Sunday, May 6, 2012

What A Day!

I have been awake now for about an hour, cautiously feeling the vibes Beans is sending out.  Waiting and watching, hoping today is better than yesterday.

Yesterday, was awful.  It was one of those days that added to my ideas, thoughts and opinions about what autism is, and can be.  Let me walk you through it, here.

The first thing that I notice upon awakening is that Beans is quiet. This child is usually the kind that leaps out of bed, squealing with delight. Just a happy guy in the morning. He is sitting on the couch or sulking around silently, with no smile.  I know this means that he may be sick, but I see no other sign of this.

I have so much to do today.  I have some housework and important letters to get sent for my husband's company, as well as go shopping for an outfit for my daughter for her upcoming dance.  I have no time to spare.  I make a plan, which was my first mistake.  I decide that due to the afternoon temperatures being pretty hot that I'd take the boys out to play in the morning instead of afternoon.  I thought this was an excellent idea.  Maybe Beans would get in a better mood. Playing outside is one of his favorite things ever.

We get outside, and he's playing.. All is good, but like I said: I have things to do, so we only can play for a few minutes.  I tell him it's time to come in.  He runs away from me.  I sign and say "All done outside. Time to go in now." He throws himself on the ground.  Great. Now he's in wet noodle pose.  I tell him again, "All done outside." He gets up and runs off to hide in a big empty log we have for him to play with in the yard.  I finally coax him out only to have him in full meltdown mode. His face is red, he's screaming, and hitting himself.  He keeps bashing his face into the ground.  I try to stop him, while trying to pick him up to move him in the house, but it's no use. He's too big.  His lips are bloody and I'm out of air when he finally gets up to go in, hitting me several times along the way.

When we get in, I get him calmed down and I take a shower and start folding some clothes.  I come in the room, he's sitting in my seat on the couch (something he does when he wants my attention, or is mad) and is picking apart his very wet diaper. I tell him no and to stop.  This is too much for him today and another meltdown ensues.  I try to move him to the bathroom to get him cleaned up, and minimize the wet diaper stuffing mess.  When he is mad he jumps up and down with great force, which is causing the diaper to go everywhere. All over me the living room, the couch, the bathroom. Everywhere, urine soaked sticky nasty stuffing. More self injurious behavior happens. I finally get him calmed down from that and changed, everything all cleaned up.

Time for lunch.  I make him a meal that he always likes and set it down in front of him. He pushes it away and grabs his PECs book and starts flipping through it. Oh no. I don't think so.  I know he likes everything on that plate. He is not getting something else.  I tell him this.  I don't know if he can understand me, but I tell him.  I am not making him a whole different meal, just because he's in a difficult mood.  Chances are, he'd not like anything I set in front of him due to the bad mood he's in.  I put the food away and make him a snack mix with some crackers and peanut butter and a few other items.  He doesn't want this either, surprise.  Now, I have a grumpy AND hungry guy on my hands. Great.

We get through the afternoon with minor fits and he does eat his snacks.  Supper goes okay, too.When hubby gets home we set out for the mall.  My daughter and I will go to the mall, while the boys will go to McDonald's for a snack.  Beans hates the mall.  Not my fave place, either, but my daughter needs some stuff there, so I have no choice.  At this point in my day my head is pounding, tight and full of stress.  I may have a meltdown myself if I am pushed the wrong way.  The loud mall is really chancing that with me!

We get done, and meet back up with the guys. Everyone's happy.  Yay! We get home, and get ready for bed.  Meltdown number three revs up.  He doesn't want to go to bed.  He gets mad, screams, head bangs, pinches, and is just all out of control.  We protect his head, we do what we can to calm him down, but none is working.  He is madder than he's been all day.  He slaps the bed icon (the object we use for his visual schedule indicating it's time for bed that he's supposed to match to the appropriate place) out of my hand repetitively.  This is the kind of meltdown and day, to be honest, that makes me almost consider meds.  What happens when he is 16 and he does this?  I will not be able to control him.  He will pummel me. He is big for his age and will likely be a big guy as an adult. My husband and I both stand under 5 foot 6.  Neither of us weigh more than 140 pounds.   What will we do when (it's not really an if at this point, it's when) Beans is way bigger than us?

I go through everything that I can think of to help him calm down for bed.  I get him one of his chewey balls, only to see that it's broken and there's goo oozing out of it. Sigh.  Great.  He's been chewing on that all day. God knows what is in that slime.  Probably not something I'd want him eating.  I put new batteries in his favorite toy , which was beginning to sound run down.  Didn't help.  I get him a wet washrag to chew on.  That helps a little, but he's still Upset.  We finally get him calmed down after about half an hour.  We leave him in his room, still grumping and complaining, but no longer a danger to himself.  He sits in there doing that for 2 hours!  All I want is some sleep, but he's not having it.  I want to go tuck him back in, and tell him it's time for sleep, because that usually helps when he's not getting to bed when he needs to, but any interruption by me at this point is likely to spark off another meltdown, so I leave him be.  Finally, at a bout 12:30 AM I don't hear anymore noise over the monitor, so I go to check on him before I go to sleep.  I step into step into something wet.  I say a swear word, as I turn on the light to see his has once again, torn apart his diaper and now I have to clean up that mess, as well as change him.  Fun times at a quarter to 1 AM.  Hubby has already gone to sleep a couple hours ago.  I get it done, but and get to bed hoping that tomorrow will be better, still not knowing what made today so rough for the poor Beans.


  1. Rough for you both - it is hard to see them upset and not know how to help.

    Hope tomorrow is better. xx

  2. Sounds like a big day for both of you. Hope you get some much needed rest. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully it'll be better than this one.

  3. I heave a big sigh for you, Aspie sister. I have days like this--heavy and full of frustrations. You probably have a sick boy on your hands. My son is a terror when he feels unwell.

    I admire how you forge through, nevertheless. It can be so hard--helping your son, meeting family obligations and coping with your own neurology. I aspire to have such strength.


    1. I think you may be right. He seems to be unwell one way or another. I just can't always tell when he's under the weather, or what the issue is.

      I think you have plenty of strength and fortitude. You do a lot for your family. :)

  4. I hope your son is feeling better by now. My son is verbal and normally I can communicate well enough with him, but when he is like this nothing seems to help.
    You do know it's nothing you did, don't you?! Hang in there! Thinking of you!

    1. You're right. My older son is verbal, but when he used to get this way when he was younger there wasn't anything that helped. Beans is better now. I think he was maybe sick, or had a head ache, or something.

  5. I will always marvel at how much your beans is like me little guy. You just discibed what are worst days have been like in the last five years or so. He has stoped some of his self harm. It changed once we started sign language. He's still not always able to remember all his words. Your meal time woes are the same when he's under the weather. Yep your beans and my little guy are very much a like. Wild. I never thought there could be another on earth like him. Me and my hubby have often asked our self what will we do when he's an adult. He hits me less now and we use self regulating techniques but they dont always stop him from hitting him self. The only difference bean and him have is mine rarely screams. I'm so happy when he does. He opens his mouth and no sound comes out. This often makes him hit him self more. We keep taking classes to learn more and give him other options for his behavour. But its hard when he's in the moment.


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