I was thinking about the previous posting Who's Watching, and I wrote about the attention given to Puppy’s behavior. Well, the more I thought about it; I can’t imagine time going by without focusing on his behavior. It seems like every waking moment is filled with me wondering if the next word out of my mouth is going to bring on another tantrum or a mouthful of cuss words, or worse—a meltdown. It is a constant occupation.
Anyone familiar with autism is aware of the many tantrums and issues with behavior. These behaviors are the same ones that keep us from making visits to the grocery store, to our friends’, to parties and even to our own relatives’ homes. I can remember back when Puppy was younger and he’d have a tantrum; I’d just gather my things and him and drive ourselves back home because I didn’t think it was fair to the others to have their day ruined on account of Puppy having an uncontrollable tantrum.
However, in those days I still didn’t have the diagnosis and I knew there was a disability, but I never knew about such an illness that caused so many unwanted behaviors. All I could do is run away with my son and simply putting him in the truck was a familiar surrounding for him that riding around calmed him down. He was in an enclosed setting, buckled in, and safe with me. On days like these we would ride around listening to the radio because he loves music. Then, after receiving his diagnosis, it was hard to understand and the realization that this was always going to be present, this “unwanted behavior” now had a name, autism.
Well, today is already Saturday and we are on day number Eight (8) without a tantrum. He has come close a few times but a quick re-direct has been all it’s taken to shake his train of thought. This is a milestone these days.