Wednesday, May 30, 2012

when behaviours come back: the joy of autism (my ass).

This past month, Max has been putting us through our paces. When I say it's a good thing he's cute and looks like an angel when he sleeps, I am not exaggerating. These periods of intense behaviour are hard on everyone, including Max. I feel like they are brought on by one of two things - the first that he is about to get sick, the second that he is experiencing a burst of development and doesn't know where to put the new pieces. It's especially difficult when his new skills are more comprehensive in nature than expressive. He may have a better understanding of his world, but not be able to do anything with these new skills, which as you can imagine, is incredibly frustrating.

He expresses this frustration by bringing back tried and true behaviours that we thought we had worked through and left behind us. The hardest one is his screaming when Cameron coughs. Conveniently, Cameron has a cold right now so there has been a lot of screaming which wears thin on everyone's nerves. He has bionic hearing, and it doesn't matter where he is in the house, he can hear her when she coughs. And he knows the difference between her cough and everyone else's. An amazing skill, but hard to appreciate at 6am before you've even had a sip of coffee.

The other behaviour that has increased is Max's love of slamming the fridge door. Any time anyone opens the fridge, he runs in the kitchen and slams the fridge door. Not just once either, but twice. Sometimes he even slams the fridge twice and returns for an extra set of slams, who knows why. The interesting thing is that when he is on his own, without Cameron, he is quite happy and a lot easier to manage. We have been coping by keeping the two apart as much as possible, which is fine on weekends but hard in day-to-day life. This week we're bringing Cameron into one of Max's therapy sessions to see if we can make some headway on the coughing issue. Once we tackle that I have some door locks for the fridge. Just another fun day at the Carefoot household...pass the vino.

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