No TGIF in Autismland (#320)

I think I have caught something from Charlie:

Which is to say, starting around Thursday afternoon, I have been starting to worry about the approach of the weekend, in step with Charlie. And while he made it through the gray and heavy air of yesterday with flying colors and words, Charlie woke up around 6.30am this morning sniffling and crawled into bed with his dad. He stayed there curled up tightly for over an hour. At school, he kept asking for “sleeps” and putting his head down–and sent another hamburger flying off the table (his teacher surmised he does not like to eat it cold)–and otherwise worked hard and well. It was the same at his home ABA session: Charlie was clearly tired and kept poking at his nose, but still roused himself to do his reading programs, and to run out to check out the therapist’s car.

We went on a less-long-than-usual walk after which Charlie looked at me and said “b’ack car. Bwown noodohs.” It has become our Friday family habit to have dinner at a local noodle shop and Jim and I can never decide, are we “feeding” some obsession in Charlie that could lead to trouble?

I mean, we enjoy eating dinner there too.

It was 4.03pm when Charlie and I returned from the walk and Jim’s train was not due till ten minutes after 7.00pm. I pulled out my plastic box of schedule-card pictures and laid out “what we have to do and THEN brown noodles and Daddy.”

“Daddy,” said Charlie.

His expression was very serious, but Charlie got through a trip to Barnes and Noble to get end-of-year presents for his teacher, six teaching assistants, OT, SLP, curriculum director/BCBA, and school director. We stopped at our local Krauszers and then home to wait on the couch, read a bit of a book on the porch, run on the grass. And, finally, as 6.45pm approached, back in the car.

We were just walking away from the parked black car when the car alarm went off and I had to go back and shut it off. Charlie stood frozen to see me re-enter the car and, five seconds after I re-emerged, his pupils became huge, he stiffened his index fingers into a particular pattern, and down he flopped.

Either Charlie’s control is becoming such that the flopping was slower and less forceful, or I have become particularly adept at position myself beneath a flailing boy, but he was soon back on his feet and I was squatting before him.

“We have to calm down first.”

“Cahm down.”

“Calm down first for a bit and then we can really enjoy the brown noodles. The dinner.”

“Bwown noodohs. Dinn-errr.” Silent waaaaahhhh.

“You can do it, sweetie.”

Pause, teary eyes, random people who had looked up at Charlie’s screech very focused on their newspapers or the sidewalk. Charlie started to hyperventilate.

“Big hug!”

It was a spontaneous request; it was a call for deep pressure; it was a channeling of Tinky-Winky.

It was the beginning of a most peaceful Friday dinner of salad and noodles and Dad running in from the train to join us.

Charlie fell asleep with his right hand gripping his photo schedule.

6 Responses to “No TGIF in Autismland (#320)”
  1. KC'sMommy says:

    Hi Kristina,
    Awesome job Charlie!!! A spontaneous request! Wow Kristina, Charlie is doing so well with his language! I am ever so happy for both of you!


  2. rachael says:

    I really enjoyed this passage. Glad to hear about the spontaneous language. Being a therapist, I DON’T think that you are feeding into anything by going to the noodle place every friday. I mean, we ALL have our favorite places to be and our favorite things to eat. 😉

  3. Laura says:

    Super mom job on a Mothers Day weekend! I say let the noodles happen. I too worry about adding things to routines and schedules for fear of their permanance. But, what a wonderful thing to add, a family meal together at a place where everyone enjoys!

  4. Mamaroo says:

    Hope you are all enjoying the weekend as best you can despite all you have on your minds.


  5. zilari says:

    I’m not sure if I’m missing something here, but shouldn’t this be entry number #320? Unless it was actually written earlier and you’re just posting it now.

  6. Zilari, yes, it’s #320! Fixed it.

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