Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tantrum Time

We have not had an Autism-fantastic tantrum in a long time.  Well, we had one tonight.  I'm still feeling the after-shocks.

He didn't want to go to bed.  So he was rebelling against  nighttime routine.  He didn't want to brush his teeth.

What makes these type of tantrums very, very autistic is what he does.  I once read the book "The Horse Boy" by Rupert Issacson, who desribes to a tee his son's tantrums.  The spewing of random words without connection or meaning to us or the situation.  It is like you can see the inability to connect the synapisis.  (Read this book or see the movie.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but read the book.  Moving and interesting)  

"Jonathan.  It is time to brush teeth."
"Noooo!!!  Puzzle!... In the box!...Handy Manny!... Downstairs!... Timer!...Mommy's toothbrush!...Charge!... Right here!...Give to Daddy!"
Huge tears rolling down his red face.  He can't control anything.

It breaks my heart.  I can't help him when he gets to this place. All I can do is just try to calm him down and refocus.  It happens.  I actually feel lucky that these tantrums have been infrequent.  But this is Autism.  

After we calmed down, I laid down with him under his tent (his choice place to sleep these days in his room).  I told him "Daddy loves you.  Mommy loves you.  Pepper loves you..." and so on.  He repeated what I said, but would add "no", ie. "No Daddy loves you."  But after a bit he got quiet.  He listened.  He was calm.  Storm had passed. 

I do not write this for you to feel sorry for me.  I do not write this to feel your pity or your worry.  I write this because it is real.  It happens.  It is a part of who we are.  The good, bad and ugly.  We have our highs and we have our lows.  In fact, I think everyone does.  It is life.  And tomorrow, we get up, we do it all over again....

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