Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hide N Go Seek: Autism Style

 It's happening again. J is wanting to play hide n go seek. He doesn't hide, nor do I. It's objects around the house that disappear. 
 Yesterday during our Friday date night, which doesn't happen very often and consists of husband, son and I, we stopped by the local book store. I purchased a copy of The Autism File, a quarterly magazine that I would love to read more but it's mostly above my budget. The fall issue discusses home schooling, diet, respite care, and other subjects. This was at least one time when it was good to purchase it. At the back of the magazine is an essay written by a woman known only as "Spectrum Mummy". 
  Spectrum Mummy wrote of her son, who has a passion for hiding things behind couches, in forgotten corners, and, his favorite spot, over the fence into the neighbors' yards. So far J has yet to send things over a fence, but other than that I could have written the article. J hasn't seen an empty corner yet that he doesn't try to fill with something in this house. And he also throws things out the window. Plates, silverware, clothes, even light bulbs have been found outside beneath a window. I don't understand the behavior except that it seems to be in his mind a way of keeping order. The light bulbs? That one still has me scratching my head. For whatever reason he does not believe that light bulbs belong anywhere in the house. He takes them out of the sockets (a HUGE incentive to never ever ever have fluorescent bulbs around for safety reasons alone) and throws them out the window. If there are theories on this behaviour i'd love to hear them.
  No matter what he's doing he keeps me busy and intrigued. What goes through his mind? What do the neighbors think? One I don't think we've met even though we've lived here for two years now I think. The one closest to us seems to understand.  Whatever the case, I'm happy he hasn't really chosen to do the hide and seek bit at any other home. Well... not anymore. He has left a few surprises now and again at his Granny's house. Unless the hidden object has Elvis plastered on there somewhere, she's usually good about it.
  I've learned that it does no good to get angry when he does this. I tell him not to do it again and I try to show him where things belong. Over and over. Repetition is the key. Frustration only begets frustration. If taught in love, he will eventually get it. If yelled at in anger, he shuts down. He's no different than the rest of us in that respect. 
 So, there you have it. that is the reason there are rubber ducks and women's underpants and who knows what else under my windows as you drive by the house. I'll be outside in just a bit to collect the treasures. 

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