Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Changing an autistic kid's room....lesson learned.

May look random but it was perfectly placed by a 3 year old and with reason. :-) Photographed by Keltanys.

Well, I learned something new about my Keltanys yesterday. He doesn't deal well with change. I guess that shouldn't surprise me really. Most kids on the spectrum don't deal with it so well. I also should have known, he is my kid and I don't deal with change well either.

I remember when we started to set up the bedroom for bringing Keltanys home from the hospital. I felt a bit of grief and just icky about the way things were changing so fast. It bummed me out. Kinda the same way I feel when someone springs a surprise visit on me or when plans change to quickly. It takes me a minute to adjust.

My son deals with it on a bigger emotional level. So, the story starts with stepping on a smurf. I was less than happy about the state of his room. He likes to make pockets of nests everywhere and often times if you move something in them while he's looking, he gets upset and puts it back. So, after stepping on jokey smurf I decided that it was time to clean his room and make it so that if he wanted his toys he needed to ask us for them. Mistake number one.

Regular toys that he has made friends don't take away.

So, we cleaned his room and got rid of some stuff that we know he doesn't play with anymore and put everything away. Unfortunately, where we had originally placed his toy ottoman was in a blind spot so he couldn't even see the thing. All the while he was at his Aunties not able to be part of the transition. Mistake number two. For me if something's changing I like to be able to see it happen or be the cause of the change, or be the organizer of it. I don't know what I was thinking not making him apart of it.

Anyway, we brought him home and he seemed ok that night but when the next day came we saw a vast change in behavior. He was super sensitive. Would cry if you looked at him funny and all the while would be in his room making a nest of the few items available to him.

And today has been even worse. When a change happens my son feels like he's lost some control since he doesn't process change very well yet. And I think he knows that in some small way. He'll sit there and be super upset if things change to fast that he just wants the person with him to be still as possible unchanging, unmoving, quiet and without will. Well, he's been mad at me for everything today. And when we were at therapy appointments today for him he let them know how upset he was. I cried a little with him knowing how hard it must be to be so little and feel like the world is falling apart. My heart kept breaking every time he wanted to see people be still and quiet. And it dawned on my quickly that if we are to make changes to his world we have to do 2 things

1. Have him help.
2. Keep something as a constant. Something that will always remain in his foundation so that when something changes he still has something to hang onto in the roller coaster of change.

So, lesson learned. We've given the toy ottoman back with the stipulation that he picks everything up when he's done. So far so good.

My heart still breaks thinking about it but I know for next time right. This has made me question some things regarding my going back to school. I think it might be OK for two years, but, a whole seven years with the intensity of the last five will be over the limit of time I'm willing to spend sporadically away from him. So, much needs to be thought of when it comes to getting him ready for this world. I'd rather spend my days getting to know every aspect of my Keltanys than go further into debt, and the other stresses that we create for ourselves.

Anyway, plans are under review and I have learned that change isn't easy for my boy. Better now than never!

Thanks for reading.

Always with Gratitude,
Amber Jones

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