Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Autism with the Stars

Ah, I've missed my Mom Cave.

It's no secret that we have been living an intense life with autism/OCD the past couple of weeks. I think it has buried us all. I never envisioned being so deep into a crisis that I couldn't even come into my Cave to collect my thoughts and find my sanity. But, that's what happened. Sometimes, all you can do is point your nose to the ground and plow forward.

I've lived through feces smearing, bm messes all over the house, urine spraying, biting, hitting, pinching and punching. I've spent the better part of the decade sleepless in an attempt to lure our older son into slumber. I will cook anything they need for their digestive systems, and I have argued for their right for a proper, individualized approach to their education.

And, here I was beaten down by a compulsion for the car. It was relentless. All day. After bath. For four and five hours at a time at night. He'd even ask for it in his sleep. This poor boy has just been taken over by this compulsion, and the compulsion brought his parents to their knees.

Today, I am hopeful we can break the cycle with the help of medication. And, once that is done, we can begin trials for an OCD medicine to help him long term.

Last night, after fighting through a hefty dose of sedation for an hour and a half in the car, he finally gave into sleeping in his bed. Today, I am the one dazed. It is the calm after the battle. I've walked from room to room in my home to assess the damage that's been done over two weeks of neglect. Ugh. It's time to climb out of this hole that OCD dug. brush us off and make our legs move forward.

So, I've come to the Mom Cave to gather myself.

While I set to the task of rising above all this, I have one simple request. Heaven Above, please divert our younger son from taping another episode of "Autism with the Stars" today!

In true fashion, our younger son has enjoyed wrapping his creativity around the crisis that was unfolding in our house by inventing this program and taping us on his brother's iPad.

That iPad is always in my face. I feel like I'm living with the paparazzi.

"And here, ladies and gentlemen, is mom," he said as he approaches me with the device. "She might look normal now, but stick around. She'll be breathing fire pretty soon."

Lovely. I guess that makes me one of the "Stars".

"And next we will approach my brother..."

Seriously? Is this really the thing to do when your brother is lying on the floor and screaming for the car? Does it really seem like the right thing to do is to stick that camera up in HIS face?

It was like a scene from a comic book. Older son yelling his head off. Mom trying to put together a picture schedule to show older son when he can go in the car. Older son turns up the volume when he sees it isn't going to happen soon. All the while, younger son is filming us and planting things in front of his brother to tempt him to showing his autism more.

A pencil. A crayon. Chalk. Oh, gosh, that chalk. Put any one of these things in front of them and just TRY to count to ten before it gets eaten.

There it is: younger son exploiting his brother for personal enjoyment. This is going nowhere fast.

"If you don't watch," I told him. "I'm going to turn your entertainment show into a public service announcement where you will talk about the good qualities of autism so that everyone can learn from you."

I'll admit, the good qualities were heavily veiled by the events of the past two weeks, but my threat did the trick. The iPad has been put down and our younger son's film making aspirations are on hold as he ponders whether he wants to be spokesperson for autism.

So,here I sit in the Mom Cave, finally giving our younger son some thought since his brother is not taking all of my energy. And, I'm wondering if "Autism with the Stars" isn't more of an expression of how crazy our younger son has seen life in this house.

Living with high functioning autism himself, he is also a sibling to autism, which is never an easy thing. If I feel battle weary from the events of the past couple weeks, I wonder how HE is doing? I wonder if HE feels any resentment/frustration about his brother.

I guess I'll not know until I ask. Where is that iPad? I'm about to head out to the family room where our young creator/director is and watch the show with him. Perhaps I will learn a thing or two.


  1. Your younger son seems to be acting like a 'normal' sibling--trying to get his brother's goat, so to speak...I realize that this is only making things worse and I, myself, have to deal with this on a daily basis. Not so much from my daughter but from my oldest and youngest sons who both just seem to know what will set Bear off into a rage.

    My oldest seems to harbor the most resentment towards living with autism in his life (and I think honestly, he's an undiagnosed Aspie himself). He's mad that the same rules don't apply sometimes, that parenting strategies differ, that we have to deal with screaming fits both in public and behind closed doors. It's not fun and I know it's something that I'll never completely understand from his perspective.

  2. Same here. I don't think I will ever understand our younger son's perspective. And, I sure don't want to take for granted that he can process what we have difficulty processing ourselves. I hope you are right and find out that he was just being an ornery sibling. However, I feel compelled to ask...

  3. I also appreciate hearing your experience. Thanks for that!