From one exhausted mama to another, don’t you ever get tired of moving from one problem to another? You fix one thing, only to have another problem crop up right behind it. This is all part of autism life sometimes. You constantly need to change and come up with methods of solving problems.
I love my boys, I really do, but dang, some days I just feel as if all the energy has been drained from me. It’s not just them, though. Everyone takes a piece of me. I expend a good deal of energy at work (not to mention the emotional toll it takes on me). Then there’s my physical health. Things are not great there. I just got the report from the MRI done on my back in August 2012 explained to me on Monday. I didn’t realize that the only part of my lower back not messed up is the L1-L2 region. Everything from L2-S1 is all f’d up. It’s no wonder I’m constantly in pain.
Between having two children (which is enough to make anyone tired), my job as a special education teacher, being on my feet all day with a bad back, wrestling with my 6-year-old autistic son every other day when he has meltdowns and I’m alone with him, everyday life, and trying my best to be a good wife, and just really exhausted.
And then, new issues with Squeaker crop up. The new concern is that he’s not just spitting on himself or on objects. He didn’t used to be able to project his spit. I was trying to get it to stop before, and I couldn’t. Well, then Sunday afternoon happened. We were at the mall, The Manager was trying on some pants and I was interacting with Big Guy close to the ground, when suddenly Squeaker comes up and spits in my face for no reason. Disciplinary action isn’t immediate because I can’t physically handle him. I tried to, but I just couldn’t. We eventually got him in something resembling time-out and took his toy away. But as soon as he got out, he started spitting again. It wound up being a terrible rest of the day as far as behavior goes.
Well, then Monday he wound up having a terrible afternoon at school. He behaviors included ripping up paper, refusing to work, spitting on the table, the floor, and in his teacher’s face. Awesome. Color me mortified. I talked to her about it today and she was really nice about it. She said there is a girl in the other self-contained class that’s been doing it for a long time. She does it when she’s happy, when she’s said, and when she’s angry…that it’s a sensory thing. They haven’t figured out how to stop it yet. It’s hard to fix. But, she told me, look at all the other things he’s made progress on. We’re not fitting him for a helmet, etc….
I say, “Yeah, but……this is just gross!”
I don’t want my kid to spit on people. You know?
Today, he had a really awesome day at school. Except for one thing. He was in the cafeteria eating lunch. He was really happy. Having a great time. And he spit in his teacher’s face. She said he immediately realized he was wrong and apologized and didn’t do anything else wrong the rest of the day. Who knows why he did it. But, really? How do you stop that if it’s just something he does randomly?
It’s just one of those new behaviors that crops up. We get a handle on the head-banging at school for the most part and here we go. With Squeaker, it seems like he always replaces one challenging behavior with another. This exhausted mama just doesn’t know. I got a whole ‘lotta ‘nuthin on this one.