Unexpected Victories and Cruel and Unusual Punishments All Rolled into One

Classic Aspergerian Quote of the Day: When I was doing my best to get Javan to sit at his desk and do his work, he picked up his materials and took them to a favored work area under the drafting table and said, “It’s much more feasible to do it under the table.”

Well, isn’t it though. It amazes me that a kid who can correctly use the word ‘feasible’ also feels the need to be under a table to focus on his work. He’s quite a conundrum. Conundrum…that should be his next word, right?

School this morning went amazingly well, partially due to the lack of teachable letter ‘Xx’ activities. He was better able to focus, and to know what he needed in order to achieve focus, than I’ve ever seen him in our school setting, and I’ve been homeschooling him for six months. I usually feel like I have to hunker over him and direct every thought process to get him through an activity. Today, with two different paper and crayon activities, he did the work completely on his own. He didn’t even want me to watch him do the work, so that he could surprise me with the finished product. He colored. He matched words and pictures and glued them on by himself! Usually, I have to say, “Ok, now which word does this one match? Good, now get your glue and put some on the paper. (I always have to hold the paper still while he glues, because he can’t do both at once.) Great, now put the picture on.” Not today! He matched them, glued them on by himself, and shone when he showed me the completed project, which was 100% correct. I did not cry. But I might have in my heart. A little.

I have finally realized why he can’t handle scissors as well. He always got in trouble with scissors at his other schools. He’d hurt others with them or whatever. And he has always gotten in trouble with them at home, too. Not for hurting me with them, but because every time I’d tell him to cut something he’d do it wildly with purposefully uncontrolled cutting movements and he’d end up shredding whatever it was. Finally, FINALLY, he has spoken the reason for this nonsense! The sound of cutting HURTS him! And I have to admit, I can see his point. It is kind of a shrill sound. So, when something needs to be cut in the classroom, he steps outside the door and waits patiently while I cut it, and then he comes back in and continues his work. Voila! WHY CAN’T HE JUST TELL ME THESE THINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Well, for those of you who know Javan, you probably know about this behavior pattern that he’s had his whole life of if he has great behavior in the morning, the afternoon will be TERRIBLE. And if he has a terrible morning, his afternoon will be AWESOME. Today was so, so indicative of that pattern. By the time he went to sleep tonight, I was thankful to God that I made it through the day without strangling him. The dishes remain untouched, the laundry is in stacks on the pool table, and I could care less. I made it through. That is all that matters.

Oh, how he disobeyed! I don’t know if this is just an awful disobedient phase or if it’s compulsion that drives him. I suspect some of both, but I see a high level of compulsory behavior going on here that really frightens me. When he gets an idea in his head, he is  going to do it. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him stop or no or don’t do that or scream or yell or spank or time-out or, or, or. The thought must be carried out. And then the screaming rages he has when he is stopped from carrying out those plans of his…oooooooooWEEEEE, you do not want to be party to one of those. He’s aggressive and hits and kicks and calls you stupid and slams the door. He is absolutely furious and CANNOT understand the reason why you would interfere with these so obviously crucial plans.

I get so sick of him being RUDE! But the thing is, I really don’t think he CAN understand what rude is. Blah. Blahbitty blahbitty blah. That’s all he understands when I try to explain why his behavior is wrong, and “I don’t know” is all I EVER hear when I try to understand WHY he does the things he does. And yet, I continue to torture myself by asking.

I don’t feel like giving examples of the misbehavior today. I don’t feel like complaining. I’m worn out. And I WANT to remember the GOOD morning we had. I WANT to erase the negative memories and feelings of the rest of the day. I NEED to hold on to those victorious moments when he does the unexpected. I can’t expect it tomorrow, just as I could not expect it yesterday. But it happened. He did it. I don’t want to forget.

I will leave you with this endearing night time tale. He was sent to bed a full hour early, without the normal bedtime routine, which for those of you who know autism or know Javan, you know that change of schedule is cruel and unusual punishment. It was warranted. His pleading led me to reconsider and I told him that if he laid perfectly still and quiet on the pillow for 20 minutes, he could earn back his bedtime story. Not the full bedtime schedule, just the book. His response, as is so very typical of my kid, was to make sure and point out the illogic of my request by asking, “But it’s okay if I toot, right?” God, I love him.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Velma
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 10:15:53

    I came here as a result of your visit to my blog. I am so glad I did! Boy, I wish you were my neighbor! Finally, somebody who knows exactly what it is like and can talk about it intelligently and with feeling. I know exactly what you mean in this post. Been there, do that every day. Keep up the writing. I will go on to explore more of your blog. I don’t post that often anymore on mine because I am often just too tired to try, but I won’t give it up. Sometimes, it is therapeutic to share.

    Reply

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