Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What it's like part 3 (of 4)- hope you're enjoying these (PIOG)

Posted by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 8:25 AM
  • 6 Replies
  • 309 Total Views

    Well, if you've read parts 1 and 2, by now our you might be thinking the heroine (again refering to me, myself and I) has finally gotten a break after taking both children to therapy and hooking her youngest up with lunch and a CD he actually likes. But you and she thought too soon, it's only beginning....

What it's like Part 3

The phone rings, it's the school. "Yes, I say, this is Mrs. Sandoval. "

    "Ma'am, your son is sick. Could you please come and pick him up?"

    "I was just there, he was fine and why didn't anyone say anything then?"

    "He wasn't sick then, he's been in the bathroom since you dropped him off. School policy is..."

   "Never mind," I interrupt, "I'll be right there."

    I grab the toddler and we're off again. I get to the school and ask to talk to his teacher. When she comes out, I ask her what happened. She informs me that he got hold of one of the other kids' chocolate milk cartons and drank half of it before she could stop him. He's had diarrhea ever since.  I grit my teeth and remind her once again that my son can not have any kind of milk or this is what happens, that I understand they are short staffed but there's only 8 kids in the EC room and there's 3 adults. Someone should have been paying attention. I know that's not really fair but I'm a mother and the lioness' teeth come out whenever something endangers her cub, it's just nature. I go in the bathroom and find him hunched over, holding his stomach and crying. "Come on baby, " I say, "let's go home."

     We get into the car and head for the house. On the way, I decide to stop at the store to try and find some of those tablets that sometimes help his problem get better faster. As we enter the store, I realize I am not wearing my "Proud Mother of an Autistic Child" t-shirt and I groan to myself because I know what is about to happen.  Enviably, my son will spot something, jump out of the cart and run around the store like his pants are on fire. Some well educated parent from a place I call "White-picket-fence-ville"," will offer me unsolicited advice on how to parent my child better, and after listening to their suggestion, I will nod nicely before running to catch my son.

     That's what they do in "White-picket-fence-ville;" they get together to attend "parenting classes" which I think are fantastic if your child is typical but for the child that is not typical, a lot of their solutions don't work. Let's take 1-2-3-Magic parenting for example. The idea is to give the child three chances to "straighten up" before placing them in "time out." I tried this method for about a week. Rather than associating the counting with his bad behavior or connecting the number with time out, my son determined that this was a counting game. He got to number 57 before I got control of myself and stopped laughing.

     Another great method is "Love and Logic" which is the way to go for a typically developing youngster. The idea is to give the child the freedom and power to use their own creativity in finding solutions to problems. It helps the child develop self esteem and learn independence. The problem we've found with this method is that an autistic child does not have the ability to think in terms of "socially acceptable logic." When left to his own for a "logical" response or solution, he probably will come up with something logical, possibly even more logical than a typical child would, but it will most definitely not be the solution or logic a parent would hope for. In our case, the police, fire department and EMS were involved, but it was a very "logical" solution: His father informed him that the TV could not be switched on right now and he should think about finding something else to entertain himself with. Our son dialed 911 because "that's what you do when you need help." It was fun explaining to everyone that our son felt it was an emergency to watch TV.  We'll give him the love, but we'll be keeping the logic to ourselves for now, thank you.

     Then there's always the "noble" suggestion of spanking him, "spare the rod spoil the child," or , and, I quote the educated version: "beat his a*s." I'm sorry to report, we tried this method at one time. We'd spank him every time he'd run outside without one of us. He made absolutely no connection between the spanking and the behavior. No matter how consistent we were with it, he still ran outside and shortly after implementing this method, I received the following note from his teacher at the time:

      Dear Mrs. Sandoval,

     I was hoping you could shed some light on the situation. Today after lunch, your son lined all the children up and before allowing them outside on the playground, he made sure to spank each and every one of them. I am hoping this behavior will not continue.

     I never responded to that note.

   Getting back to the grocery store, we are only stopped by 3 well meaning members of the White -picket-fence community and manage  to get out of the store with both kids in hand. Outside as I strap the baby into his car seat, my older son notices a bird soaring over head and decides to comment: "Look, mommy, a bird."

     Always one to encourage his communication skills, I acknowledge him by saying "Yes, sweetheart, that is a bird."

    "You can't miss that bird," he says, smiling.

     "No you can't miss it," I reply.

     "It's a bird flying in the air," he continues.

     "Yes, it is a bird in the air, now get in the car," I say.

     "The bird is flying fast," he says, not even looking at the car.

     "Yes, I see the bird, now get in the car," I say trying not to lose my patience.

     "You see the bird, mommy?" he asks, not getting my point about the car.

     "Yes, I see the bird. It's time to get in the car now." I say more firmly.

     "I like that bird, mommy," he continues.

     "I see the bird!" I yell, "Now get in the car!"

     And I can't help but notice we now have an audience in the parking lot. I lead him to his seat while he is still murmuring about the bird and I try not to look at anyone. I can feel my face turning purple as I slide into the driver's seat. Then I hear "Oops! Mommy, I had an accident!" and I don't bother to turn around, I can smell it from the front seat. Another $20 will be going down the drain to get the seats cleaned.

     Once home, I immediately put him in the shower and get him cleaned off. As I go into his room to get him some clean clothes, I hear a loud banging coming from the kitchen. I drop everything and go to look. There is my toddler taking out all the lids to my pots and dropping them to hear how loud of noise they can make and which ones will spin when they fall. I swoop him up and have him join me in the bathroom. When I get to the bathroom, I realize I have forgotten to get the clothes, so I put the baby down and go to get the clothes. I hear the pot lids dropping again and this time I swoop him up and put him in his crib until I am finished.

     Arriving back at the bathroom, I see water seeping under the door and into the hallway. The shower has been going this whole time but what I didn't know is that my son plugged up the drain. When I open the door the water is flowing up over the side of the tub and he's standing there squealing with enjoyment as the toilet paper roll goes over the "waterfall" every time he places it back in the tub.

     I immediately turn off the shower and un plug the drain. I take him into his room, dry him off and set to work cleaning up the bathroom by using every towel, washcloth and rag we own.  I am exhausted when I grab the large pile of towels and take them to the washing machine.

by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 8:25 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-6):
by Bronze Member on Oct. 29, 2009 at 3:53 PM


by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 9:41 PM

oh my gosh (the overflowing tub) son LOVES to splash in water. He doesn't care what kind of a container it's in (even the goat's drinking tub at the petting zoo), or a cup full of any liquid to drink. When he's older, I can just imagine him doing something like that.

by on Oct. 30, 2009 at 1:53 PM

You have to publish this stuff, it's great!!!!

bow down

Jodi, Mom of Emily and Alyson, my princesskiss mini and my angelangel mini

by Bronze Member on Oct. 31, 2009 at 12:07 AM


          Destiny, you absolutely crack me up!!  I can SOOOO relate to you.  I don't have any "small ones anymore, but, my grandson can make a disaster roll on and on like no I laugh at your posts............we are both Nuts ya know?!!  Beth100

by Member on Oct. 31, 2009 at 10:58 AM

I read out loud to my husband the part about the people of 'White Picket Fence' ville and the whole bird conversation.  We both got a good laugh out of that and could totally relate.

~JEN~ family car

by New Member on Oct. 31, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Very funny and well written! I have been trying to explain to my friends with Nt kids why time out, 1-2-3 magic, etc. doesn't work for funny:-) Time out is like the best reinforcer ever, since alone in her room is exactly where she would like to be. When we tried 123, she would laugh after 1, intensify the undesired behavior, count to three and punish herself ( losing a coveted toy, for ex.) laughing the whole time! We ignore, redirect, and front load undesired activities with tons of reinforcers- every 45's exhausting, but it works, for now anyway.


Keep writing! You are good at it:-)

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)