For those who have been following my son’s ABA saga… join me in a fist pump, please!
A girlfriend, whose son has also been receiving ABA from the same vendor, and who has also decided to stop receiving the service at the end of this month, told me some heartening info this morning.
Let me back up…the tutor who fired Nik is also my girlfriend’s son’s tutor. Apparently her son is not quite as much of a handful as mine, so she didn’t fire him! In one of life’s funny coincidences, this tutor also shadows a client (a little boy with autism) at Nik’s preschool. The school that Nik just started going to on June 2. I ran into her at drop-off one morning and was a little taken aback to see her, and then remembered that my friend had mentioned this to me.
Anyway, the tutor told my friend today that she was so impressed with Nik, and that he was so obedient and did everything the teachers asked of him and that she was amazed. My friend just nodded and agreed. The tutor’s supervisor, who was present at this conversation said, “Well, that’s typical, they are always different when the parents aren’t around.” My friend just smiled.
Really? They perform well for the teachers and not the parents? I’ve heard that about neurotypical kids, but definitely not about autistic children! If that were the case, why would we have aides shadowing them around the classroom, and why would we need special ed classes, etc.? Hmmm. I’m not saying that Nik is neurotypical, but to dismiss his compliance (one of their annoying words) in school as nothing much…makes my blood boil.
Sour grapes, much?
So Nik’s way of saying that he doesn’t want to do something is to make that thing sad.
If he doesn’t want to go to school: “Ms. Lisa’s SAD! I don’t want to see her. She’s sad.”
Or swim lessons: “Libbeth (Elizabeth!) is SAD, mom! We no want to go swim lessons!”
Not sure how that started!
Nik is sitting behind me, reading a toy catalog. After telling me very seriously that “We need to go to the store and get all these toys. We need more toys,” he moved onto a back-and-forth with himself. I’m guessing he found the page with the dinosaurs?
“Hi! Who are you?”
“I’m the diver.”
“Oh, you’re the diver?”
“Who are you?”
“I’m the sharptooth”
“Oh, you’re the sharptooth? Where are you going?”
“I’m going to bite the dinosaurs.”
I got my hair cut last night. This morning, Nik takes a look at it and says, “Mommy, did you get a lollipop?”
I was looking at a blog I had started a long time back and which had one solitary post. I only wrote once, because it then seemed so futile, and almost self-defeating, because I felt worse after I wrote it. And the days, weeks, months, passed. And here we are today.
I read that post again and cried remembering the person I was then, what I was going through, the unknown laid out in front of her. Because while what I wrote seems innocuous enough, reading it made me re-live those days.
[Bunbun was my nickname for Nik, and Tutu was Anju’s]
We are lying in bed this morning, Nik and Anju climbing all over me, trying to wake me up. After a while they start picking on each other. Cries ensue (from Anju). I tell Nik, “Please be kind to your sister. Can you be kind?”
Nik thinks for a bit and then says, “Kind. She’s kind-a sad.”
Prizes all around to those who can guess the subject matter of this post!
My brother-in-law offered to watch Nik (not Anju, since she is so unpredictable!) while my sister, Anju and I went over to a friend’s house for a bit. Within a half hour of us being gone, my sister started receiving a series of frantic phone calls, asking when we were coming back. No real reason was given.
When we got home, my brother-in-law said, “I didn’t know that Nikky didn’t know how to clean his bum!”
I had completely forgotten about Nik possibly wanting to go to the bathroom while I was gone!
This is how it went down… Nik said he wanted to go, and all was good. Then K realized that he was going poops. After he was done, K handed him some toilet paper, and Nik took it and dropped it in the toilet. K handed him some more toilet paper, and Nik dropped it in the toilet.
K quickly figured out that Nik had no idea what to do!
And manned up and taught his nephew how to wipe and drop, and repeat until there was no more stuff on the paper.
Also, good training for later.
When my sister and brother-in-law were in town…
We were sitting around the kitchen table eating and talking, when my brother-in-law gave my sister a big hug and kiss. Nik looked at them, wide-eyed, and then with a big smile on his face, said: “Whassat?!”
We laughed, but then we laughed even harder when I said: “He’s never seen that around here before!”
Sad but true.