Monday, 6 April 2015

Back to Basics. Again.

Easter break hasnt been good.  The issues we've had before have intensified and become more stressful, probably due to lack of routine. Hormones aren't helping because its harder for him to control all of his emotions at once, he is very tearful and everything all together is making him so frustrated and therefore angry and aggressive.  After a few meetings and me wanting to hold off introducing more medication I agreed to go back to visual schedules for everything as well as new reward charts. 

I don't know why 'm always surprised when it comes back to this, I've been using them for years and theres still a load in every room in the house that I dont even notice. Visitors to this house get reminded on how many sheets of toilet paper to use before wiping, flushing and to wash their hands. 
So Im back to using pecs for every activity throughout our day. Thank god I kept them all. But of course my laminator has disappeared. No one tells you you'll still be using these schedules as they get older. It kind of makes me sad to think he may still rely on this when hes 16 or 17. When he should be out with friends, instead hes checking what happens after lunch, looking for reassurance in a picture schedule.

Because he is becoming so angry and unpredictable we also have the famous reward charts back in place. Three tokens in a day for following his rules and he gets a great reward! It doesnt matter if hes done other stuff, if hes followed these rules he gets that special reinforcer.  The problem? He doesnt care! There are no more reinforcers.  I can gently remind him, oh but you only have one more token and you get X, your being so good, remember X and he doesnt care in the slightest. Even if its the reinforcer he chose himself. How do you work with that? 

I am so mentally and physically drained from this. I have a ten year old boy, with the hormones and body of a fourteen year old and the emotional stability of a five year old. He is getting so angry and so upset and I have no way of helping him. He is so confused and stressed and all I can do is wait until he's calm enough to hug him while he cries, if he even lets me hug him.  Hard to celebrate autism awareness month when in my house Autism SUCKS!!!