Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Family Garden - Harmony in a Autism House

The other night Mike and I were watching TV and someone quoted the Buddha and the quote really resonated with me. Starting in college, I started reading Buddhist texts and felt as if the ideas hit home with how I felt about the world and life.

But this one is more about our family and Sage.

On Family Harmony

Hearing this really made me think about his behaviors and how our family is responding to them, and how that is feeding back into his behaviors. It made me wonder how we can work more towards harmony especially in the evenings.

It can be really hard when your son is scripting on, "Watch Nemo? Watch a movie? Mama watch the movie? Watch Nemo? Watch a movie on laptop?" for over 30 minutes. It would be fine if he would sit and watch his movie but instead he takes it out, starts it over, and continues to do this until I stop him. He doesn't actually watch the movie, he says, "Press play Mama? Which one you wanna watch? I press play? Press play?" Yes buddy, press play. "OK, press play? Press play Mama? OK!" to which he then does then clicks Menu and starts it over again.

He also has trouble with taking turns on the laptop which I also want for work. During the summer especially I work online. So when he's home, it's a battle for who gets to use the laptop. It's like I should just get him his own dang laptop but that's expensive and hell, he'd probably still want to take mine because I was using it.

Finding things to do with him and working with him to redirect him rather than telling him what to do (showing him where to get new undies when his are wet from water gun play rather than saying, "Go get new underwear out of the drawer next to the toilet") are both helpful in stopping him from having a meltdown, but around 8 p.m., it's as if there's very little to stop him from melting down. He gets something in his head and if it doesn't happen then it's a Scream Fest.

Baths, bed time, all of those interrupt his ideas of what he wants to do. We need to work on reminding him that there's something up coming ("Five minutes until bath time!" and set a timer so he knows). Keeping to a routine even when it's summer is important as well.

How do you attempt to maintain harmony in a home with a child with Autism? What strategies have worked for you?

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