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My kiddo when he was doing homework
Raising a child with autism is a series of challenges. Parents get flustered and we are no exception. Yes, I've been an advocate for education on autism but that doesn't make me more than human or immune to stress and frustration.
It's easier to give advice on someone else's child because you can almost do it with a clearer head and a different point of view. But that's why we have a community isn't it? So let me bring you up to date.
Last week my son was grounded from his DS games for three days because of lying. He accepted that up front but got up in the middle of the night and stole his DS back from our bedroom. For that, he lost it until the 1st of July (with a vacation right around the corner). I warned him if he did that again, he couldn't take his DS on vacation. We spent the day talking about it and doing what is right. That very night, he stole it again.
I hid the DS in a new place that truly confounded him. We woke up at 2 am with him in our closet looking for it.
To stop that behavior we removed the DS from the house, but a new situation came up. It was 10:30 or so at night and we were in the opposite end of the house watching television when I got a phone call. It was the stepfather of one of my son's friends (not keep in mind my son's 10 years old). My son was standing in his friend's driveway on the opposite side of the block from us. I couldn't believe it. I went straight to his room and sure enough, he wasn't there. He had climbed out his bedroom window and left. We didn't hear a thing and no one saw anything either. I went and picked him up.
How did he manage a window with a six foot drop? His bed was how he reached the window and pushed out the screen. My mountain bike was parked under the outside of the window and that's how he got down. He was lucky, way too lucky to describe. The following morning we went into protocol mode. Call the therapists office and report to his psych dr, get his counselor and a police officer to come over and talk to him about how dangerous it was for a child in his pajamas to run off at night.
He hasn't run off again, but he's still getting up at night and getting into mischief. He snuck his laptop into his room and has gotten candy. The candy is no big deal but we are worried for his safety so there are rounds of us playing guard duty. His bedroom has been completely rearranged so there's no more reaching that window. I need to be taking his shoes and sandals at night. And I've set up a table in the living room so I can be right in sight of him while working at my computer instead of being in the office.
We've already received lots of wonderful advice. Good friend Neil from facebook suggested that his DS may have become his special interest and therefore as powerful as a stim behavior for him. Taking it away makes him too unbalanced. I missed that thought and thank Neil for pointing it out. So a new schedule is under way. He's saying he needs more of us. He's not throwing violent tantrums or anything like that.
But even an advocate can get flustered and need advice. No one is perfect.
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