Saturday, February 21, 2009

Could this be OCD??

Last night, AJ couldn't sleep. He was in and out of our room at least 5 times before 10:00. Finally, he said he played a scary computer game, and he couldn't get it out of his head. He and I wound up in the guest room, where he slept just fine - because I was there. OK, that sounds like anxiety to me, and we're working on that one.

This morning, AJ wouldn't get dressed. Actually, all week, he hasn't wanted to get dressed. But, this morning, he was hysterical about it. Finally, after he yelled at us for about 30 minutes, he said he was afraid that there was something in this clothes, and he was afraid to put them on. Lisa showed him how to turn them inside-out to check. Then, he put them right on. So, OCD? Anxiety? Anyone have a clue.

He does have lots of quirks and rituals, but that's just typical of autism. So, we're having a hard time deciding where this one falls. We finally got the name of a good child psychiatrist. I'm making an appointment with her on Monday. Maybe she can untangle all the pieces. But, it could be a while before we get the appointment, so in the mean time, I'm trying to figure this one out. If anyone has any insight, maybe drop me a line.

Peace out.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More About Cures

AJ is very concerned about "curing autism" lately. It's all over the news and the blogs I read. He's also been thinking about cancer lately. We live near a Starbucks that is involved in the American Cancer Society fund raisers, so we see the signs all the time.

I knew that eventually, the two would collide. I've been waiting to see the result when they did. On Friday, I heard about it.

I was making AJ some breakfast. He was being quiet, so I knew something was percolating. He's never quiet. Here's his thoughts (with no prelude - he just says what he thinks):

"They should use the money they are spending on curing autism, and use it to help cure cancer. Autism isn't even a disease. Why cure it? Has anyone ever died from autism? No, I didn't think so!! Why not ask the people they are trying to cure if they even want to be cured? AARRGGHHH!!! This makes me so angry!!"

And with that, he stomped off to play with his transformers, and think about saving the world from all the people that aggrivate him.

Yeah, our little activitst for neurodiversity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Social Stuff

AJ and I were talking about socializing. A home school group we decided to join was cancelled due to lack of interest. AJ was disappointed because he was excited about it. He asked what we were going to do for socializing. I promised him we would find another group. I also asked him if he missed his friends at school. Here's his response:

AJ: "At school, I learned something that no kid should learn."

Me: "What was that?"

AJ: "That you can't trust kids. They act like they're your friends, but then they bully you."

Me: "I know that happended to you with D."

AJ: "Yeah, but C. taught me that you CAN trust kids - just not all kids."

C. is the friend that he met that I discussed in the previous post.

Sometimes the things you learn in school are not things that you want your kids to learn - at least not at 7 years old. But, thanks to home schooling, he has seen the other side of that. Now, he feels OK about trying to meet kids, but he will always be more careful than he should be at his age. That makes me sad - but at least he is learning to trust now, instead of having to learn this as an adult.

Peace out.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

But What About Socializing?

Every time you tell someone you home school your child, the first question you hear is "But what about socializing?" Some people are judging, but some people are just really concerned or curious.

Being a brand new home schooling mom, I didn't have any "pat" answers yet. Luckily, the last time someone asked, there was another, more experienced, home schooling mom present. She said "The social skills you need in life are not the same ones you learn in school." And I thought "Well, that's it - that's THE answer!!" And it is. If you think about it, adults rarely have to learn how to defend themselves against kids beating them up in the playground (yes, this happened to my little guy).

And, here's another thing. AJ is autistic. 50 kids running around a playground yelling and playing is not condusive to him learning how to socialize. That is an oppurtunity to freak out over the lack of structure and the abundance of noise. He never tried to socialize at recess, and his "aide" and teachers did not try to facilitate this either. At one point, AJ thought he had a friend. He was very happy. But, it turned out, the kid was playing him. This kid, after AJ trusted him, just started tormenting him. He told AJ before school one day, I'm going to get you in so much trouble today that you're going to spend all day in the principal's office. So that's the social experience AJ was getting in school.

But today, a home schooling mom that I met in an Asperger's group brought her son over. He's 13, so I didn't know if it would work, but it was worth trying. AJ was soooo nervous. He just didn't want this kid to come over. I think he was afraid of it turning into the same situation. But, it went absolutely great. This kid was just amazing. He played with AJ, and they just hung out. They both had a really good time. AJ was so happy!!! When he left, AJ turned to me and said "Mama, I think I maybe found a friend - a real one!" I almost burst into tears. I just gave him a big hug, and told him I think he did.

Now, that's socializing!!

Peace out!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Normally, changes in schedule don't go over well in my family. AJ HATES any disruption in his routine. We try to avoid disruptions, but sometimes life happens.

On Saturday night, we had a friend from high school over to our house. We began preparing AJ a week before it happened. He doesn't know our friend. He wasn't happy. He kept saying he wasn't going to talk to her, he wasn't going to go out to dinner with us, etc. etc.

On Saturday, we were nervous about what would happen. Our friend is pretty laid back. And very non-confrontational. We knew she would not get all up in his face, the way some adults do. Also, she has very curly hair too, so we knew she wouldn't comment on his hair - which is a big trigger for him.

So, she got to our house, and AJ took off upstairs. We finally got him back downstairs to discuss where to go for dinner. Everytime we all agreed on something, AJ changed his mind (even when the idea was his). Finally, everyone (including AJ) agreed on a place. We went there, and he calmed down alot. He ate almost all of his dinner, and occasionally engaged our friend in conversation. He did great.

At home, the plan was that the adults would watch a video, and AJ would go to bed at his normal time. His bedtime routine was completely screwed up. Every single thing about it was different. And he just rolled with it. Didn't complain once, didn't melt down, didn't fight. He went to bed at pretty much regular time. We were shocked!! He only came downstairs once (he usually comes into our room multiple times). Even then, he just wanted an extra hug. Then he went right back upstairs. Our friend stayed until almost 2:00. And, when we went upstairs, he was asleep.

Maybe it was just a fluke, or maybe he is learning to deal with change. Either way, it felt good - and boy did he get lots of high fives the next day!!!

Peace out!!