Without Warning today Mike's behaviors came full circle.
If you have read my books on Autism and our family you are well aware that we have had some huge hurdles with behaviors. We have had many a dark day with explosive behaviors from Mike. This was a couple of years ago and after a Behaviorist who works primarily with Autistic children intervened we found our groove. That groove first and foremost was Mike, then his dad and me, and his teaching staff.
Mike really made tremendous turns in his behaviors and given the tools to manage them we were on a calmer path. Calmer at home almost always, that I entered a far to comfortable position I realize today.
The end of the school year is fast approaching, only a couple of weeks left. Mike is no different then other students, he is getting anxious for the school year to end. He feels the change in the air and knows that summer is upon us. I have noticed a bit of apprehension the past month or so each morning. He is less then eager to get out of bed and get dressed. He drags a bit more in the morning and is a bit agitated when I put his shoes on and we walk to bus in the morning. Even with this, we did manage to go on with our day, he at school learning and I at home trying to get much needed work done. Summer is soon here and my time to work gets very limited. When summer school break is here, my job is Mike and Mike only. I manage our home, Mike, two Labradors, 4 acres of property ( Jim does the mowing when he can, other wise, I hire someone), a large vegetable garden, swimming lessons, summer school, a older son off to college often still needs mom, and all the daily living that come with a special needs child. I have no free time, I sleep very little. I need to have all my ducks in a row when school break starts. My time for writing is very limited. Mike takes a set of eyes on him at all times.
I am rambling here off course of the premise of my blog here today.
To cut to the chase here- this morning when I got Mike up or I should say attempted to get Mike up this morning our fate was already in motion.
Mike was having no part of going to school today. He was angered and let me know it for an hour and a half strait. He hissed at me, put his hand in the air many times as if to warn me that he might strike. He refused to get dressed. He yelled "no dressed" "no school" on and off for an hour and a half. He was angry about everything. From the breakfast I made ( the same as every day for 7 years ) to the movie I started for him in the dining room for him to eat and watch. Nothing I did was right. If I spoke soft and quiet as not to agitate, he was mad that I spoke soft. When I spoke in a normal tone, he was mad. If I raised my voice as his was so loud, he was just as mad as when I spoke soft.
It was a battle that had no winners. I walked away several times to cool off but he followed me to continue the fight. I had to get him dressed first. I tried all my old tricks, talking to him about it, helping him calmly -- this most often works. Not today. I allowed him time to get dressed on his own. No go there. I also knew this, he had to get dressed and go to school. He was not ill, we had not been up all night so he was tired. He was drawing a line in the sand with me and daring me to cross it. The look in his eyes was "game on". It is a look that I have not seen in a long time but recognized it when he showed it to me. I got him dressed and he fought me every step of the way.
Mike is a fast learner and never, ever forgets anything. If he does something once and has the outcome he wanted, consider it will be used the next time. Breaking a habit or redirecting a behavior is a must at our house. Often it gets worse before it gets better.
After an hour and a half of a tough time I got Mike to the bus. He still did not want to go and he began to cry. His face was so sad and alligator tears were free flowing. The look on the bus drivers face spoke of compassion to him. She was so sad for him and tried as I did to console him. He hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I held it all in and wished him a good day and said I would take care of his toys while he was gone ( a job he gave me years ago & reminds me I have each and every day when he leaves for school ). I shut the door to the bus, turned and walked away back to the house. As tough as I had to be for him the moment I turned around I broke out in tears. Each step closer to the house the more they flowed. Two eager and happy Labs greeted me when I walked in the door. They also have a routine that they need from me. They get their breakfast when I return from putting Mike on the bus.
I managed to stop my crying to call his teacher. By this time Mike had arrived at school, still crying and they were also questioning what was the matter. We spoke, I told her we had a really tough morning, one we have not had in a very long time. I told her the easy way out was to keep him home and start another problem come Monday. She agreed and said I had done the right thing as hard as it is. I told her I would gladly come get him if they thought it was best. I called later again a few hours later. He had pulled it all together and was doing OK, not great, but OK. He seemed to be having a downer day and just was sad.
I walked into the sun room and just sat on the floor. I cried and cried and the dogs tried their best to comfort me. The sooner I pull it together the sooner they get fed. I sat there almost crippled and weak. I could hardly get up about a half an hour later. I was exhausted. I have not had this type of exhaustion for a long time. A mental drain that can really take me down.
I finally got myself up, attend to the dogs then ventured to Mike's room. His room is always in need of my attention. Mike loves things. Toys, pictures, his drawing, his movies, his books and a zillion other things I seems. He loves to have them where he can see them and touch them. The theory of everything has it place and everything in it's place is not something Mike can do. He wants everything around him and in his sight and within reach. I have to organize it often and put some type of order to it. It is not messy just unbelievably cluttered.
I spent about a half and hour in his room. I have to say he does have some really cool things for a kid. He loves his laptop and had really been busy creating his room of organized kayos. Maybe the issue was he just did not want t leave it today. I know he would rather do what he freely is allowed to do on the weekends, his own thing. He watches movies, is always busy on this computer, he draws, plays with his toys, creates these little pods of special things in a organized way I will never understand. It is his way and we let him do his thing on the weekend. Maybe he just needed the weekend to start this morning and not at the end of the school day. I will never know. I just know it was a horrible morning. I am proud that he managed a good day at school with no further behaviors at school.
He arrived home looking tired, we both were at the same "event" this morning. I was wiped out, I am sure he was also. I kept busy the rest of the day. It is to hard on me when I get so upset to just sit and stew. My mind gets the best of me, I ponder and most often come to the conclusion that I am a horrible mother and rotten wife. Who needs that stuck in their head. Had the morning gone a more positive way I would have thought I was fantastic. I prefer fantastic over failure any day.
It's almost five o'clock in the evening. When I am stressed I clean, my house looks fabulous for the weekend. I also like to organize when I am stressed. I cleaned my desk that was in great need of attention. I cleaned the refrigerator and shopped to stock it. I did laundry and swept the garage. Something I never do, Jim does. I thought of my Mike and had a few tears along the way. Life can be tough, a type of tough if you do not have a Autistic child or a special needs child you will never understand. It's OK, I never understood until I had my Mike.
We survived and will have a enjoyable weekend. I will hope for the best for Monday morning, but will be more prepared should it turn again. Getting to comfortable in any situation most often leads to a bite in the a**. Let's just say, I am sitting on it right now, it is not as sore as it was this morning.
Mike is already in this pj's. He put them on as soon as he got home from school. It is his way of telling me that he has no plans to leave and wants to stay home. He hugged me when he got home. I said I was sorry for the hard morning. He said he was sorry also. He demanded his snack, and has "retired" to his room. He is busy and wishes to be left alone. I went in a bit ago, sat on his bed. He got up, came to me and showed me some of his toys. He then went back to doing his thing and I have respectfully left him alone. As he wishes. He had earned it after the day he has also had.
I love him so very much.............................