I snapped this picture yesterday. I've been trying to explain to my husband what Tommy's experiencing lately. When he's home with us, for the most part, he's his "usual" self. He's ALWAYS been one to parallel play. Not very often will he actually HANDS ON interact with you. He will, on his terms.
Lately, he's been very rigid about places he will go. TYPICALLY he's never cared where we went. He liked running errands with me. But i've come to realize that it's people. Most all of his meltdowns (brutal) have been anxiety induced... with social interaction. Case in point, our trip to Target the other day took a weird turn. Target is usually a very safe place. He knows the layout (all Walmarts have re-arranged the stores) Our Target usually isn't crowded, even on the weekends. Well, it was PACKED! We still went back to the electronics. He likes to browse the ps3 games. He loves that EVERY TV on display is on the same channel. He enjoys browsing the BluRay's knowing that they can only be played on our ps3. After we looked at everything, he made that face.. and requested to go to the bathroom. (this is his way of escaping the situation safely) Ok, we went over the "lock the door and WASH YOUR HANDS!). Brianna and I are paying which is NEAR the bathroom. All of a sudden "RHONDA!! THE BATHROOM IS DIRTY!!" Brianna, I think, was mortified. I was in shock. Why is he calling me RHONDA?! hahaa I guess there was a messy toilet and he didn't know what to do. So, I shoved him into the "family" restroom and let Brianna disappear..lol Finally he's done, and we're out. Everything went just fine. When we got to the truck I apologized to Brianna. "It didn't even dawn on me that people would be out SCHOOL shopping!" Her biggest concern was "why did he call you Rhonda????" It is my name but, he's never addressed me by it before. We just laughed "I have NO clue".
Crowds have always made him nervous, but not small groups. He's never been one to seek a conversation with someone.. unless you're holding something he wants to see (in which he'll just approach you and stuff his face in front of what your looking at). It's now causing him to STOP liking things. If he likes something, and you share the same interest, and want to SHARE in the commonality of that interest, he will abandon that item/interest. All this time, we didn't understand where certain behaviors came from. Now, im putting the pieces together. When Tommy and Dad shared the interest in Call of Duty, it was SO great! Then I had the idea of getting him to play with a couple of other boys at school that play it also. He hasn't touched the game in 5 months now. The interaction has now become INCREASINGLY too much for him. Even with US! I think Tom thought I was crazy. I told him that I caught Tommy peeking into Brianna's room. At first I thought "uh oh!" I realized Tom had moved the Gamecube into her room. She was playing some Kirby game. Tommy loves video games. ESPECIALLY Gamecube (though he will tell you PS3 is favorite). I've asked Brianna if he could come in and watch. "sure I dont mind!" He leaves. She's tried to explain the game to him. "nevermind, i'm outta here!". He still "spy's" on her (thats what she calls it lol)
I find it so very sad. I wonder if this is what Aspie parents go though? Tommy's never formed a relationship with anyone.. ever. We all have our own relationship with him, but each relationship is very very different. He's never made a friend. He's had a few infatuations with different people. One nonverbal boy he loved. All parallel play though. They never interacted. Now, I actually see him WANTING to. And, he can't. Even with his sister. It's so heartbreaking.
At least it give me something to go with though. This is why I hate Autism. It's so complex. There's always an REASON for things that are done. And the reason, USUALLY has NOTHING to do with the behavior being displayed. All of a sudden, its like a light bulb goes on. Now, to figure out how to overcome this. It's all a process.
Our last visit with the psychiatrist I brought this up to him. He thinks I spend way more time analyzing Tommy than I need to. We were talking about the negative things he seeks out. He'll actually go to youtube, search for videos that he DISLIKES and spend all afternoon MAD about seeing that video. It happens ALL the time. Not just with youtube. Certain channels on TV he knows will play commercials that he cant stand. Then when they come on, he BANGS on the tv, or table or whatever is near him. WHY does he do this??!! The Dr. replies "you'll NEVER figure it out!" That's not good enough. There HAS to be a reason. If you don't figure out the reason, then you're never going to overcome the problem. Yes we can take computers away from him, keep the TV off while he's awake (all day!) -which, we are DOING.
Even if your child is verbal, or non-verbal.. communication is STILL the major deficit. 1 day. Just 1 day!! I'd love for him to just be ABLE to articulate to us what he NEEDS.
I love Tommy more than life itself. But I HATE Autism.