Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Late Egg Hunt and Behavioral Issues

My sister and her family came down from North Carolina to visit this past weekend and it was so nice because it has been awhile since we have seen them. Pictured here is my sister and Griffin coloring Easter eggs. Yes, we celebrated our Easter again with them because they didn't get to come and visit on Easter. Griffin loved coloring the eggs and especially loved hunting them afterwards. On Easter Sunday we were at my brother's house and did not hide the eggs for Griffin because I was concerned that he would get into the habit of hiding the eggs from the fridge in the future but I decided to take a chance this time and I guess that we will see how it goes.

I am so grateful that I have a child who is capable of doing such regular things such as searching for Easter eggs. I make sure that I don't take for granted the little things in life and with Griffin. When we were at the Special Olympics I most definitely counted my blessings because there were children there with different abilities than Griffin and some were having much more of a challenge with simple tasks. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at my beautiful son and count my lucky stars. He has been having some behavioral changes going on lately and I wonder what it has to do with. It has been suggested that the changes could have to do with the climate change but I don't know. I have also read that the changes in behavior could have to do with the full moon but I don't know which phase the moon is in, guess I should get a farmer's almanac. These changes in his mood/behavior seem to be more nuero-typical than anything else. He seems to be acting out like a misbehaved child rather than having some kind of sensory issue or something that might be related to his autism. Griffin will yell and say things over and over until he gets the reaction that he wants or until I let him wear himself out doing it. I have not let him get the reaction that he was seeking but once because I don't want him to get into the habit of doing that in order to get what he wants. What do you think? Is my child being a real brat or do you think that maybe I am misinterpreting his actions and that he could legitimately be having some sort of meltdown? Yesterday I just let him go about it for awhile and then as he began to calm down I re-directed him and that seemed to work well. I am up for suggestions and would greatly appreciate your comments. Have you had an experience where your child has acted like a brat rather than acting/being autistic? How does one determine the difference? I have said in the past that Griffin usually conducts himself more as a NT child than an autistic child and for the most part that is true but it can be confusing when it comes to behavior and behavior modification. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks ahead of time for your comments and hope that you have a fantastic week!


gretchen said...

Oh gosh- Henry sure can be a brat sometimes :-)

But seriously, I would not really say that our children are being "brats"- they are just doing bratty things that most children do at a younger age.

Henry has been saying "no" a lot more lately, and I think it is a new developmental step. He has been more assertive about what he wants and I have been trying very hard to stand my ground.

This weekend we went to the movies. Henry's little brother needed to use the bathroom. Henry doesn't like to go into public bathrooms because they are so loud.

If we are at the library or somewhere that seems safe, I will let him wait outside while Tommy and I go in the bathroom. But at the movie theater it would not be safe to do that- so I made Henry come in. He shouted and hit me and pushed me the entire time his poor brother was trying to go potty. I'm sure a lot of people thought that my child was very badly behaved! It was an uncomfortable situation for me, but I understood why Henry was acting that way.

Sorry to go on with that long story, but we all go through this!

Also, sometimes when Henry is acting very argumentative or out of control he just needs a break by himself. If I can get him into his bedroom to look at some books or something, he usually comes out of it.

Jan B said...

Charlie is the same with any restrooms that have fans. Funny, how you think you have a thing that happens only in your family and here it is happening to people all over the place.

Anyway, back to the original question, we always look for an underlying reason that will explain bad behavior in Charlie so that we don't end up coming down on him for something that he really can't control.

Also if it is something he can handle, but is acting out because of it, we want to make that connection to help him handle that particular thing better.

Sometimes things are just FLK things. Funny Little Kid. Just normal kid stuff. We don't get a lot of that, so believe it or not, when Charlie does something that is just FLK stuff, we are actually thrilled because he's just being normal.

Most of his yelling fits or other obnoxious stuff is in response to something that is bothering him though. It's up to us to decide what we are going to do about it. When he took to slamming doors and bashing into windows (brought on by his imitation of Monsters, Inc) we decided to deal with it with corporal punishment. That's a rarity here.

MileMasterSarah said...

Sandis does this, but you know, I look at every situation as a can't or won't situation. Is he acting this way because he can't act another way because he doesn't know how? Or is he acting this way because he won't (will not but can) act appropriate. Usually I find it is a can't, and it is a learning opportunity for all of us.

K.C.'s Blog said...

Hi Lora,
Griffin and Big Brother sound similar in that regard. He sounds like a NT 4 year old :) My sister has Lynn who is 5 years old and she almost drives my little sister nutty when she wants to get her way. She'll ask her over and over and over hoping she'll give in but my sister ignores it cause if she does give an inch Lynn will take a mile and remember it. Kids are so clever and smart these days. Kiddos are kiddos, they know just how to push our buttons sometimes. I think you are doing all the right things Lora. You are the greatest Mommy and Griffin is one awesome little guy. Hang in there sweetie.

Melissa H said...

No suggestions from me, that's for sure! However, I WILL sympathize and tell you that I'm constantly battling, "Is it sensory? Is it autism-related at all? Is he just being a 4 year old pain in the butt?" LOL Conor has been out-of-sorts lately, too. Yesterday, I thought I would lose my mind with his "Dum, dum, dum, dum, dooooo McGee" thing that he was saying.

(I have no idea what that means, by the way)

Today, however, was a much-needed day off for both of us. He had a tough night and today was a 1/2 day of school, so I decided to keep him home. I allowed him to be by himself, did some quiet playing with him and did lots of deep pressure hugs and compressions with him. He took a wonderful nap and has been a joy all day. Maybe Griffin just needs a "personal day". :-)

Mac said...

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