Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Fire Station and Our Visit to N.C.

Griffin is seen here with the fireman and the fire hose, he really enjoyed watching the water spray over the street and sitting in the fire engine and helicopter. We then drove an hour and a half to N.C. to visit my brother and his family and Griffin got to see all the special bears that were handcrafted and on display on the main street, unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that but he enjoyed it and seeing my niece and nephew who always play with him. They try to wear him out but it is always to no avail, there's no way that you could possibly wear out Griffin.

We then traveled another hour to visit my sister and her family, it was my other niece's 20th birthday and we were due to go to a party for her later on that day (Saturday). First we stopped at my sister's house where Griffin kept chasing the cats, there were 3 of them, and only one of them would let him pet him. Seth is a sweet and lovable kitty who likes to play and Griffin just got a kick out of it. I got some really good pics with my other camera which I will publish soon. Griffin played with his little cousin, she is 2.5 yrs. old and he did quite well actually. He didn't push or shove her out of his way, he still needs to work on the sharing bit but at least he wasn't pushy or forceful about it. He was really quite mellow the whole time we were at their house, he did laugh a lot when on the see saw-go-round with his cousin. Even though he was too heavy for her he figured out how to balance it out so that it would go up and down by pushing with his feet.

I knew that the party would be a challenge and I thought that we were prepared for it by bringing his Doodle Pad (which he loves and can play with for hours it seems) but it was not enough to distract him from the many people who were there and all the energy in the room. It was a party of about 15 people with 2 little girls age 2 yrs old and a lot of commotion going on. In the beginning he did sit and eat some taquitos (I know I didn't spell that right) and it wasn't until he saw the cake/cupcakes that he became unwound and started the meltdown. Well, the only problem was that the Moms didn't want the girls to have a cupcake yet so it wasn't that I didn't want him to have one at the moment so my Mom and I secretly carried one outside and sat down at a table and let him eat a cupcake. He was quite a happy little guy then and calmed down momentarily while out of the room with all the people. Once we were back in there he got wound up again and started going bonkers and bouncing off the walls. He played with his cousin's little toy computer but not for long. He soon became bored and was running around and spinning in circles amongst the curtains. Griffin wouldn't listen to any of us as we attempted to talk to him and get down to his level etc..... so then I knew that the only thing that was going to work was to take him outside again to the truck this time.

I strapped him in the car seat and we sat in the truck until my Mom and sister came out with my meal that I didn't get a chance to eat and some extra cupcakes to take home. So we only waited about 30 minutes in the truck but we still had to drive back to the town where my brother lives to his house to get a gift that he was giving to my Mom for Mother's Day, a weeping cherry tree that she had wanted for years. Anyhow, the kids played with Griffin again this time running around in the yard by this time it was dark and the mosquitoes were biting, the crickets were singing, and the sound of laughter filled the air. It was then about 8:30 p..m. and we finally got on the road once again. Now we had started out at the fire station around 10:00 a.m. and here it was right at Griffin's bedtime and he showed no sign of fatigue whatsoever. He sang on the way home and drank water (his favorite beverage) and ate Pringles (his favorite snack) which he only gets while in the truck.

We finally arrived home at 10:15 p.m. and I immediately gave him his meds for sleep, the Clonidine, and within about 45 minutes he was out but he didn't go down easily he kept fighting the fatigue the entire time. Next time we go on a road trip like that I will take his medicine with us so that he can stay on schedule and get to sleep on time. I don't know what I could have done differently at the party other than remove him from the situation and from being so over-stimulated. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions of what I could have done differently I would appreciate it.

Thank you ahead of time for your comments. I had a relaxing Mother's Day and I hope that yours was as well. Hugs to all my friends who always comment and support me, especially those of you who send me e-mail.


kristi said...

Well, it sounds to me like Griffin did fine and you handled it well. I am glad you had a good Mother's Day.

Melissa H said...

Lora, it never ceases to amaze me how similar Conor and Griffin are in so many ways!! Conor gets completely unwound around too many people and reacts EXACTLY the same way (playing in the curtains and ALL!)
I think the only thing that we can do to help our kids (until they're mature enough to regulate themselves a bit more) is to limit the time around the chaos of a party, like outside breaks every 15 minutes if possible. A pain in the neck, but hey -- better than a meltdown! I'll let you know how our party goes this Saturday. We have to go to a birthday party for my best friend's little girl. They are expecting 50 people!
I also laughed about how good Griffin was with the little one. Perhaps younger children are not as threatening? Conor does GREAT with little kids. It is the ones his own age where he bulldozes them.

gretchen said...

What a busy day! It sounds like you all did wonderfully- no tears for Griffin or for mommy- that means a good day in my book!

It was smart of you to take a cupcake outside for Griffin. We always have to hide birthday presents and cakes around here until the last minute, or Henry will dig right in- no matter who the present or cake is really for!!

It's not easy, but it sounds like you had a fun day, all in all.

K.C.'s Blog said...

Hi Lora,
Sounds like Griffin had a fun time! You and your Mom did all the right things especially with the cupcake, I would have done the same thing :)

Lora the nights sound wonderful!

I think we just have to watch for the signs of our kids becoming too overwhelmed and stimmy. That's usually when we make a quick exit!

What an adorable photo of Griffin and the FireGuy!

Anonymous said...

wow! griffin did incredibly well!! what a long day! and so many stops and people and changes and adjustments! fluffy has a hard time with lots of people at a party too, so we do what you did--provide breaks, take him out of the room to a less busy environment, go for a walk, a drive, let him have his treat (he would never have been able to wait for his cupcake either!). bringing the medication along so he could be on his schedule sounds like a great idea.

i'm so glad the zoloft is working for you! it's what i took during my depression a number of years ago. it made all the difference for me.

mcewen said...

Yup the busier the day......well at least around here. I cannot count the number of times we've just had to up and leave.
I used to try and anticipate 'leaving time' and then work backwards from there.
As for calming down in situ that depends in part upon whether you have the ability to just focus on the 'one'.
You of all people will know things that calm him down and things that wind him up / make it worse. Probably not socially acceptable to whip out the brushes, gum chewing calms've got your own bag of tricks, but more often than not leaving is the best solution, it's not defeat it's just acknowledging that it's 'enough.'