I finally got around to watching this past week’s episode of Parenthood. I have to admit… I could care less about the storylines about the rest of the family (especially the Crosby storylines). For me, it’s all about Max. I love to see the way the family handles the challenges autism brings to the table.
One of the most touching moments for me was last season, when the family went Trick-or-Treating with Max. They taught him the rules, did some practice runs, and then finally took him. They waiting with baited breath as he went up to a haunted house and insisted he go alone because that’s what all the other kids did. And he did great!
Those triumphs are so important. We had a triumph this past week. Squeaker went past the school buses without his headphones and there was no biting! What a relief!
Also, he did a little socializing at the park today. It took a lot of persistence from the other kid, but Squeaker finally allowed the kid to follow him around and even went on a tire swing with him. The tire swing itself was a stretch for him. To sit on it with another kid he didn’t even know was really great.
Oh, and we should be getting some assistance soon through The ARC. That’s who the counseling center we went through is contracting with to help us. I’m so looking forward to having someone who can actually come into our home and help us with the issues we have here. To be honest, I thought the behavioral aid that worked with Max on Parenthood was an entirely fictional concept. Or that only super rich people could get them. But it looks like we’re going to get something similar.
This video shows how a behavioral aid worked with Max and got him to socialize at a park.
I have to say. I don’t think I’ll ever share as much information with whoever works with Squeaker that she shared in that video. But I can totally relate to her feelings. The worry. Feeling stretched thin. Having trouble sleeping and enjoying other things because you can’t get your mind off of things.
Another reality (one that I can share) is that having a child with special needs can create so much tension in your marriage. I mean, raising children without special needs is a challenge. Parents argue/have disagreements all the time about how to raise their children. About how to handle situations. But when you have a child who reacts very strongly (the self-injurious and destructive behaviors) when things don’t go his way, it’s even harder. I know we have our fair share of disagreements. And we don’t mean to, but we have a tendency to blame each other when things go wrong sometimes. It shouldn’t be that way, because it’s hurtful, but it is.
The tension in our marriage is just one of the many reasons we need someone to help us. It’s got to happen. These everyday situations that we have yet to find a good solution to need to be resolved. Like, how can we make it safe for the baby to be on the floor when Squeaker wants to roll and jump over him? How do we change a routine that’s been established without him wreaking havoc on his arms and our home? How do we get him to sit at the table and eat with us? How do we tell him “no” without fear of the reaction? How on earth do we take a walk as a family? How can we stop him from controlling everything we do?
Soon. Soon, hopefully, we should start resolving at least some of these issues. I hope. I’d like to have more triumphs in our lives. More proud moments. More happy moments.
PS: The Manager took Squeaker grocery shopping. He gets home and tells me about another not-so-triumphant moment. The lady at the deli offered Squeaker some chicken (freshly sliced deli meat). His response? He pulls his pants and underwear down right there in the store and says, “I want cheese!” He then proceeded to have a full-on meltdown. I thought we had gotten past the auto-strip response when he’s upset. I was wrong. We’ll laugh about these moments in a few years, right?