Monday, July 24, 2006


So we had a whiz-bang yesterday. Joey has found a new stimming behavior- he presses all the cars he can hold to his face, then lets them drop. We think it started with Cookie Monster, devouring cookies and letting the crumbs drop everywhere. It's turned into something of a problem.

Telling him to stop is also a problem. One of the sure signs that the behavior is not appropriate: try to stop it, and complete meltdown ensues.

All in all, we're pretty lucky with Joey. He doesn't tantrum much; in fact, he's usually an easy-going little guy. When he does melt down, it's complete pandemonium. He screams with teh frustration and aggravation. He tosses himself on furniture or the floor. He throws things in all directions. If you try to restrain him, he beats on you. The entire day is shot with your nerves. Ever had someone get less than an inch from your face and just unleash their lungs?

Sometimes I forget that Joey is autistic, or disabled. Perhaps I want to forget. Perhaps he's just such a sweet little thing, and I'm just so used to him being who he is, it just doesn;t even cross my mind. Then there are the meltdowns. It becomes so mind-bendingly obvious that its not right. I've seen normal kids have tantrums. They are nothing compared to Joey, and are over before Joey even gets going. Even Andy stomps his feet and cries when he can't have another potato chip or has to go to bed- nothing compared to a Joey Meltdown.

There has to be something we can do to help him, to give him some tools to be able to calm himself down; but I have no idea what to do for him. We hug him mightily when it is all over, but what else can be done? We can't let him drown in these repetative, unappropriate actions. He drifts away into them, and we can't afford drifting. Its not like a normal kid, who vegs to process and rest. Joey just disappears. We lose simple skills. He talks less. He does less. He just drifts away.

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