The Birth of a Pterodactyl/Human Hybrid

The mood swings are killing us. He seems to be making strides toward better communication at times, and at other times I can’t get anything from him but raw emotion. No speech, no purpose, just emotion. And in the past few days, this has manifested itself in such a way that I can’t decide if he sounds more like a box of saturn missiles going off or a pterodactyl being circumcised without benefit of anesthesia. The screeching and screaming is so loud, and anything we try to do to discover it’s trigger or help him calm down is only met with a louder barrage of screeching. And even if we do know what set him off, even if it’s something tiny and immediately fixable, once he’s set off, he’s gone and he’s not coming back for a long time.

Off the top of my head, here are a few things that  I know lead to such outbreaks of auditory assault today: being upset over not being the one to push the button on the tv – lasted about 45 minutes. Easily fixable, but he wasn’t having it. And panic over parents arriving to take him home from Weebow and Pop’s house. True fear and panic in those  eyes, running away trying to lock himself in the bathroom so we couldn’t take him home – lasted about 15 minutes. There’s no rhyme or reason as to the intensity of the meltdown/rage/whatever-you-wanna-call-it, nor the duration. And then it suddenly ends, and it’s as if it never happened.

He is making massive improvement in being able to recognize and verbalize when he needs to be alone, away from people and noise. He isn’t always able to do so politely, but he is usually able to do it without being mean – without yelling and hitting and throwing things – and that’s big for him. Tonight we had a houseful of people, mostly kids. It was our cousin’s night, so it was all people that he knows and loves. However, it was also all people that were playing Xbox Kinect, visiting, eating, etc.,  which means that our house was very loud, very crowded, and there was a lot of activity. He interacted some, especially when the younger kids would join him in his playroom where it was a little less stimulating, but he mostly sat quietly and watched. He wasn’t responsive much of the time, which was a little concerning, but he didn’t seem unhappy either, so I figured leave well enough alone. When it got to be too much, he simply announced that he needed to be alone, so no one was allowed to come in his room. And he’d go in there and be quiet for a while, sometimes a long while, and then he’d come join us again. Success! We’ve been telling him for so long that that’s what he should do if he needs to be alone, and he’s finally, finally  doing it! Hooray!

I also found it noteworthy that he expressed compassion for our dog, Morton tonight. Morton is a Lab/Retriever mix that is terrified of new people (possibly stemming from living with a boy who loves him half the time and abuses him the other half, but we’re beginning to win that battle, too!), so you can imagine his nervousness when we had a house full of them. I don’t remember if Javan was trying to play with him or love on him or what, but Hubby told him that Morton was really nervous and scared of all the people and he just needed to be alone, just like when he  needed to be alone sometimes. So, Javan immediately grabbed Morton’s collar, hauled him to his playroom, and shut the door on him. That kid sure makes me smile!

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