Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snowflakes...and autism...

No I'm not talking about how each autistic child is as unique as a snowflake although that is true. I'm talking about paper snowflakes.

I'm going to put a disclaimer on the front of this post. My friend that I talk about I know will take no offense to this comparison as we have discussed it many times. I appreciate that I can talk to her about even this stuff and she doesn't take it personally. It is probably part of the reason we have been friends so long.

But I digress.....

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and she mentioned that they were making paper snowflakes. Today Andrew said, I'm bored. I thought, "let's do it." Let me back up by saying that in RDI (our autism therapy) we are in the terrible twos. Yesterday at the Christmas parade he (10 years old) decided to yell and throw a tantrum over the candy that the other kids got. On the way home I was thinking how 'two year old ish' that is.

So anyway, my friend was saying what a GREAT afternoon they had had making paper snowflakes. I had oodles of blue faded construction paper and brought it into the kitchen with some scissors. I didn't even really frame the activity as I didn't plan any objective to go along with it. I truly thought we'd have a fun 20 minutes or so making paper snowflakes. I wasn't going for an afternoon full of fun. Just something a wee bit different. Andrew made a BEAUTIFUL one and decided to 'keep cutting.' I mentioned that if he kept cutting it would fall apart. And it did... and meltdown happened. And kept happening. Also in our RDI program we do some behavioral techniques. We did a 'restart' on that Friday so I am sure this was part of that testing. But that is the stinky part of autism. People have all these traditions that are lovely. I am passed being jealous of them. I just feel sad. Perhaps I am grieving again. We are considering going to a walk through nativity. Do I chance it?

Garden of Learning is having a Christmas meme called Holiday Bliss 2010. (I had forgotten the name of it and just flipped over to grab the button..and I actually laughed a little at the word bliss.) I just thought i'd give a shout out to those out there who aren't living in 'bliss.' I know you are out there and praying for God to bring us all some Big Holy Hugs this season in one way or another. Each year is a little better and we do find new traditions but for whatever reason, this year is kinda rough.


Our Village is a Little Different said...

From the moment we start seeing Christmas anything, (which gets earlier and earlier every year) the meltdowns begin. It was almost easier when they had no idea what Christmas was. The anxiety brings impulsivity, the impulsive behavior brings anxiety, and it goes on and on. I've tempered it this year by having a "treat" of some type every day. Mostly very small things, but *something* to take the edge off of the waiting. It's hardly perfect, but it's all I could think of. It's still my favorite time of the year, and it's still their hardest time of the year. We are trying to meet somewhere in the middle. If it helps, you're not alone.

The Glasers said...

We could have had one of those moments of regret yesterday. It was Steve's 50th birthday and he had his "big bash" on a cruise with childhood friends last March. All he wanted yesterday was a quiet day with cake and his family. I bought him a card with Homer Simpson screaming and ranting about fire because of the 50 candles (we did only one-fifth of that since we live in an old house that might burn down).

I thought Pamela would love his card. She did. A little too much. I could barely get her to sign it. Then she stimmed and stimmed and ran out of the room while Steve opened it. Fortunately, when he opened the card, he understood why she was acting so oddly. She wasn't hurting anyone or being openly defiant. She just couldn't control her emotions. So, we let it go and moved on.

Pamela did come back for cake and carried a plate to her dad!

Debbi said...

I wanted to type something that would tell you "I understand" but... I know you know... and so, I'll just send you a virtual hug instead.

I'm so grateful the public meltdowns have, mostly, stopped. Instead, the private ones are more intense, although less frequent...and add teen-age hormones...well, some days I just cry.
It's good to have my many friends who understand. Really, it makes all the difference in the world.

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