Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The heat, and quirkiness

Our A/C picked the worst time to not be functioning. Today was in the 90's and sunny, a typically beautiful hot, summer day... but it's not quite summer yet, and I said aloud the night before that I was not ready for the hot weather. We dealt. In the morning I had to take all the kids with me to the allergist for Audrey's skin prick test. She was mainly tested for peanuts/cashews/almonds/hazelnuts, Let's just say every nut gave her a hive. She was safe regarding seafood. I already know she handles milk and eggs well. So Audrey has a nut allergy. GREAT. I now have to keep her in mind as I read labels. And I need to expand Ronin's chicken nugget world so he can eat different things. The problem is this little dude is refusing to eat the spaghetti w/macaroni and the potstickers I made for him. He only eats rice with Denis' chicken adobo. He's a hard sell. Anyway, the minute I pulled out my wallet, Nikko was practically jumping on me to get my Costco card and the entire wallet itself. I don't know why he's developing these quirky behaviors, but I wish he'd stop. On the way home I picked up some McDonald's since the kids had to wait in the office and did rather well. It was so hot in our house that I put all the ceiling fans on full blast. It didn't do much to cool the house. It only cooled the immediate radius that the blades reached out, so walking down the hall was stifling. A serviceman was able to come during kiddo bath time, temporarily patch a freon leak, and will come back to do a better fix later this week. Ronin was irritable from the heat, Audrey was still ok, I was a complete biyatch and grumpy to boot, and Nikko seemed to take the heat in stride, even napping on the couch from the lazy heat.

Below is an excerpt from a question I'm going to post on the asd proboards:
Three major behaviors have developed and I don’t know why he’s doing them, but I can see them getting even more rigid and I wish there was something I could do to prevent what seems to be the inevitable:

1.) Nikko is determined to grab my Costco card right out of my wallet and carry it around. (Costco is the local warehouse club for those who don’t know) If I put it in my wallet and stick it in my back pocket, he’ll fish for it relentlessly. He’ll start whining and whimpering until I give it to him. Substitutes rarely work here, although I was able to get him his own Costco card from customer service. He enjoyed carrying it around for a few weeks, but then he started to prefer having MY card to hold.
2.) Last summer, Nikko wore Crocs everywhere. But throughout the school year he wore gym shoes & socks. The school preferred kids not to wear sandals, understandably so. Now that summer is back, Nikko refuses to wear the Crocs, not even for a little while, and not even indoors just to get used to them. I can see this behavior escalating, and it’s similar to a nephew of mine, who has Asperger’s, and is extremely rigid about wearing shoes ALL the time, even indoors, even to the pool (not in the pool).
3.) At bedtime, after prayers and during tuck-in, Nikko anxiously bolts out of bed to make minor adjustments to any objects surrounding the bed. He’ll drag a ride-on toy to rest right next to the bed frame. He’ll leap over to a table to adjust a plastic dinosaur lying on its side. He’ll run to move a tissue on the floor and put it next to a book.

I understand that Nikko seems to crave routine as evidenced in his positive behavior toward going to school. These behaviors seem to be another level of quirkiness that he may be acquiring. My question is how can I possibly stop these quirky behaviors from getting worse? Is it even possible? It makes me sad to see him developing these quirky behaviors that put him in this anxious, relentless state, and I wonder if there’s anything I can do to keep him from obsessing about my Costco card, or to get him to wear his Crocs when we go out, or to get him not to mind if something is out of place the way he sees his room.

One last thing: using food (in this case, fruit snacks) as a reward or reinforcer for good behavior worked TOO well for us. He became obsessed with eating fruit snacks so much that we (ABA therapists) had to stop giving him fruit snacks. This caused many, MANY long and difficult tantrums, but I’ve resolved to stay away from fruit snacks, even though by using them we can get Nikko to do whatever we want.

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