Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Calling An Audible

Do you remember the Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown would go to kick the football and Lucy - who was supposed to be holding it - would always pull it away at the last minute and good ol' CB would fall on his butt?  Nonetheless, he would try and try again....

To paraphrase the great Charles Schulz character....


Once again we have fallen on our proverbial butts with trying to outwit and outlast - but not outplay - Sean and his picking at his arms.

I thought we were making some sense to him, but where the one arm was showing some improvement before, it has now come to match the other.

Whenever Sean tells kids that he has autism, they automatically ask, "What's that?"  I think it's great that they ask.  We always reply that Sean's brain is wired differently - that he thinks differently.

Thus, telling Sean to do or not to do something for some completely logical reason oftentimes doesn't work. 

For example, Sean was extremely reluctant to learn cursive writing.  I don't write anything in cursive except for my signature.  Therefore, I hardly had any legitimate argument with which to arm myself.  However, Sean wants desperately to be independent... TO DRIVE.... ahhhhhh, we had the answer!!!!!  Once we told Sean that he had to learn cursive in order to sign his driver's license - as well as his checks - wha la. 

Issue over.

The key?  Think differently....

I have yet to find the magic words that will stop him from ripping his skin apart.  I truly, truly wish I could.  "They won't let you in the pool."  "Kids will make fun of you."  "Girls won't like you."  And, of course, the harshest of all, "Do you think this is normal?"  Sean wants so badly to be "normal."

He's always picked or fidgeted.  This recent issue with his arms has really gotten out of hand (boy, I wish I could say that was a bad pun but it's become a matter that not even I can find the silver lining for).  He's either grown out of it or we've been able to find that one thing that gets through those pathways in his brain and makes sense to him.

Think differently....

Is this new phase due to stresses from being partially integrated into the local junior high school?  Is it a manifestation of some adolescent issue?  Is it no different than any other phase - simply more noticeable?

I am, for now, at a loss....

But will I get that football out again and give it another try?  Damn straight I will..... but Lucy will have to sit it out on the sidelines.  I have to, after all, think differently....

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