Sometimes ya just gotta breathe. Owen knows nothing about personal space or maybe he understands it all too well. Screaming an inch from my nose is his new old thing to do. He used to do it all the time when his communication skills were not where they are now and he would scream in frustration, but now he is learning that screaming gets him attention and screaming an inch from my nose gets all of my attention. The train has already left the building. He can read me like an octopus holding a book while eating pizza and viewing all the television stations at one time. Once he realizes that he is doing an action he isn’t supposed to do, like the screaming or jumping on my legs, it becomes the way he wants to express his own emotions. He’s seven so I have to decide if this is a seven year old behavior, an Owen thing, or is this related to autism. And it can be a combination of all of these plus his delay in social skills and vocabulary. I try to stay ahead of his behaviors, but as soon as I think I have one thing figured out he combines it with something else or his behavior changes. My new strategy is to tell him to use his words in the straightest, nonjudgmental sounding, calm, with no attitude face I can. This coming from the person that wears their emotions on their sleeve and you can see everything on my face. He will make sounds instead of using the words he has. When he starts screeching with excitement or even anger I ask him questions, lots of questions. I make him focus on the moment we are in, getting eye level with him, and sometimes answering the questions I’m asking so he will know how to respond, anything to try and stop the screaming. I want to stay positive around him, telling him that he is amazing, reminding him of all the things he has accomplished. I emphasis that we are a team and we both have to work through our emotions. And momma needs the screaming to stop. I pray I never forget the feeling I had when they put Owen in my arms. It has carried my heart through many days. I am thankful for my sweet baby O and all that he has taught me. Find your strength, push through your emotions, and know that you are not alone. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.