Sigh... Once again I'm hearing the sound of bath water running. I think it's his third one today. I'm so not looking forward to the water bill next month. You know my dream home comes with a well, right? Preferably a deep one.
For a child or young adult with autism, water can be an essential calming tool. I know I relax when I get a chance to settle into the tub for an hour or three with a book and a glass of iced tea. That happens for me very very rarely. But for J? At least once a day he's in there relaxing. Works for me. Hey, life is stressful enough when you're NT (neurologically typical); bills, the economy, making sure to get food on the table, yada yada yada. For someone with autism, especially one who is nonverbal (this does *not* equal quiet by any means in this household!), life can be frustrating. Sometimes the communication just is not getting across to get his needs/ wants met. Or he's been asked to do something he doesn't really want to do. Or... any number of things could happen during a day. Sometimes it could be just plain boredom that sends him off to play in the water.
The home we now live in is in the town limits with very little yard space so a pool is out of the question, even the little kiddie pool that could be used to splash around in. Never mind the fact that its getting a little too coolish to be in a pool most days. I would love to set him up with swimming lessons but there are a few problems with that at the moment, the biggest being one car and hubby's schedule changes weekly. Finding someone qualified and patient enough to teach him to swim could prove daunting as well.
Every now and again I get the idea that it would be wonderful to teach him to do dishes since he likes playing in water. That fun lasts about a minute and a half and he's off to some other adventure. We're going to continue working on that one, however, because he needs to learn skills that would make him more independent.
Water blasters are fun on some days during the summer, but he likes getting blasted more than he likes actually doing the water blasting. I think we'll continue working on that one in warmer months as well.
I think I've found the perfect job for him though, at least in theory. You know the carnival game where someone sits on a platform above a tank of water and people pay to throw balls to knock the person into the water? It involves water and sitting, two of his favorite activities. Perfect! So now you know where to turn if you're doing a carnival as a fundraiser and need a mermaid (merman?) for the dunk tank.