Monday, October 17, 2005

SmallBoy Breakthrough

One component with ASD is not being able to reach back into the mind and pull up the communication skills needed to express things properly. When this happens, especially in a situation of discontent or upset, it just raises the level of frustration and ultimately, could set off one of the mood swings that seem, sometimes, to come out of nowhere. We had a breakthrough in this particular area this weekend.

The kids were with me this weekend, but had family things going on with their Dad. Both situations required that the kids be dressed up, as they were both involving attending church. Saturday's event went fine. It was an evening event followed by a dinner. Sunday, however, was a baptism followed by a party - on one of the last remaining beautiful days. The kids were dressed up for church, but had packed a change of clothes. SmallBoy, thinking ahead, had put on a t-shirt underneath his dress shirt so that all he had to do was take off his shirt and change his pants. Unfortunately, the shirt had was wearing under the dress shirt was not really appropriate. I asked him to change it and explained why it was necessary, but he wasn't processing it AT ALL. I could see that he was getting upset, so I tried, again, to explain to him why the shirt wasn't going to be appropriate for the party, but he was just at a loss. He was visibly upset, stressed, and almost out of sync. But then he turned to me and he said, "Mom, I just can't find the words."

I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear him say that! Yes, I hate that he can't find the words, but the fact that he was able to verbalize what he needed was SO huge. SmallBoy doesn't have any verbalization issues as far as speaking is concerned, but more in actually communicating when he's stressed. This was a giant breakthrough for him and I told him. I said to him, "SmallBoy! Wow! That's great that you were able to tell me that. I know why you're upset and you probably are trying to find out how to tell me that, right?" He nodded and we continued on with our conversation until finally he was so pleased and proud that he had communicated his frustration to me, that he had forgotten WHY he was frustrated in the first place.

I told PC and he was just as excited as I was. I talked to SmallBoy later to make sure he was able to recall that situation and exactly what he had done. I asked him in what other situations he might be able to use that skill of "I can't find the words." He went back to the biting issue whene he bit the girl on the playground because he couldn't find the words to express how truly upset he was with her to the teacher (who would have stopped the incident before it got to teeth baring proportions). I had to share with you my joy and my hope!


Kyra said...

mommyguilt!!! i am postively THRILLED for you and for Smallboy! this is HUGE!! i am so proud of him and inspired by your grabbing the moment and helping him through that, helping him to encode that positive memory, and helping him to build his confidence!!! what a wonderful moment. the other day, Fluffy had a similar moment when he got very frustrated with me and instead of hitting me or throwing his (foam, thankfully) blocks at me, he hit the foam block and said "i don't like that! i'm upset!" which was HUGE for him. our guys are amazing, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Smallboy is a neverending wonder! And so is his Mom! This is fabulous...and, well, yes...HUGE
You go girl, and you too Small Boy! I'm going to bed happier because I have read this today! MIL