Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Bad Day...

I heard this today and I thought to myself, if there was a simple way to express living with autism...this might be it.

"A bad day is a bad day; a good day is just a bad day waiting to happen."

I hope that when you read this you don't feel I'm being negative. I simply live with a teenager with autism. Everyday is different and yet the same. One word, one object moved, or just one look can and may bring Puppy into a state of anger.

I use repetition in reminding Puppy that he is in control of his tantrums (and meltdowns) and that he is the only person that can make himself feel better.

Whenever sparked to anger, he tells me his head hurts or that he's hot or has a temperature. This anger may lead up to a tantrum and I'm glad he's becoming aware of his own body changes and may even try to prevent tantrums.

Of course, recognizing the warning signs doesn't always work. If Puppy says he's hot and I say he's not...I take a step back--because here we go again. Will he or won't he escalate into a tantrum simply because I have not given him the answer he wanted to hear? Honestly, my answer to this question has repeatedly been, "A little warm". As quickly as possible, I then redirect him to drink a cold glass of milk or water and the moment is reduced to a calmer Puppy with him saying, "See, I feel better now...that's all I needed." Oh how I wish this was the result every time, but it isn't.

"A bad day is a bad day; a good day is just a bad day waiting to happen."