Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Autism Easter

It's 6 AM and you wake up on the couch with your body hanging half off of it and your precious 3 1/2 year old with five blankets, a sippy cup, and a few stuffed animals around him is on the couch with you. You have no idea what time it was when you child's body let him go back to sleep after another distasteful night. When he finally closed his precious, beautiful eyes to rest for a few hours, you simply don't have the strength to turn and see what time it is. Instead, you close your eyes and are asleep instantly.

You awake and it is Easter Sunday. Another time where normal families do the fun, relaxing traditions of coloring eggs and egg hunts. You want more than anything for your children to experience those kind of normal traditions that you got to experience as a child. However, you know the chances of having a relaxing holiday is non-existent in the autism world. Instead, they become the days you dread the most.

I have heard numerous time that it is harder on the parents when you have disabled children. I believe this to be true on some days.  When my sleep deprived body woke up, I had hopes of having a good day. My hopes went down the drain very quickly.

Today was the first day in a long time that Trenton was unable to attend church. He had a great morning. It was all going smoothly until he dropped one of his new animal figurines that he got in his Easter basket in the car right when we pulled up to church. If Trenton drops an object while in his car seat, it sends him into a frenzy.  It doesn't matter if you are driving, you have to pull over, get out of your car, and pick up his object that he dropped or it is a huge meltdown. Today, it was a huge meltdown. He got so upset when he dropped his new animal and he could not calm down for almost an hour later. Nana took Trenton home because he was not calming down at church. Mommy stayed behind with Andrew because I can rarely attend night church due to the boys.

At the end of church when Andrew and Mommy was walking out to the car, Andrew saw a lawn mower. Andrew calls a lawnmower a tractor.  He starts screaming, "tractor" over and over and over!!! Well, if Andrew has something on his mind, he has to complete the task that is in his mind or it is a huge tantrum that will continue for over an hour. Andrew wanted to ride the lawnmower that he saw but we obviously could not. Therefore, his tantrum started. He kicked me, hit me, and threw his body around where I could not get him into his car seat. He stiffened his body in a rage of madness. Its behavior that is becoming to norm to me......unfortunately. He had the same autistic meltdown look through his eyes that Trenton has when he is having one. For the majority of neurotypical children, they would clam down and listen to their mother trying to tell them that he could not ride that lawnmower but after lunch you can ride the 4-wheeler. However, if you have an autistic brain......there is NOTHING that will calm the child down. Andrew cried all the way home and until he got his 4-wheeler ride.

After lunch, I tried to have an Easter egg hunt. The egg hunt left a lot to be desired let me tell you. Andrew was oblivious to any eggs. I tried to show him over and over what to do but he was simply in his own world. The egg could have been 1 inch from him but he just stood there. Trenton ran and grabbed a few but he was just obsessed with opening the egg up and not putting the egg in his basket. After Trenton opened up a few eggs, he was in his own world. What remained in our world was a depressed special needs mother in tears asking herself over and over, "why do I even try?"

On Saturday, Nana and I tried to color eggs with the boys. Coloring eggs with the boys was nothing but disappointing. The boys would drop an egg in with guidance. However, they immediately wanted to get the egg out of the dye and smash the egg. They both have sensory issues where they crave to squish food items between their fingers. Squishing food between their fingers meets a tactile sensory problem that they both have. I boiled 13 eggs and I think 5 survived.

No one was in a good mood all day and that was including Mommy! I cried more today than I have in  awhile. I cried for Andrew...I cried for Trenton....I cried for my family....I cried for the normal life that I want my boys to so desperately have.
So yes....on some days it is harder emotionally on the parents than the children. I think these small holidays are going to be like the big holidays where we refuse to participate in anything that is normal!

Andrew rarely looks and smiles at the camera anymore. He was so cute dressed in his cars hat and tshirt but he would not smile at the camera....only a blank look.

 He loves his 4-wheelers!
Coloring eggs

 I wanted to try to get some good Easter pictures today. The below picture says a thousand words. Seriously...look at the boys!!! They are in their own world!!!! We took numerous pictures today and they are all the same...
 This 4 generation picture turned out the best. This picture captures Andrew looking at the camera.

 Trenton received a gift that was too big for his basket.....a mailbox! Trenton loves mailboxes.
 Inside the mailbox was a..........
 Chicken! The boys got chickens for Easter!
 The boys loved the chicken!

 He has to have his fixated obsession objects in his hands at all times.

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