I Can Fly (#394)

Today brought another flying hamburger. And a flying pot of rice, flying fries at the pool (after which Charlie cried out and jumped in the water), and a frantic boy flying across the back seat of my car and requiring me to pull over, turn off the engine, and hold Charlie’s hand excruciatingly tight. Each of these “behavior squalls” lastest a total of two minutes—well, the one in the car went on for ten—and then there was my boy of summer smiling at me, relieved that the thunder inside him was over.
Yes, Charlie had a bunch of “tantrums” or “behaviors” this afternoon and evening, most about food and, in particular, about “scripts” or routines—rituals, really—that he has about his food. I suspect that there is a particular way he likes to break up the hamburger or spoon out the rice and this did not happen and, with a cry, there flew the food and Charlie was up and running, distraught. When he was younger, I think Charlie cried because he was upset over not getting to eat his food; now, I suspect he also feels—as Alexander’s daddy noted that his son does—sorry.

And, no, this was not a “bad day” at all here in Autismland. Charlie’s school day was, his teacher wrote, “stellar” (like yesterday). They have been steadily increasing demands on Charlie; he is working with a new instructor (a guy); Charlie again did well in his small language group, attending to instructions delivered to a group of children and not just to him, individually. There were screams and things got thrown and I had to hang onto Charlie more than once, but these happened, these passed, and he and I moved on to the next thing: A ride in the black car; grinning eagerly at the very mention of his ABA therapist’s name; grinned eagerly at the very mention of his ABA consultant’s name; swimming and being okay with the diving board not being open; doing his 60-piece Noah’s Ark puzzle before crawling into bed.
Indeed, so much happened this afternoon that I completely forgot until Jim reminded me that Charlie had woken at 4.45am and come jumping, grinning, and laughing into our bed, and not gone back to sleep—he ate his breakfast early, put on his own backpack, and ran to get on that yellow school bus.

With everything that had happened today, it was quite fortunate that I was able to speak extensively to Charlie’s ABA consultant. We have known her for a good year now and, even though tough things happened today, she pointed out that, a year ago, tough things were happening every day for Charlie and nothing had changed—–and here was everything (school, home, the people he lives with) changed for Charlie and today the first “tough day”—-not that you would have known it from the way Charlie called out “I want see!” and the name of his therapist, or laughed at me “wahn puss swinng!” over and over as he rose up into the air.

As he flew, over and above the dross and mess of the day.

Funny how one gentle smile from Charlie clears it all away.

6 Responses to “I Can Fly (#394)”
  1. Rose says:

    Good Lord is he growing. I love the pictures.

    I knew I would like this post from the title. You don’t disappoint, Kristine!

    Sounds like he is getting some mighty powerful language…”I want…” was Ben’s entry into the world of give-take communication.

    I am more concerned than usual about behaviors, too. The “Godsends”, otherwise referred to as “teacher-aides” mistakenly, said one of the kids spits all the time and it really is a challenge.

    I know getting through to Ben is not a typical thing…he has such a sense of justice and fairness, and so little concern for “title”. It’s like negotiating a peace treaty… or a hostile takeover (his or mine), I’m not sure.

  2. Tara says:

    Good for Charlie! Despite some hiccups, he keeps on moving forward with his day. My husband and I decided last night that perhaps Littleman is getting too much “down time”. I think swimming is definitely on the agenda for us today!!

  3. Kathy says:

    Your gorgeous little Charlie reminds me so much of my little bloke Mark.I can really identify with your writings…
    Love the daily diary
    It’s cold and dry over here in West Oz. Such a contrast to the hot and humid weather you guy’s are having.

  4. “Negotiating a peace treaty”—Rose, that is a great way to put it! Tara, we went to the pool but distant crackles of thunder prevented us from getting in. Hope it was not so where you are! Kathy, great to meet you! How old is Mark? I would much prefer cold and dry right now…….

  5. Kathy says:

    Kristina, Mark is five and a half years old. He is a happy little fella. Of course there are the tantrums at times too. He has had two years of precision teaching( Based on the Ogden Lindsley concept)and at present has a wonderful special needs aide at our local school.He is coming along really well. Still a hard slog though, as you are aware. He’s slightly adhd and has some OCD issues, but we’re working through them. He has that same disarming grin that Charlie displays in your photo of him on the front of your blog…. God bless ’em!

  6. Julia says:

    Sam gets upset about things being wrong with food. He has come to me in tears holding a broken cookie, wanting me to fix it before he eats it. Sometimes other food-related things will throw him into a 4-minute meltdown; I have some of those identified, but am mystified on others.

    We’ve also had bursting into tears for no apparent reason (I’m sure there’s one, or more, that we haven’t been able to identify yet), but a good solid hug accelerates the calming process.

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