Friday, October 01, 2010

One down and one to go

I live in time frames.  Its like a moment is gone, on to the next one.. or an hour has gone by, a week. My life is sections, noticeable sections of time.  

Some days I feel like I am holding my breath waiting for JJ to have a meltdown and when it doesn't happen its like I'm doing a happy dance inside my head.  If you have a special needs child then you know exactly what I mean.  

Sections of time that seem to float through the air and all of a sudden will get caught up in some sort of JJ crisis, some sort of "end of the world", my life sucks, OMG the computer froze up crisis.  It doesn't take much to set him off.  When I clean his room while he is at school I have to make sure everything is put back correctly or I am the worse Nannie in the world because I moved something out of place when I was dusting.  If I make him the wrong kind of sandwich he won't eat it no matter how hungry he is and the crisis shows its ugly head once again.

I so try to advert these crisis's.  I know that Aspie kids hate change, only like certain foods, get stuck on certain toys to the point that they won't even consider playing with anything else.  JJ is like that to the max.  

When he was 2 it was weeble wobbles and only them. He had to have them all with every building and accessory that went with them. Between the age of 2 & 3 we did manage to collect them all.  

When he turned 4 it was dinosaurs.  He knows every fact there is to know about dinosaurs, and would talk about nothing else.  You had to show you were really interested in what he was telling you about them excessively or he would get mad at you. Between the ages 4& 5 with birthdays and Christmas and good behaviour times he had a huge collection of dinosaurs. Every shape and size, electronic and bendable, books and movies too.  He sounded like a little professor when he talked about his dinosaurs.

At 6 he got the pokemon bug. Pokemon cards, toys, movies, game cube games, books, anything and everything pokemon. Again he would talk of nothing else, and knows all facts about each one. That lasted until he was 7 then he found lego. Not just any old cheap lego, Nooooo... its star wars lego. Last year we gathered up all his weebles, dinosaurs and pokemon toys and sold them on kijiji and he bought a Wii with the money. The first game he bought for it,,was star wars lego,  Go figure..

For the past 2yrs we have been on an endless quest to find the newest box of star wars lego.  We set a price point for him early on and have never wavered on it or we would be in the poor house.  The worse part about the lego is if a piece falls off a day later he doesn't put it back on, so he has a now has a tote bin full of star wars lego pieces.  He does use them to make his own "space ships" or what ever, so its not a total loss.

He has never played with a dinky toy, dump truck, or played in a sand box like most little boys would do. I've tried over the years to show him how to play like that, but its of no interest to him at all.

I guess in a way we have gotten use to his obsessive toy compulsions. And when he was diagnosed at 6 of having aspergers an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) I did lots of reading up on the syndrome and found that it was perfectly normal for him to exclude certain foods, toys etc.  

Trying to change this behaviour stresses them out to the point that they will have complete meltdowns.  There really is nothing worse than a child having a meltdown that lasts sometimes for hours.  As he gets older and with consistent parenting and some counselling, he has learned what is acceptable behaviour when he starts to stress out.  We try to advert a crisis before it escalates by diverting his attention thus taking the focus off what is stressing him and making his brain switch gears and think about something else. The older he gets the better this method is working.

Its all a learning curve, for him and us.  He needs more help but there is a 2 yr waiting list he is on to see the specialist. In the mean time I do lots of reading about different strategies to use and keep him in a routine and consistent. It keeps those sections of time flowing smoother. 

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