Monday, October 26, 2009

Shaking it out / Leaves

Another relatively quiet day at home. Denis took Ronin to Costco this morning, and I was able to sit with Audrey and Nikko in the living room. They both wanted to be on my lap, but I would lie down on the living room floor and each would find a spot to settle on me; Nikko put his head on my tummy and Audrey lay on the same floor pillow with her head touching my head while we watched The Wiggles. Nikko must have forgotten about the Jell-O because he didn't make a beeline to the fridge for it. I was reminded by a friend that the red dye in Jell-O and many other products isn't good for autistic kids. I've also read on some forums that Red 40 can drive the kids batty. I'm not sure if today's behavior was a reflection of that, because during our two-kid peace time today Nikko started doing some crashing and shaking his head and arms in an uncontrollable way. It wasn't a stim action, but it was one of those actions that are probably related to flapping arms and running in circles that is characteristic of autistic kids. I tried to give Nikko big hugs and give deep pressure strokes, but it really didn't stop his odd behavior to my chagrin. I had to keep Audrey out of his path and let him shake it out.

Later in the afternoon, after Ronin woke up from his nap and after a brief snacktime, we dressed the kids to go outside. It was drizzling but Denis needed to rake the leaves because curbside pickup is tomorrow. The boys went out first while I got Audrey dressed. When I came outside carrying her, I saw a big pile of wet leaves in front of the garage and both Ronin and Nikko running back and forth through it. I gulped thinking about the dirty, wet pile, but resigned myself to the fact that we'd strip them when they came inside. I helped Denis rake (I had to use a shovel because he broke the 2nd rake) and the boys hovered around us. Ronin took an interest in a rubber-tipped shovel that he could manage and was pushing leaves here and there. Nikko was interested in the pile itself and walked purposefully through it. Denis remarked that he was happy to see Nikko running in the leaves, looking like a normal kid. We moved the pile to the curb via tarp, and it was difficult keeping the boys from going into the leaves that were now on the street. Ronin understood to keep off the street and stand only on the curb, but Nikko was harder to contain. He was obviously excited about the whole thing. Dinnertime was on the horizon so everyone was carted inside, wet but content. Nikko didn't have much of an appetite during dinner and that puzzled me. Otherwise, he was fine after dinner and enjoyed tickle games with me. He didn't take a nap all day, unfortunately, so I think he was ready to go to sleep at bedtime. Tomorrow Audrey has an allergy appointment in Hoffman Estates so Mom is coming to sit with the kids in the afternoon. I'm sure there will be tears and protests, but I hope they will be short-lived from the boys. They love Mom, so hopefully the transition will be short. I'll make sure to put in Nemo for them, or maybe Cars. I'll show Mom how to repeat the disc if it ends.

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