Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Picking up off the floor

Yup, he did it again. Puppy had asked to go across the street to keep the old man company while he worked on his truck. I get so tired of arguing with him that I allowed for a five minute visit and no longer. It seems that five minutes was just long enough for him to search his surroundings and find exactly what he was looking for...cigarettes. But these were not just any cigarettes, they were those metal ones that come in screw parts to make one, probably for persons either trying to quit or wanting to smoke indoors while avoiding the smoke, I don't know.

So he had them in his pockets for about one hour on Monday. He could no longer keep the secret to himself and came to tell me, "Mom, can I talk to you?" I always worry what surprise is going to follow this question. He's a bright kid and begins to explain that they are not real cigarettes and that the man gave them to him. And this smart child makes sure he keeps them hidden in his room while revealing this information to avoid me taking them from him. I convince him that I have no clue what he's talking about and would like to see them. He brings them to me and of course I give him a speech I've repeated so many times before. I clearly see he's not handing them over, they are now his prized possessions. Remember that he is observant and mimics everything, so ripping them out of his hand or screaming and shouting are not the way to go here. I coach him to give them up without success. So our evening routine continues and he is finally in bed.

Tuesday morning he rises with energy and has at least taken my advice not to take them to school. He knows that unwanted behavior will remove him from the classroom on Thursday while they have their Christmas party.  While having breakfast we discuss all the negatives about the cigarettes and by some miracle he decides to comply and he throws the cigarettes in the kitchen trashcan right before the bus arrives to take him to school. What a huge relief it was for me. The sweet smell of success is actually a dirty stinky one.

Knowing my son like I do; I waited for him to leave and went to retrieve them from the trashcan. Their smell is strong and I put them in a plastic zipper bag. I take them with me with the intentions of throwing them away, but not before I take a picture...just for you guys. :)

He had taken off the wrap of one so that it wouldn't look like a cigarette, he thinks things through sometimes.

Now to continue about how well I know my son. We come home last night and he's pacing around the kitchen. Instead of going upstairs to change, I suspect he's up to no good, and I begin washing dishes. Puppy starts to get anxious and even asks me why I'm not going upstairs. Since I'm not leaving he decides to be the most helpful child and asks if he can throw out the trash for me, and of course I let him. I gave him a few minutes and when he didn't return I went to find him emptying the contents on the driveway next to the outdoor trashcan. He's usually nervous when doing mischievous acts and is constantly looking around for someone to see who is watching him. After a minute Puppy saw me standing there. He started cussing like a sailor and told me to "get the f*** out of here" and some other pretty words. I assured him I wasn't going anywhere and was going to wait until he cleaned up all his mess. Puppy continued to empty and search the contents of the bag until it was empty. He was getting even more angrier and confused.  It was escalating and we were outdoors for the whole neighborhood to hear his screaming echos, just perfectly. I saw how determined he was to find them and was prepared to throw out all the contents of the large outdoor trashcan to find them. I told him he didn't find them because I had taken them out and threw them at a convenient store trashcan. I could see he was angry, but glad he didn't have to dig anymore. He gave me a few more selective words and we came inside to clean up. He cried and sought comfort and sympathy because his plan and his needs were not met. I hugged him and consoled him all the time asking him to jump in the shower and wash off all the germs from the trash. It only took about 30 minutes this time and he was showering. The entire evening went by with only a couple of soft hits to the walls with his head. Threats really, but no major tantrums, yea!

So what happened next? He switched his attention to his biceps. And again, after a lengthy talk about muscles he finally marched himself upstairs to bed. I was so tired after all the drama, that I actually slept like a baby.

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."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Damn Obsessions (Final)

Okay, I dragged it out and for some reason I'm not making time to finish this story off.  I'm going to cut to the chase and ignore the details. Here we go.

Puppy went next door in the evening of the 8th to play with the kids since they were in the backyard. The family was cooking out and let him in. There were a few family guests there and all seemed to be going well. I had told Puppy to come home early because he wasn't invited for the cookout and to my surprise he complied and was home around 7 P.M. Then he asked if he could go to his room and rest then shower. I wasn't going to disagree and so the evening ended on a good note.

The next morning he was up at his usual 7 A.M. and dressed. He wanted to go outdoors but isn't allowed to unless I'm watching him. When a few hours went by and we had gone through our morning routines, he comes inside and sits across from me.  He says he has to tell me something and is looking at my face for an expression. I see his eyes moving back and forth as if taking a hundred pictures. I try to make my expressions as exaggerated as possible so he can tell the difference, and he's caught on pretty well. So first of all I'm as calm as can be to make sure he confides in me. Then he hits me with the information that he has another box of cigarettes. He's been picking them off the ground for years. He asks if I want to see it and hands it to me with a grip on it so I need to pull it from him. He quickly says it's his and wants it back. Surprise! THIS box has eleven cigarettes in it!! I can only imagine he swiped it off a table at the neighbor's the night before.

I talked to him about right and wrong and very wrong and super duper wrong. I may as well been talking to the wall because he just kept shaking his head and asking for the box back because they were his, in his eyes. I hid the box during his pacing back and forth and managed to keep it away from him permanently.

My son, the cigarette snatcher, picker upper. This damn obsession is so strong and overwhelming to him. I wish there was an on and off switch. I am open for any advice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Damn Obsessions (Continued)

So on this Saturday morning of the 8th, I am having breakfast around 8 A.M. because that’s as early as I was able to drag myself out of bed. Puppy had already fixed himself waffles and milk and was ready to head out the door to observe any neighbor smoking that comes out of their house first. I figured something was up, so sure enough he had run out of paper to use as rolled up cigarettes, so he had gone through my purse and taken four dollars, had rolled them up and taped them as substitutes. But I didn’t find these until later that morning. So let’s just say he was a happy camper because he was getting his imaginary fix on cigarettes.

In one of his check-ups on me, I was able to have him help me with laundry chores, so the entire morning wasn’t lost. However, we had an invitation from Ms. H to attend her son’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese at noon. Let’s just say the morning flew by and we were at the party. The only problem is that Puppy has been complaining of chest pains for a few days this week so I figured I better have him checked. With Puppy, it could be anything. It’s not easy to know because he doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe his pain or location very well. He’s been going through so many issues these days that I was thinking it was just anxiety or nerves because it usually comes around the time he’s stressed about something he did. He was looked over by a doctor at a clinic and he guessed it may be heartburn because test results were normal. We picked up our prescription for Zantac and went home.

Boy, this story is really going to drag out since I’m writing early in the morning and not having enough time. Once again, to be continued.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Damn Obsessions

Yea, I am cussing. I am just so damned tired. I've learned to hide so much that if it weren't for prescription drugs...I'd definitely would have lost it so many times. It's almost like being in a relationship that's so demanding and sometimes overwhelming that you feel if you talk or share with others, you are complaining and no one wants to be around a complainer or whiner. So we, I, hide it and keep to myself.

If it weren't for blogging I may have been worse off. I can vent or share in my blog. Well, this weekend was one of those weekends that was with great strain on us. Puppy started Friday evening with some debating. I picked him up from daycare and we visited with my parents for a while. But he was eager to get home. Puppy had his wallet removed from him at school the week before around Wednesday; and since then he was carrying his extra credit cards in his pocket to school. For lack of concentration, he had those taken away as well during the week. So when he finally got the wallet back, he had no cards to put in it. I had an ARD on Friday and the teacher returned the cards to me explaining how it all came to be that he had them taken away. So now I returned cards to him and he wanted to get home to fill his wallet which he had purposely left at home so that it wouldn't be taken away at school again.

But it didn't stop there. Cigarettes were on his mind as well. He was nagging all the way home for me to stop at the Dollar General store so that he could buy toy cigarettes, as if. So driving by passed the store caused only more of a tantrum with him punching the truck window and dashboard. Not the first time, so it goes on for about a half mile and we make it home without damage to the truck or him.

His Saturday morning just picked up where it left off the night before only it was now 7 A.M.

Sorry readers, I just saw the clock and I'll make myself late for work if I don't get moving. This will definitely be continued, hopefully tonight. I have so many parts to the story to write about that I don't want to cut to the chase and end it. Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Boys and biceps

I am skipping on my list and jumping to Number 10 to discuss Puppy and his biceps.  I actually wrote this on November 10 in my journal during my without-Internet-days and thought I might share.

It's Saturday and today's already been a "wow" day.  Puppy is obsessing with his biceps. I can only imagine he has seen someone, maybe his coach or someone else whom has large biceps. He's so observant and of course he mimics what he sees. Today and most of this past week it has been muscles and biceps.  I got a few pictures of him doing just that, too. The only way to keep him from putting a rubber band around his upper-arm is to find another solution.

Well, I came up with putting scotch tape on the fatty part of the arm to emphasize the bicep.  It did the trick for him but I'm also hoping that the pain from removing the tape will leave a lasting impression...enough to not want to do it again.

Puppy seems to find it difficult to accept my advice because I'm "a girl".  It might be my own fault. I've used this excuse before whenever I wanted to avoid a subject or discussion.  This smart child has learned to turn things around an throw it back at me, ha ha.

Anyway, he's calm and liking his bicep (only the right arm) and has gone outdoors to show off his arm to Cody.

I found some pictures of the first days when he was crumbling paper balls and putting them under his sleeves, and of the the tape on his arms.

How can you stop him from doing something like this when you see that smile?