Monday, January 3, 2011

A Close to 2010

I had a couple of drafts started in December and wasn't able to finish them for some reason, but I also wasn't able to get back to them because the general idea was also lost.  So here I go again, making another attempt at posting my stuff for my two readers.

Although today is January 3, 2011,...I think I’ll end 2010 by going back to one or two topics from previous posts and give an update to what happened or is now happening. 

Christmas came and went, whew.  Puppy had another successful year of believing in Santa Claus and even played along with me when we pretended to catch a glimpse of Santa looking in through the window.  The teacher let me know that his classmates are also believers of the guy in the red suit, so at least for one more year, I allowed the magic of Christmas to be paired with the secret gift giving.  I can’t say Puppy’s behavior improved while waiting for the big day, but then he wouldn’t be himself if he had.  This is all a part of life of living with autism.
Puppy has picked up a rather odd habit these days.  He is grouping it with his need for attention and has made most of my sister’s life and presence a difficult one to handle, but mostly for her.  Puppy has started to repeat my sister’s name over and over.  He’ll look at her and say her name and wait for a response.  And when he notices she avoids making eye contact with him, he will go up to her and give her a slight touch on the arm as he says her name.  He can repeat this for about 20-40 times in a couple of minutes.  She can confirm my numbers.   So this comes back to the question on a previous post, is he listening?

We have coached Puppy to reduce the number of times he repeats my sister’s name to “one time”.  He will do it once, and when about to repeat, he says the name then tells himself, “one time”.  But as you can guess, he will do it again…and again…and again.  The fact that he says “one time” means he IS listening.  But is there a magic phrase that will translate to him that this means no more repeating?

We have tried following instructions from his teacher as she has directed us to ignore it.  Let him say the name and don’t answer.  She thinks that the lack of response will trigger him to stop doing the unwanted action.  Nope, hasn’t happened yet.  She is having some trouble understanding the problem because she isn’t witnessing it.  Puppy doesn’t do this to anyone else.  He has chosen my sister as his person of interest and is going to get her undivided attention, whether she likes it or not.  Wow, this is strong and now that I’ve written it, I see how huge it’s growing.  Does anyone have any suggestions for us?  Please let us know.