Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You know what I hate...

...about autism?  I hate second-guessing my child.  

Three year olds are supposed to run and jump and scream.  It's normal.  I'm always wondering if Zack's communication is regressing, if he's backsliding, learning bad habits, getting caught in a self - stimulatory behavior loop...

self-stimulatory behavior loop - self-stimulatory/perseverative behaviors a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder engages in to find comfort or pleasure.  Is repetitive and hard to break out of, interferes with communication and adaptive behavior

...or when finds something he likes to do over and over and over again, or becomes manically obsessed with a toy to the point of hysteria if he can't play with it.  Abby and I are always telling him to "stop spinning", no "hand-waving"...and we can never take for granted that he's just goofing around, because we're afraid he'll pick up all these ticks and habits that will delay his social development even further.

He screeches.  Screams.  Hollers.  So do a lot of three year olds, but I always worry:  is his speech regressing?  I always have to tell him: "Use your words" over and over, until it's repetition is almost a homily in our home.

I hate putting him on a bus, in a car seat, and sending him to school five days a week, seven hours a day with no nap, as we have for a year now.  He's three.  He should be home, outside running and playing every day.

Three year olds are active.  They run and jump.  They don't run to one end of the room, spin, run to the easy chair, jump in it and then out, then repeat the same pattern...over and over and over, shaking their head and flapping their hands...until I finally pile things in the chair to break him out of his "stimming".

I hate autism.  Just so we're clear.