“Let’s have something else besides something else.”

And now, kids, I can say officially I am out of ideas. I am all tapped-out in my autism parenting.

Yesterday was one of the worst days we’ve ever had. I literally lost my gourd and locked him in his bedroom after throwing away one of his movies because he refused to get dressed and go to school, therefore making me miss an appointment. I’m ashamed that I felt forced to get to that point, but the truth is that all the praise in the world about how well he’s handling social situations means nothing when he gives me a bloody nose from rearing back in a tantrum. He loves school, but he has learned that it’s a power struggle to actually leave to go there. So every day, like clockwork, no matter how much I try and prepare with discussion and charts and ‘the-big-hand-is-on-the-twelve-now’ warnings, he freaks out when I say it’s time for school. And in the past we’ve had to have his teachers come get him from the car – thrashing – to carry him inside. But every time he’ll calm down and be his sweet self within minutes. Because it’s not about school. It’s not even about transitions. It’s about his and my relationship, which is by far the most complicated one I’ve ever had.

And once again, the irony’s not lost on me that trying to use non-coercive parenting methods is almost categorically impossible. At least for Jack. That requires reasoning along with the respect, and we can’t always do that. Nor is it lost that I communicate well and am parenting a child who can’t. I simply can’t converse with someone who tells me to put his room in the laundry to wash. Because aside from that being nonsensical, I don’t even know what he’s trying to tell me to know how to react appropriately anyway. I say a lot of “I’m sorry you are sad” and “Please make a good choice”. Then he tells me that good choices are at school and he’s just going to stay here and put his room in timeout.

Fair enough, then.

And I don’t have a real point to this, other than as an SOS to Michelle or Tracy or Beth or anyone else who has a trick in their hat. I talked to Jack’s teacher today and we changed his IEP so he can ride the bus home from now on. I have some reservations with that, but he wants to do it, so if that’s currency for him, great.

(And it’s only convenient that I won’t have to deal with the creepy minivan alpha-moms after school anymore. Hoo-ah.)

It’s a never-ending game, that’s all. It’s just trying to deduce the next step based on behavior. And it’s not always something that seems insurmountable, it’s just very tiring. Luckily the sun was shining today, so we successfully made it to school because we walked.

I’ll let you know after Spring Break how we do. Until then, wish me luck and send in reinforcements, please. In the form of chocolate, if you don’t mind. That would probably be currency for everyone here. 😉

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