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Autism, Overstimulation, & Setbacks Oh My!

By Thibben @aspieadventures

autism blog

A 'Selfie' we found on my wife's phone.

The sixth grade has proved kind of a rough transition for this kid. We have forgotten work, not moved quick enough to get things done, been overstimulated to many times to count but glass half full at least we haven't had to worry about some of the crazy apocalyptic crazy thoughts that were in my head as we headed into middle school! Granted most of those were just worry wort dad thoughts & involved pretty much just crazy stories you read in the new happening verbatim to my kid. Every time I would read one of those horrifying stories about how a kid with autism was mistreated I just knew THAT exact thing would happen to him. So, like I said, glass half full none of that has happened! :)
What has happened is I got a call from our counselor yesterday while we were knee deep in the fall section of Hobby Lobby. (Don't judge me! I gave up my man card long ago when I got a pinterest!) She told me that he had fallen asleep in second hour at his desk. The teacher tried to wake him up, when she did they said he looked around at the other kids wide eyed & confused for a second then crawled under his desk to the fetal position. He wouldn't talk or make eye contact with anyone so the teacher called for the counselor. When the counselor arrived she told me that she tried to talk to him nice & slow for a second telling him that she has a soft bean bag chair in her office that he could come relax on. He took his backpack & headed to her office where she let him decompress for a while before he could even talk to her. She told me that after he started to talk again she assured him he wasn't in any kind of trouble & gave him the option to go back to school for the rest of the day or she could call me to see about going home. He made the decision to go back to class. I'm so proud & happy that he made the very grown up choice to go back to class but I'm not gonna' lie I wanted to rush to that school, pick him up, & get him home! Sometimes I realize that he is way braver than I am.

Autism, Overstimulation, & Setbacks Oh My!

Annie likes to tag along when picking up kids

I normally pick him up separately from the other boys. We pick up the two boys at the elementary & then I drop them off at home with mom so I can pick Jayden up just me & him. I took him to sonic for a green apple slush with nerds in it to ask him how his day was, he didn't know the counselor called me. He went over his entire day with me, telling me how it was a good day with no problems at all! I gently pushed & pushed telling him he was acting like something had happened or he was not telling me everything. Even without the call I would have known something was up because he was obviously acting out of the norm being overly animated & evasive. Almost like you would see a character act when they are hiding something on a cartoon or kids TV show. I pushed one last time before telling him I got a call. I said 'Jayden I'm going to order our drinks & I want you to think about your day. I know from the way you are acting that something has happened or there is something that has thrown you off a bit. Think about it while I'm ordering, maybe there is something that happened that you 'FORGOT' about. Either way I am going to email or call the teachers to check so please be honest with me & think really hard." Sure enough after I ordered he put his hand to his chin like a sitcom character rubbing it & saying 'hmmmm' Then he said "You know, there is one thing I just remembered that happened today!" He told me about what happened telling me that he remembered being very sleepy & then waking up under his desk curled up.
Going over the night before in my mind there was nothing out of the ordinary. Bed time was the same as it always is, reading books, saying good night, up in the morning like normal, everything was in line. Usually you can see these things headed your way but this one caught me off guard a bit. We haven't had anything like this happen since about 3rd grade. I can even remember in kindergarden them having problems with him going under the desk to seek refuge or wandering the halls because he got out of someones sight for a minute but that was a long time ago! Time will tell I guess.

our son with autism practicing the snare drum

Practice Practice Practice!

I think band is keeping him somewhat on point. I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my last post, he was approved to play the drums. The snare drum! Yeah... Up to this point its not bad because I haven't actually heard him play the snare, he has a practice pad that is soft & pretty quiet so thats a big plus. $775 for supplies to play the drums & we get Xylophone, Snare practice pads, & sticks but no drums. You would think I would be upset about that but yeah...nope. Lets keep the drums at school for now shall we! :)

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