Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Crying Game

Today our 1:15 Developmental Therapy session was cancelled so I opted to take the kiddies to mom's house for the afternoon. I fed them lunch first, and while I stood by the sink cutting Nikko's chicken nuggets he was doing some "crashing" by running from his chair at the table toward the door, full speed. He didn't look up and see me, and he crashed really hard into my leg. It didn't phase him much, but he rammed me so hard I fell off-balance into the door. I told him to watch it and be careful, but I was really surprised at how strong he is when he is running at full speed. Very dangerous.

Nikko seemed pretty behaved at my mom's house. He watched Hi-5 and snacked on cereal, and even got up once to come check on me while I fed Audrey in the living room. Unfortunately, before we left he got into some of mom's birthday clown cake and it spoiled his appetite. But not spoiled enough, because as I prepared dinner when we got home, he saw my bag of Milanos and threw a big fit when I put it away in the cupboard out of reach. He REALLY wanted a cookie, and ultimately I cracked one in half and gave it to him to keep him quiet. He practically nursed that half-cookie for the duration of dinner so that was the end of eating any nuggets. Earlier today a book arrived that I ordered on What You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Child With Autism, by Jonathan Levy. I saw this book in an email from the Autism Illinois newsletter and it seemed good because it emphasized 10 things you can do now. I saw that some of those things, like eye contact, are things we are currently working on. Anyway, I started reading this book tonight (and got interrupted because my episode of LOST is unwatchable on our DVR, so I'm waiting to watch it online. It's not streaming on yet, so I'm waiting until at least 2am. Doh!) and I am through the 6th chapter. There is some food for thought in there that has me thinking....

They talk about eye contact being very important. I agree. Nikko's eye contact has increased a lot since he was first observed back at 18 months. He never used to look at us. Now, he definitely looks at me when he wants something, needs to communicate something or is about to cause trouble with Ronin. He trusts me. Another point in the book so far is about the whole stim thing. Stim is short for self-stimulating behavior, which Nikko definitely expressed early in his toddlerhood. Nikko was a crasher early on, crashing into the sofa and into the TV and into the wall or to touch a piece of furniture. He also tended to run his Gordon and Henry trains back and forth, repeatedly and rapidly. Or a pencil, pen, marker or anything else horizontal. The book mentions that you should join him in his stims to help grow the relationship between you both. That concept is going to take some getting used to, because currently the therapists seems to promote getting him away from stimming. Shelly seems to react negatively when Nikko starts to stim, seeking to stop the behavior. Gloria kind of goes with it, but tries to distract him. Jen hasn't really encountered much of this behavior because she got Nikko further along in the program. But I do agree with the therapists that currently his stim behavior has gone down quite a bit. It's definitley better than before, although he still lines things up.

Lastly for now, the book talks about not giving in to the crying Nikko would do to get something. It draws the picture that if the kid isn't bleeding or hurt, then he is either crying because he's unhappy or because he is faking it. Manipulation is the key here, and I feel sheepish that I gave in to him by giving him a coveted Milano earlier. Boo!

I'm going to keep reading this book so I can see how immediately I can apply some of these concepts. To be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment