Double Delayed Reaction (#363)

Charlie’s initial “I’ll go along with it, it’s fine” reaction has often given away a few days later to “well, now that you know me better, I’m still getting used to this…..” And, as anticipated, a week and a half into the new school and Charlie is having a delayed reaction to all the changes.
(I have not been able to post about Charlie as I have every night for the last year because my father-in-law does not have an internet connection—-with the result that I have been writing as fast as I can in my office or a library or wherever before my habitual rush home to greet Charlie’s bus.)

Charlie had a rougher day at school than he has been yesterday. He said “suit on” as soon as got home, then looked serious when I reminded him that he first had an ABA session, with the therapist who gives him all the piggy back rides. After doing very well on his sight words and alphabet, Charlie began to look a bit haunted when the lawn mower company came to mow the lawn and—-once Charlie got stuck on one of his language programs—-he stayed anxious, if not flummoxed, and the therapist gently told him they would do “two more things” only. Charlie already had his swim suit on and we headed over to the pool, only to discover that the snack bar had closed, leaving a woebegone chorus of boys: “I didn’t get my ice cream!” Charlie himself was sad but stayed calm and went back to the diving board and the deep end, in whose waters he did his first 360-degree flip of the 2006 swim season.

He was worried not to find Jim home yet after the pool—-Jim had gone with Grandpa to visit Grandma in the hospital, which is a bit of a ride away.

I heard a certain single clank: Porcelain (the toilet’s) striking porcelain. I ran in to find that Charlie had indeed “gone into the bathroom” but his mind had told him to get moving a few seconds too late after his stomach had said “NOW!”

It was a double delayed reaction.

1) Charlie’s mind had responded with a slight but significant delay to what was going on with his body; 2) Charlie’s lapse in his bathroom routine is, I think, a sign of him responding to Too Much Going On.

Because there is too much going on—–not the least being the end of the regular school year on Friday and the start of summer school next Wednesday with a new teacher. And when, like Charlie, you don’t have the words like “I miss it!” “I miss them!”, feelings and thoughts will out somehow.

When I got into the bathroom , Charlie was already dunking his underwear in the toilet and looking, yes, woebegone.

This kid tries so hard.

This morning, Charlie woke up in his new bed with a certain sweet smile. I have been finding that he does better when I speak as minimally as possible when he first gets up—-when I say just the essentials; pointing to what to do using his picture schedule has been more effective. But Charlie had plenty to say:

“Time geddup!”

“Shirt backwards on, arrrsssz up!”


“Time too gedd-upppppp!”

It was a short litany of many morning phrases that, I have come to realize, I have over-used to get Charlie moving in the morning.

Charlie rolled off the bed, up the stairs, onto the bus after taking a few turns around the front lawn.

I stood in my in-laws’ driveway for several moments after the bus had turned the corner.

5 Responses to “Double Delayed Reaction (#363)”
  1. gretchen says:

    Henry has had a couple accidents this week also, and I thought the same thing you did: a reaction to all the changes.

    You are all going through a lot. My thoughts are with you.

    (Do you think you’ll get internet service soon?)

  2. bethduckie says:

    Alex does this too, and like Charlie the more stressed he is the less able he is to hear his bodily signals on time.

    Alex is quite verbal in the mornings. He says ‘Not getting up. More sleep. Mummy go away’ and so on. Heh… I know how he feels, only I say those things to the alarm clock.

    It sounds like Charlie is coping really well with all the changes.

  3. Lisa says:

    Yes–less auditory barrage worked well for us when Philip was little. Now that he’s a strapping almost 8th grader (wow–when did *that* happen!), I still use non-verbal communication when he’s upset. A short hand written note is often far more effective than any amount of talking.

    Hugs to you and Charlie.

  4. He’ll be back on track. Sam went through a spurt a couple weeks ago (of course, he has only mastered the potty for 3 months though), and I was concerned because he started to not even care if he was soaking to his socks. Luckily it was only during that week.

    So proud of how Charlie is doing otherwise. Really impressed with how he is handling EVERYTHING. New house, new bus, new routine, new times. Wow! He is so sweet!!

  5. Thanks so much, commadres!

    I do think there’s something about the “gut-brain” connection—–and the pictures and (my) minimal speech again worked well this morning.

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