles and that’s all I’ve got on hand.

I could go out and buy another but, there’s nobody close by to watch him and trips to the store are not fun… I never know what to expect with his behavior and how the people around us will react to him. Sometimes you wish you could carry around a sign that says– Don’t stare at my kid. He can’t help it!… He’s not a bad kid! He’s autistic!

I finally settled on raiding the Christmas stash… He got a book, didn’t care about it. He got toothpaste that he gave his Dad. He got a backpack that he actually seemed to like– Buzz Lightyear… He surprises me.

I learn from J all the time.

I underestimate him all the time.

I am ashamed that I don’t give him enough credit. I make excuses for him a lot and it’s not fair– to either of us.

Autism isn’t fair.