Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mommy is my cryptonite

Jaymes is an angel at school. I have now witnessed this. I went with his class on a field trip (he was not asked to do anything, mind you) and was amazed. his entire demeanor changes. He is calmer, happier. The grimace that is perpetually glued to his little face at home... nonexistant. He babbled, held the little leash thinger that his teacher used to keep the kids together, and he enjoyed himself. Now, this was a field trip, and I still feel that in class he isn't being asked to work to his full potential, but to some extent I was wrong about his teachers. If you're reading this, I apologize to you both. It's not perfect, but it isn't as bad as I thought it was either.

Apparently Jaymes is an angel in therapy as well (the sessions I don't get to come in for). I haven't been kicked out of Speech yet, thankfully, so at least I have a clue what's going on in there... He did really well at the last one. When he got sick of the book being read to him, instead of screaming he just make these hilariously bored faces, closed his eyes, and stuck his fingers in his ears. I know it's not what we want him to do, but I was very impressed that he did something to show his boredom other than screaming. That is an excellent step. There was a little crying later in the session, as he wanted the train and she would not give it to him until the end, but all in all it was a very positive, pleasant experience for all involved. His speech therapist is really amazing, she's made so much progress with him. He's never clicked with a ST the way he did with Shawna. As for the other two therapy sessions... I got kicked out (Yes, it annoys me greatly, but I can't do anything about it) of both OT and PT so he goes in alone. They say he is doing well, and for the most part I'm sure he is. Sometimes I can -hear- the screaming, so I know it's not 100% but no complaints here.

I hatehatehatehatehate that I can't come in for PT and OT. It annoys me to no end. I hate not knowing what he's doing, not knowing all the little things. They're not going to think to tell me about how Jaymes played with the green goo and named a letter he didn't know before, or that he said something I didn't know he could say... I'm missing out on all the little subtle things that he does during therapy that only I can really appreciate. A 30 second speech on what they did, at the end of the session, doesn't tell me a damn thing in comparison to having actually watched it.

I'm not going to say anything though... They are the professionals, and I'm sure they have valid reasons for not wanting me there. I'm sure he does work better without me... But therin lies my big problem. I don't CARE if he works well without me in the room. That doesn't do me any good here at home, where the problems are. He needs to learn to behave and work with me in his presence, because I will always be there. If he can't do a thing but yell and scream with me in the room, our lives can only get worse from here on out. We need to focus on getting Jaymes to be able to handle me being around, but still working and not snuggling mommy.

What am I doing wrong? At home he is angry, screaming, violent. His face is forever twisted into that unhappy face. He won't do anything I ask him to... I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Just my presence in a room is enough to make him start being difficult.That applies to therapy too, to some extent. I don't let him have his way most of the time, i lay down the law. We have rules, he knows what he can and cannot do... But he doesn't care. All day long is crying and screaming and throwing himself down.

When we're out, it's worse. He used to be SO good out. Now he won't hold hands EVER (will fall on the ground to avoid holding hands), won't sit in the cart at Walmart, won't be put into a stroller, fights desperately and loudly to avoid being buckled into his car seat... If he stays like this, in 5 years he will be a danger to himself, me, and everyone around us the way he behaves in public.

So please, someone, tell me what I'm doing wrong. Do I need to be stricter? More permissive? More sensitive to his needs? Tell him what we're doing, ahead of time? What? I want Jaymes to be like he was on that field trip at school.. A happy, beautiful, smart little guy. I want him to be able to function with me around...


farmwifetwo said...

He currently thinks he hates you b/c you make him mind, you have rules, you are not there to entertain him, you are his Mother.

Everyone else caters to him. Keeps him happy. Nobody pushes him out of his comfort zone. This... is not good in the long run.

You want peace... he'll stagnate.

Tick him off... and he'll grow.

I went for the "tick off" with my eldest... and he's doing amazing. And has decided I'm still horrible when he doesn't get his own way at 9.


Amber DBTD said...

But you know... To some extent, his therapists push him. At least the PT does, she doesn't care if he screams, he still has to do what he's supposed to do. I've noticed the other two tend to let him stop an activity if he starts pitching a fit, or they'll finish it for him, realllllly fast. I guess that approach makes sense...

I dunno, sometimes it feels like we're getting nowhere..

But then I took him to CiCi's Pizza tonight and he was a perfect gentleman, ate his pizza and not a single scream. He still won't hold my hand though.


Agent said...

Maybe he's finding it easier to 'keep it together' around those he sees as 'outside authority'.
Kids on the spectrum are often very rule-bound, so in certain situations, like school and therapy it's much easier for them to manage because they know what's expected of them, and there are clear boundaries.

At home, there might be less structure and those boundaries aren't as clear cut (more variables).

Plus, he knows that mummy's love is unconditional, and an autistic kid is still a kid - they're programmed to test those boundaries, LOL.

I don't think it's a matter of being more strict, or more lenient. Just try to be consistent.

I'm sorry for being so long-winded, but I'm going through a tough period with my son right now too, and we're dealing with some of the same issues - he's holding it together at school, but at home he's falling apart.

It sounds like J's got real problems with transitions, so maybe you need to work on preparing him more at home?

I'm not sure if you've done any of this or not, so forgive me if I sound condescending, please.

Give him a simple little clock with big numbers - let him know that when the big hand gets to "X", we need to start getting ready for "Y". If he's not recognizing numbers yet, you can put a piece of coloured tape by the number he needs to watch for.

If he won't hold your hand, maybe try the same type of leash that his teacher used, but make it shorter?

The carseat thing is tougher, because you can't compromise much in that area. Is he still in a 5-point harness or is he in a booster?

Is there any way that he can buckle himself, and maybe allow you to check it afterwards?

HeatherPride said...

I briefly read agent's comment, and I was going to say something similar. I think you are his "soft landing" and home is his "safe place" so he feels like he can let out all his anger and anxiety when he's at home and with you. My son is not autistic, but he is very, very difficult sometimes. I am so amazed at how sometimes a total stranger can get him to behave when I cannot. It makes me feel like a schmuck. But I guess they figure out who is going to love them regardless, and that's who they battle with the most.

It's got to get better, though, right? For you and for me.

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. It's nice to meet you!