Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Joseph having a rough patch

This is a venting post.

Joseph's been having a rough patch. He just refuses to do what we ask. It has taken a turn for the worse in the past few months. Only change I can see is that we are letting him have more TV time at home.

I have trouble with him in the store. He lays on the floor and makes Joseph noises. (For those of you that don't know Joseph, it is kind of a loud chirp--not words, not crying, but clearly complaining and he gets the message across that he is mad...)

He likes the bluetooth connection in my new car. So he wants to push the buttons and call someone. If I don't let him, he complains. He wants the cart to move constantly in the store. If I stop to actually shop, he complains. He wants all the seat belts just the right way in the back seat. If Alex moves one, he complains.

The behavior specialist wants me to negotiate a reward for good behavior before we get in the car and before we go in the store. If he misbehaves, no reward and I should ignore the bad behavior. Either pick him up off the floor, or stand in the store with my back to him while he lays on the floor and fusses. She tells me to print little cards to hand to the strangers that look at us as they walk by explaining that he is autistic and that we are working with him under the supervision of a psychologist and to go to Autism if they have questions... Picking him up, matter-of-fact and moving on is really my only option. However, 65 lbs of squirming boy is not always the best for my back.

All of that is fine in theory, but in practice, nearly impossible.

The sound of Joseph complaining isn't that bad, but as a constant companion in the car or the store, or for that matter the house, it gets old. Hence, the TV at home. I started letting him watch so that he would be happy at home--and not constantly complaining, fussing, picking fights with Alex, or climbing on top of the tallest furniture in the house...

Anyway. I'm getting desperate enough that reading Jerry's post today about the dairy free--gluten free diet and his son made me think we should try it again. I know we gave it a good try. I know how hard it is to follow the diet and how easy it was to convince ourselves that it was helping him. But, then, we took him off of it and saw no change... I don't want to try another medication. I don't think this is a medication issue. I think this is all behavior. I think Joseph knows exactly what he is doing because he can start and stop the behaviors at will. Given the right reward, he stops. The problem is, I'm not supposed to offer a reward after the behavior starts, only before! If I offer a reward after the behavior starts, I'm teaching him to throw a fit because then I offer some treat... Argh.

Like I said--A venting post.

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