Autism is as much about how I handle it as it is about Owen having it. I try to remind myself of this often because I need to remember to be kind to myself. I don’t always have the answers but I have the love. We both have emotions and as I tell him we are allowed to have emotions but it’s how we handle the emotions that make a difference. I want him to understand that we are a team and we have to work together to get through things. He screams a lot, a lot -a lot. The screams are always because he is upset. And then add in his repetitive words and behaviors and I have to remind him that I can’t constantly respond or know the answers to everything. It’s hard and emotional because my answers can keep him from having a meltdown or cause them, and I never know if either will or won’t. We are working on breathing exercises and ways to redirect his emotions and mine. This morning we were going to breakfast with my parents and he knew it. I try to make him understand that he can’t have everything instantly but this is often met with screams or pulling of my hair. I keep praying that one day visual schedules will work with him. I’m beyond thankful that he is now starting to not only request a timer but for him to continue to check it. This was years in the making. He has requested “set a timer” for years now but only in the last few weeks has he paid attention to what is happening with the timer and watching it count down. Before we went to breakfast he kept screaming at me and I told him that if he didn’t turn the volume down on his tablet that I would take it away. This is the slippery slope. I want him to understand that his actions and reactions represent him. Timeouts never work with him but once again I thought I would try it. And once again he showed me what he thought of them. I want him to learn that he has boundaries and rules like all of us. I breathe. We got through it. A one minute timeout seemed to last two hours and forty-five minutes but I’m sure it wasn’t that long. We got ready for breakfast and he wanted to know his schedule again. He wants me to go over every day with him but if we get too far ahead then he screams and his hands go to his ears. This led to him stomping through the house yelling “no school Friday be mommy tomorrow.” I tried to show him the schedule for how many days it would be to see his teacher and he ran screaming from the room. I feel like progress is coming and that’s what I’m holding onto. We left for breakfast and he got really excited about a sign but I couldn’t figure out which one. He said, “seven six” and kept pointing. When something means something to him but I can’t figure it out what it is it can be very difficult for him. I don’t know what he was referencing but hopefully as he starts to read more signs we can work on them together. He did great at breakfast and was only a little agitated because we had to wait a few minutes. When we got home he wanted his leftover pancakes so I started heating them. I walked to my room to get something and he yelled, “mommy sit right here on the couch.” He had pulled up a video on his computer and was trying to whistle. He turned all the lights off as I sat on the couch and he told me to whistle. I sat whistling in the dark with him thinking how awful I am at whistling and then I thought about the poor bird I once had learned to whistle from me. It always brings a chuckle to me thinking about how he sounded. Hopefully, we can find some videos that Owen can learn from. As the night wore on he asked for “veggie straws not regular chips” and I was thankful for his words to tell me what he wants. He was watching videos randomly yelling out “chicken” repeatedly. I’m not sure why but he was happy. Sleep was almost instantaneous and hopefully, it will be all night. He has taught me so much about life. I’m thankful for the ray of sunshine he is to my soul. Each day is a new day. Let yesterday go and focus on the miracles yet to come. Smiles to all and a 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.