(ORIGINALLY WRITTEN & PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 21, 2012)
So tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the wife and I are both a little apprehensive. Why? Because the holiday is at my in-laws and Kyle gets a little crazy there lately (ok let's say a lot crazy there lately).
Now before y'all say why don't they move the holiday somewhere else? Let me say that our families are both great and extremely accommodating. And we've moved most holidays into more Kyle-friendly environments (like our house or my sister in laws house). But my in laws want to keep Thanksgiving at their house. And that is totally fine. We have to be flexible once in awhile too. :-)
So, of course we are going. But we are nervous. The main reason we are nervous? Well here's how I put it in a previous blog post but it's even more true now...
"He attacks the elderly. :-) He cannot be around my in-laws without trying to bite my father in-laws forehead or pulling my mother-in-laws hair. He also likes to rip off jewelry & glasses off your head. But mostly with his grandparents. My wife likes to say that "he loves the crap out of them"
But lately it has gotten worse especially with
my father in law. Kyle can't get enough of him and it's cute for the first 20 minutes but after that it gets weird and very often lately, aggressive. He pulls hair, grabs for hearing aids, breaks glasses, grabs for jewelry and earrings, etc, etc. mostly with my father in law but my mom and my mom-in-law can catch some shrapnel quite often too.
So the wife and I were talking about this on Tuesday while sitting in the waiting room of Kyle's after school behavior therapy session.
This therapy is mostly to do with his breath holding (which I keep meaning to write a blog post about!)
Anyway, after the session the dr brings Kyle in and we are chatting and the wife asks him for any advice, or methods, or protocols we can use to keep him from grabbing at his grandparents.
And he said one thing to try is to keep his hands busy with sensory toys as much as possible. He has noticed that when his hands are busy he's a wee bit less aggressive when he is in one of his rages. The dr mentioned to try a koosh ball or something to that affect.
So we took all that in and then discussed it later that night as we are strategizing about Thanksgiving night. (yes this was on Tues, 2 days before the holiday and the pre strategy sessions have begun)
We are trying to think of things to bring that he likes to occupy his hands. And the wife says "his beads!"
Kyle loves beads! And he will walk around the house with them all day if you let him.
But I said to her "but I've been taking the beads away from him a lot lately because he's always got them in his mouth."
And she said "well we might have to let him do it to get us thru Thanksgiving."
And I'm like "so we're gonna encourage one bad behavior to get rid of another?"
And she's like "um yeah. And which behavior is worse? Chewing on beads or attacking his grandparents?"
And, of course, she's right!
These are the crazy decisions and trade offs we have to make in a severe autism household!
Other Thanksgiving strategies? Well, it's currently 8:12pm on Wed night and there's already a bag by the front door that the wife has been slowly packing to bring with us tomorrow.
That bag will contain books, iPad, toys, BEADS, tons of meals & snacks, Paula's dog food, Kyle's evening meds if we stay past 7pm, etc, etc.
And my in laws live less than 10 minutes away so godforbid we forget anything ol' Autism Daddy can just drive home and pick it up.
(no I never forget things on purpose so I'd have an excuse to get away from the Kyle craziness for 20 minutes...why would you even think that?) :-)
And we will probably take 2 cars so I can make a quick Kyle escape if need be and the wife can stay later and hang with her family and help her mom with the dishes.
That's it. Other than all that it'll be your normal, typical, Italian American Thanksgiving.
I'm sure it will all turn out fine. As long as the magic beads do their job!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!
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