Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Toe Walking for Autism Awareness

Jaymes has his own ideas on how to promote autism awareness yesterday evening. Flyers? Pins? Nah, silly stuff. He'd much prefer to toe walk all around the store making strange sounds to raise awareness.

It's weird! He hasn't toe walked in years, other than the occasional excited, being goofy type thing that lasts 2 or 3 minutes. But no, this was full on, hour long toe walking, every step punctuated by a squeak, a grunt, or a moan. Loud ones. Perhaps the time has come to stick an autism society bumper sticker on his rear end.

Jaymes has been doing pretty well, in general. Less screaming meltdowns, less self injurious behaviors. He's talking more (still not a lot, but more than in the last few weeks, which is a relief to me!) and listening, seems to understand things more too. He puts his shoes and backpack away every day (with prompting) and is willing to be outside without fussing too much.

He loves to help me with outdoor projects. I've been redoing my mare's run-in shed and paddock area out back, and he is a great helper. He helps me by whacking the hammer on the wall when I'm not using it, or by opening and shutting the gate, or handing me things. Very useful. He thinks it's really cool to help pull a board off the wall with a hammer (even if it's really mommy pulling with her hands while Jaymes applies minimal pressure with the hammer.)

The only problem behaviors I'm seeing at this moment are spitting and attacking Sierra. Unfortunately, that second one is a Big Deal.

The spitting is gross, but I can live with it for a bit. He likes to froth at the mouth like a beast with rabies, or drool onto his hand and rub it around on his lips. He also likes to lick things. And drool onto the floor. We're just trying to discourage it, and tell him to keep his hand dry.

As far as poor Sierra goes... Every time I or Jason turn out backs, he's on her. Pushing her down and laughing at her. Yanking her shoes off her feet and throwing them at her or running off with them. Hitting her, throwing things at her. He knows it's not ok, and he waits until our backs are turned to do it. Even when I'm watching, if I'm far enough away that I can't grab him before he does something, he'll do it, then run off giggling madly.

You'd think Sierra would realize that it's better to stay close to mommy, but no, she loves Jaymes and follows him like a lost puppy. Or else she's antagonizing him by stealing his blanket and running off with it.

I guess some of it is typical sibling rivalry, but Jaymes' attacks are a big deal, and we're working on getting them stopped. She should not have to live in fear of her big brother.

1 comment:

Chun Wong said...

Jaymes is definitely doing his part for autism awareness - love the idea of a bumper tsicker on his rear end!

Sorry that you're having trouble with his behavior to Sierra, that must be a worry. Kids are like this with siblings though, so it's not too out of the ordinary - hope it improves.

Dr Chun Wong