Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Protesting Against the Pool

For the very first time yesterday, Griffin had a meltdown and didn't want to go to swim at OT. I was amazed at how he fought us as we tried to get him interested in getting into the pool. All he could say was, "I want to go to Fred Meyer." That is a store that he likes a lot because it's where he gets his Dora toys. In spite of me explaining to him that we could go to Fred Meyer after the pool he still kept up his protest. I was wondering if maybe it is because we had moved his OT from Tuesday to Wednesday and he noticed the change in schedule. I didn't have a visual schedule for him to take with us to show him the order in which things would happen because he has always been so very happy to go to the pool. My mistake indeed. Perhaps if I had one he would not have been such a little rebel. Finally, between Gayle and myself, got his swim diaper on and got him into the pool and of course he had fun and was very cooperative with Gayle but toward the end of the session he started again with the, "I want to go to Fred Meyer" bit. He began to protest when trying to take off his swim diaper and then trying to dress him or rather to try and get him to dress himself. Yea right, he wasn't having anything to do with dressing himself. We always get something out of the vending machine on the way out of the athletic club and that made him really happy. So, then we go to Fred Meyer as I had told him that we would but this time he wasn't getting a toy. Of course that made him unhappy and he started again but this time I think that it was mostly him having a bit of a tantrum just because he didn't get his way. I was relieved to find that by the time we got home he was fine and he was perfectly happy the rest of the day and didn't ask to go back to the store or for a toy. He even went on our usual walk with Abby without any problems whatsoever. Today we stayed in most of the day because of the rain and then later we went to speech where he did pretty good. No meltdowns, or tantrums no asking to go to Fred Meyer just a moment or two where he decided to get on the floor and not be a good listener. Otherwise, he had a great day and seemed to be his usual happy camper sort of guy. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what could have worked better than what I did or did not do? By the way, have a great day and a super weekend.


Mr Ornery said...

I'm guessing he was clued into the schedule change. Could be it just 'felt wrong' to him. So if that's to be a regular thing or in future if something has to be changed, showing him in advance just might help. The bit of a meltdown at Fred Meyer, sounds to me like you handled what is very typical four-year old behavior quite nicely. Too many parents of too many kids would have given in just for peace, but you are to be commended for not reinforcing negative behaviors.

Melissa H said...

Oh Lora, who really knows? As moms we are always second-guessing ourselves. "What if I had prepared him better?" "What if I had said the right thing?" "What if I had said it the right way?" We DON'T always know the right way to handle a situation and that's OKAY.
My dh is still upset (broken-hearted) over a meltdown that he had to deal with on his own on Wednesday night while I was at church. I keep reminding him that he can't "fix" it. It kind-of broke his denial phase, because he kept thinking that Conor was going to "outgrow" these fits. Welcome to autism. That's why it is represented by a puzzle piece.

You did an awesome job handling Griffin, I'm sure. Big hugs to you.

K.C.'sMommy said...

K.C. has done similar things at the dollar store. I was taking him to get him used to the store and each time we went I bought him a car. One day I went to pick something up and had K.C. with me, we weren't getting a car. all the while he was looking ansy and agitated. I knew he was expecting a car. Well he wound up on the floor screaming his head off. I let him scream, then pulled him to his feet crying to the check out. I knew I had created a little car monster, he he. Anyhow I took him three more times to the same place without buying a car. He finally got over it, thank goodness. My mom's words kept echoing in my head, "don't start it and you'll never have it to do." I never knew what the heck she meant but it sure did come to light now that I have kiddos.
I am trying like heck to teach K.C. the word "wait" man oh man is that one ever hard to teach! The word wait, if K.C. learns it, will be worth gold!
O.k. sorry for rambling on your blog, once I start I never stop, lol.
Give Griffin a hug for us!
Tina and Boys

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Sometimes Gabe throws us for a loop too. Things that were OK for one week, sometimes are not the next. I agree with you that it was probably the change in schedule that caused him to react the way he did. I look at GAbe sometimes as having a type A personality - change is never OK unless it has been made through the proper channels :o) (I can be a little type A myself at times)lol


vidya ganesh said...

I share the same opinion that it was probably the change in schedule that upset Griffin. In my opinion, preparing a child for an event or a change in schedule, always helps and works wonders. BTW, Lora, have you ever tried social stories with Griffin?

kyra said...

i agree with melissa here. i think we just can't always know what is going on. it's so easy to second guess ourselves and wonder, what if i had done, said, x, y, or z? there can be something helpful in this, to look at something from a distance, to get perspective or have an insight so i'm not saying we should never do it but sometimes our kids have an off day or an off moment or pick up on things we don't see or feel and can't have 'stopped' in them. of course, it could have been that he sensed there was a difference in the schedule and responded negatively to that. our kids are SO very tuned in and sensitive. sounds like you did a great job staying clear and present with him and he was able to move past it all very quickly!

Ann said...

We all have our bad times and Griffin has been doing so well. There are going to be times when you won't know what is wrong but it is ok for you and him. I've had a few of those melt downs myself. You are doing a great job Lora and you can handle these situations because of you unconditional love for Griffin.