Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Play time and dream time

I don't know about other moms with aspie kids,  but my Aspie gets upset if games aren't played the way he wants.  For example, when building with blocks, I am only allowed to place the blocks in designated spots and at designated angles.  If I deviate from this, he becomes quite anxious, upset, and moves the blocks the way he wants them.  If I insist that he allow me to play my way as well, he becomes upset, pouts, and doesn't want to play anymore.  Playing board games or card games is even trickier as my child becomes distraught if he doesn't win.  I've allowed him to win more times than I can count just to see joy exuding from his face and through his actions, rather than counseling him for 15 minutes concerning losing.  I have to admit that lately he has improved.  There have been a few times recently that instead of crying he said, "It doesn't matter if you win or lose.  It's about having fun playing the game."  You can imagine my joy at hearing these words. 

I've read about other moms whose autistic children lash out physically at them.  Reading their stories makes my heart ache, a lump clogs my throat, and my eyes blur with tears.  I imagine the pain and heartache they must feel.  To love a child so deeply, to want only the best and put forth more effort than most parents ever dreamed of to have a healthy and happy child, to give up so much of yourself for your child only to have that child lash out physically.....the heartache.  The emotional pain would be overwhelming.  I wish I could wrap my arms around those mothers, hold them while they release their tears, and tell them it's going to be okay. 

I have been very lucky to have a child that recognizes emotional pain and responds to it.  Thank goodness for this as I don't know if I could handle an emotionally absent child.  The interesting thing about my aspie compared to other aspie kids is that my aspie is actually overly sensitive.  I am no way complaining, as I see this as a blessing.  I just find it interesting considering most autistic kids seem to be lacking in expression of emotions.  My aspie will cry at the drop of a hat.  My aspie remembers things from years ago that will trigger sobbing and shaking.  For instance, tonight he recalled a bad dream he had several years ago.  As he was telling me about the dream, he began crying and shaking.  It took several minutes for him to calm down enough to even speak.  I tried reasoning with him, but that seemed to just make it worse.  So finally I said, "Write down your bad dreams on a piece of paper.  Then wad it up in a ball and throw it in the trash."  He loved the idea.  That is what he did. 

Of course, this is not practical when he wakes up during the middle of the night crying from a nightmare.  During these times, I escort him to the bathroom and tell him to pee the bad dream into the toilet.  Then he flushes it away.  This has seemed to work well too.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these will continue to be effective strategies.

No comments:

Post a Comment