Friday, February 02, 2007
Ups & Downs
Today Michael and I went to the gym around 5pm. I dropped him off at the nursery and then pretended to work out (well, i did 15 min on the elliptical). When I got back, Michael was playing with another kid. REALLY playing. They were running around with big cars in their hands and Michael was repeating what the other kid was saying. They were laughing and smiling. It felt so good- because sometimes he just stims off the toys (like the my pretty pony hair).
Then on the way to Trader Joe's, Michael is in the back of the car singing "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer (we both love him). I'm so happy and feeling so lucky and then BAMB....
we get to Trader Joe's and Michael is running around like an animal. I can't see him. He thinks it's a game. So, i'm thinking- it's small store and he always come back to me. I just need 10 min. I'll let him run around a bit.
Well, one of the employees comes up to me "do you have a son?". I just wanted to die. He continues "he's standing by the door, almost going out".
Michael would not stay with me. I had to finally hold him down by the cash register so he wouldn't run out the door. I also had to pretend I wasn't mad. Which is NOT easy- trust me. He was rolling on the dirty floor, screaming.... all the fun stuff.
Then he wouldn't LEAVE the store. Again, I was like "Michael, we are leaving and have to go home and take a bath." Then it was "fine- we'll wait until you are ready to leave" (as I stand in the cold). Then it was "GET OUT HERE NOW!" and I grabbed him. It's 30* out and I gave him a solid minute to decide what to do. I think he would have sat in that window for 5 days watching people come in and out.
So, basically, today was a roller coaster. Not one those fun-gotta do it again- rides. But those sick to your stomach, I want to go home rides.
I guess sometimes he is just doing so well that I forget that he has autism. And that he has limits. I REALLY need to always have reinforcers with me or set up a reward. Which I don't like to do- because at this point- he should do it because I ask or say so- not because he gets french fries.
I don't know how parents do it. The ones who have kids like this all the time. Michael acts up about 30 min a week- I can take that.
While getting in the car I was thinking about how I just want Michael to get better. I want him to be able to deal with life. I want him to be able to help me shop and someday shop for himself. I think it's going to take a while.....