Friday, September 12, 2008
smooth sailing
So in the end everything turned out fine for Alec. Dealing with things can be emotionally draining for me until I get totally overwhelmed and dissolve into a blubbering pool of goo. I had to write some things about Alec for his new occupational therapist, I so miss our therapists from the centre but you have to move on. I fret that new therapists wont understand him or dismiss things about him, so today I thought I would just share a few things with you about Alec that I wrote. We are doing up a booklet together with his teacher and aide so as he moves through school or comes across new teachers they can learn all about Alec from his book.

  • A lot of the things Alec likes also give him comfort. They act as a buffer against hard situations, when he is confused or hurt. At the top of the list are Alec’s animal print fleece blanket and his Thomas pillow. To stop Alec pulling the stuffing from his pillow we sewed it inside a pillowcase so he couldn’t work at it. This is mainly because Alec has had a tendency to put things in his ears and nose, the greatest concern now are things going in his mouth. We don’t have any small balls or marbles in the house as these are things he seems to like to mouth the most.

  • Each day Alec selects something he likes to keep close to him, his most common choice is lego, and he likes to make laser guns and spaceships from lego. This is also something he likes because it keeps him from having to touch other things; it acts as a barrier and a companion. We negotiate with him as to what he can bring with him on outings, we try to have him keep them in the car but when he is playing army guys he liked to bring his boots, backpack and rifle with him.

  • When we go to a restaurant we take Alec’s laptop and a game for him to play. We do this as otherwise he is unable to stay and one of us has to go and sit in the car with him (we have done this many times). Alec is assaulted by noise and smells and finds the situation unbearable and gets very distressed. We take the headphones for the computer and this allows Alec to block everything else out and for us to be able to go out as a family.

  • Alec likes plans, especially advanced plans, we always need to make sure we follow through as he remembers everything; Alec has used his memory as a coping device. By knowing what is going to happen he is prepared. This can be something like informing him when a teacher or aide aren’t going to be present or for something like using the oven timer to let him know certain things are going to be happening soon. We use the timer for turn taking, bed time and when we are going out, so when something is going to happen we tell Alec so he knows when the timer goes off he must do something.

  • When Alec speaks to people he likes to be touching them. Direct body to body contact isn’t unusual and he will also touch and pull on peoples clothes. He is attracted to buttons and jewellery. He has trouble determining his turn and will try and interrupt, to get attention he moves in close and touches.

  • Alec has a little brother Riley, they are best friends and play amazingly well together. When they grow up they want to be dads and have lots of kids so they can hold their hands and take them to play at the park together. They also like to go on safari, this has been an ongoing game for the last 18 months, they also like to do star wars and stargate safari’s.Alec and Riley love star wars and will start watching the movie then sit and play star wars scenes on the mat in the tv room. They love to rescue people.

  • Alec’s coordination has always been poor so we signed him up for soccer this year. The first game he jerkily ran from one end to the other not quiet there but flapping his hands laughing and smiling, over the next 18 weeks each week his coordination improved to the extent that he has scored 6 goals this season, even getting two goals in one game. This has been a huge confidence boost to him and he has loved soccer
I love Friday's, it seems like many burdens are lifted. This weekend we have our last soccer day, an afternoon carnival on Saturday and then Sunday morning I am sleeping in!!


Blogger Lissy said...
So glad all was well in the end :) Hope you have recovered! And you forgot to add that Alec has GREAT parents :)

Blogger muirwoodsue said...
Big Hugs to you! It's so hard having a child with autism. As lissy said - you are such a wonderful parent.