Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas time is here...

In Jaymes' mind, anyway. The stores, namely Jaymes' beloved Target, put out their Christmas stuff the day after Halloween. On one hand, I'm glad the Halloween stuff is gone, because Jaymes was obsessed with that section to the point of it being a nightmare to take him there. He'd desperately try to bolt toward the section with the lights. They had pumpkin lights, spiders, skulls, and eyes. I think maybe bats too. I took pity on Jaymes, not once, but twice and stupidly bought him a set of spider lights, then a set of the pumpkin ones. The spiders lasted about a week before they stopped working. He still has them strung up in the back yard, doesn't care that they no longer work. The pumpkins lasted a few days. Like, maybe three. Then one day I found them, all the pumpkins yanked off and the light bulbs yanked and put into one of the empty plastic pumpkin shells. Apparently he likes to take things apart. No more lights.

Christmas presents a similar problem. The stores have large sections devoted entirely to Christmas trees and decorations. It's like taking a dieter to a bakery. He loves Christmas so much. The lights make him happy, the music makes him happy, he adores Santa, and he knows he'll get presents.

Our last trip to Target was an interesting one. Jaymes was fine until he saw the Christmas section. Then he bolted, and I chased after him, grabbing first one, then another delicate ornament and praying we didn't break anything. Finally got him calmed down enough to look around, with minimal grabbing and lots of great talking, so we looked at the lit up reindeer and the trees. Jaymes likes the tallest trees, with rainbow lights. He has made this incredibly clear. And just in case I forget, he's always happy to remind me.

Soon I guess we'll put up the rainbow lights out on our fence. Seeing those lights really makes Jaymes' day. As a result, we kept them up last year well into March. I always feel guilty taking them down.

Jaymes has actually been doing really well. He is not hitting or pinching any more, the worst he'll do is "sting" someone really hard with his jellyfish. I much prefer this! While his behavior and speech have been really improving, he seems like he's developing more and more of those little autistic quirks. Some of them are a little aggravating, but tolerable, like the weird noises. He sounds like a pug with a head cold, it's this combination of throat clearing and snuffling through his nose. The random public squeals and squeaks continue, not a big fan of those, and people stare at us like we're pushing a komodo dragon around in the grocery cart, though I've never been too bugged by that.

The troublesome stuff, however, is definitely a problem. Spit related trouble. Yuck. He's always done the spit wiping (spit on hand, wipe it across face) to some degree, and that portion of it has not been bad at all in a long time. But now there are new things, and they are definitely not socially acceptable. He'll collect up saliva in his mouth, then when someone (like the speech therapist) asks something of him, he'll spit it out into an enormous puddle on the table, floor, or book being read to him. He also tries to lick random people. I'm not squeamish at all, but even I don't really like having giant, hot Jaymes tongue slurping my arm. Yuck! I know the therapists and random people in public do not want to be slurped, so this one we're dealing with pretty strictly. Trying to make him understand that spit stays in his mouth, and not on the floor. We've been making him wipe it up, as suggested by a couple different therapists, but he does not seem to mind that at all, so maybe I need to think up a better consequence for spitting. I'm thinking it might work to use Jelly the jellyfish for this. Just like Jaymes stopped hitting and started using Jelly to "sting" (it doesn't hurt! Hooray!), I wonder if I can talk him into not licking people, but letting Jelly lick them. I know that is kind of adding another behavior, and that people are not going to want to have his Jelly rubbed on them, but it's at least better than being licked, right?

Not much planned for the week... Next Thursday we'll be taking Rocket up to the school for Science Night, should be fun. I've always wanted to volunteer, but can't in the classroom and have always felt really uncomfortable thinking about helping out in the office or something, because I feel like I'm always complaining to the school folks about things, and you all know about our IEP meetings... I don't want to go in and help if it's going to be awkward. I'm probably seriously over thinking this one, the office gals are really friendly to me, and they're very good conversation! But, I'm comfortable volunteering this way, and it'll be neat to let kids who have never seen a real horse in person get some petting and treat feeding in. I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from horse time! It's better than therapy.

My birthday is on the 23rd, and I'll be celebrating it by taking Jaymes to Duke for his genetics appt (yay, joy, woo), driving 2 hours each way, and then my mother in law will be coming that evening. Will be an interesting birthday. I'm starting to think I should just stop acknowledging bithdays, and stay 25 for the rest of my life. Anyway, it'll be fun having Jason's mom visit. While she drives me nuts some of the time, she's actually pretty cool. So we'll do our Thanksgiving thing, then do the Black Friday shopping for gifts (she lets Jason and I just pick out our Xmas gifts) for the kiddos for Christmas. They're only staying a couple days, I guess. We're planning to get that IXL game system thing for Jaymes for Christmas, he plays with the demo one at Target all the time and loves it, so it should be a hit.

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