Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pancake / 3 that give me chills

Nikko was in a good mood today. He started the day with a blueberry pancake. Denis bought a bag of frozen blueberry pancakes from Wal-Mart to try on Nikko and he has taken to them, with sugar-free maple syrup. After lunch today, which he thankfully ate (chicken nuggets, mac cheese), he signed More Pancake to me. I was so impressed because I taught him the sign for Pancake only yesterday and he remembered it. Of course he did, it's a food item! Then during snack he signed Pancake again. I gave in to him today because I figure it's a food phase again that will hopefully peter out. He signed Pancake at dinner and I drew the line because I already had a plate out for him. He was a little insistent, but I didn't budge and he didn't keep going. Thank God. Unlike Ronin this evening, when we lifted him from the bathtub he caught sight of a little toy truck on the window sill that had been forgotten. Ronin cried, "Truck!" and became relentless because he wanted it so bad. I tried to explain that I had to get him dressed, that the truck needed a car wash, that it was broken, that he couldn't have it tonight (I didn't feel like getting it, washing it, and just dealing with it), but Ronin was in full scream mode and was causing me duress while I dressed him in pajamas. I hate feeling like I've lost the battle when it comes to these kids, but if I didn't march into the bathroom to retrieve the truck then Ronin would continue to cry and scream, preventing Audrey from remaining asleep and causing an unpleasant evening ritual for everyone. It was one of those times where it wasn't worth it for me to teach him that he can't always get what he wants... it's picking your battles again. Sometimes that phrase makes me throw my hands in the air because I seem to end up picking the harder battles when there's no other choice.

In Nikko's backpack Ms. Winters had given us a book called Sign Language, My First 100 Words. I was so grateful! It also has a sign chart for spelling the alphabet that I plan to put up on the wall somewhere we can see it. Mrs. I the OT wrote on the report that Nikko was a little resistive today, probably because she's changing up some things in his sensory diet. Otherwise, he did ok today. I'm in the process of transferring his preschool artwork into a big box. I keep up the current month's artwork on a bulletin board in the kitchen, but it's getting really cluttered so I have to purge the art.

After Ronin woke up from his nap I gathered my courage and plopped the boys in front of the computer with a Real Trains DVD so I could give them a haircut. I gave them each a Dum Dum lollipop and put Audrey in her high chair with veggie sticks. That was key, because I can't cut their hair while she's mobile. I didn't buzz their heads since it's the winter. I decided to try a little length on top. I also needed to accomplish this because Nikko has class picture retakes on Thursday. Unfortunately, my techniques didn't work as well as in the past. Nikko was resistive to the clippers and he really didn't like the buzzing near his ears. Using the scissors around his ears was precarious because he kept jerking his head away. I don't think I gave him a very good haircut, so I'll probably mousse up his hair on Thursday to look presentable. Ronin was also a challenge because his hair is so thin. I did a choppy job on his hair, but it looks like it has a little style in it. Not great, but I tried. It was too cold today to take the kids outside so we pretty much stayed in. Nikko had woken up really early today, maybe even around 6:30a just babbling to himself in bed without waking up Ronin, so I expected him to be tired. I couldn't get him to take a nap until 5pm when he finally tuckered out on the couch next to me while watching TV. He slept until 6:30, where I had to wake him up for dinner. After dinner he was racing two cars on the edge of the kitchen table when he cut the outside of his hand on a binder. It bled a little, and he refused to wear a band aid. We couldn't do anything except put some neosporin on it and let him air it out on his own terms. Bedtime was smooth for Nikko, who seemed to fall silent while Ronin was having his truck tantrum.

I was reading a friend's post on his nephew with autism and the three things the nephew did made me freeze and picture Nikko doing the same things: head tics, throwing things up in the air, and auditory sensitivity. Nikko seemed to not put his hands over his ears much in the few weeks before Halloween, but a week before Audrey's birthday I saw him do it again more often. He's been covering his ears when I am talking a lot to someone in the same room, and during the bedtime stories when Denis reads a few phrases from a Disney Cars book. He seems to tolerate the short, two-word phrases, but the last two pages have four lines of words and he's always covered up by then. Nikko covers his ears during parts of Finding Nemo. I'll have to watch him to see what parts they are, because there are practically no songs in that movie whereas Cars has some songs that he covers up to.

Throwing things in the air... that's a weird one, but remember my post about the lump on my head thanks to a car? Nikko must like the feeling of the weight leaving his hands. But to see the object in the air long enough to stim on it probably isn't the right option since sometimes he throws things right above his head or behind his head. He used to throw my set of bean bags up and over his head. (I'm still missing the red bean bag. It's probably behind the TV out of reach. Grrrrr.) Other things would be some juggling balls, the plastic tent balls, his burp cloth, random plastic toys, sometimes plastic food, and then that cursed metal car. It's a habit that will come and go, and sometimes is accompanied by that out-of-control-laughing-at-nothing-in-particular behavior.

Head tics are the saddest thing I see in Nikko, next to his eye stims. Nikko will start darting back and forth, jerking his body or just his head, throwing himself onto the side of the couch or even on the floor. It looks like what could be half a seizure that lasts anywhere from a minute to many minutes if I don't come interrupt him and lead him to something else. Sometimes Nikko is sitting holding his burp cloth and then he'll start shaking his head back and forth. If I see the whites of his eyes as he looks like he's peering from the corner of his eyes then I'll physically hold his head in my hands and stop him or stroke his cheeks and redirect him. He looks like he's drowning in his own world when he does that, and if he did that in public then I'm sure people would think something is wrong with him. I fear the future when that happens.

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