Monday, January 17, 2011

Autism and the "terrible twos"

This morning, my sweet boy is in his room, working on his new favorite past time, and singing a sweet song. I have no clue what any of the words are or what song he is singing, but a mama could get used to this. As he does this though, I can't help but to wonder when the next tantrum is coming. It won't be long. A page in his phone book will turn when he doesn't want it to, or a song will come on his radio that he doesn't like, or his sister will look at him.

All mothers expect tantrums, here, we live them. Everyone in the house is subject to it. Everything is everyone's fault. The tantrums here last an hour, sometimes longer. Redirection and ignoring just don't cut it when your child focuses on the one thing that pissed him off. We even get through with one screaming and kicking match, only to have Henry think about it an hour later and start all over again. How do you redirect a child who doesn't comprehend when you try to tell him or her that "its ok". You don't. You let them have a go at it for a little while, making sure the other children are not within kicking distance. You try to rock the child throwing the tantrum. You gently squeeze their chest or put on their compression vest if you can actually manage that. Personally, I let Henry throw a fit for about 10-15 minutes and then I try the other things. I feel that he needs to get some of that anger out somehow, so for now, at the age of 2, we just tantrum it out. Then, I pick him up and walk around while swaying. We sing songs (Mommy sings way off key). His favorites are "Froggy Went 'a Courtin'", "ABCs", "Firework", and "Boots".

I'd be willing to say that about 30% of our day is spent listening to or feeling the wrath of a tantrum. Know what? Most days, I don't mind. The good far outweighs the "bad". The sweet mutter of "cup" or a song of "I love you", makes it all completely worth it. :)

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