Thursday, July 28, 2011

The OCD mess and siblings

Many days Alvin acts normal. He runs around now more than ever playing with cars, trains or action figures. He even likes to play dress up in our clothes and shoes as well.

Then there are days like this past Sunday when it all falls apart. He has a day where his OCD tendencies get the best of him. We went to see his "uncle" (W's best friend from high school) and his wife along with their new baby girl. He was very excited and thrilled when we got there. Soon after getting there and getting his bearings about him he started playing with cars from the older boys room. He was very picky about how they would be lined up to start a race or how the patteren was when he lined them up nose to tail.

Then Elliot had to join in the party. She started picking on him. I doubt she really meant it, but she was just being herself and wanted to play with anything and everything he put his hands on. Soon it just got to be too much and every time she touched a car a complete meltdown happened. These meltdowns went on the entire time we were there. If Elliot or one of the older boys attempted to move a car out of place it was disaster. Finally we said our goodbyes and started the trip home. The ride home he slept and was generally pretty happy and remained that way until time to go to bed.

Some days I love how Elliot is his best friend and therapy. She is very fiesty and doesn't take no very well. She knows how to push her limits but at the same time loves to cuddle and share her snacks with us or the dog.

Then there are days I wish she understood. I wish she could understand how her brother just needs his space. Its not that he doesn't love her or want to play, he just needs to do his own thing for a while.

One day she will understand. One day I will answer her questions about why her big brother that she loves so much and adores doesn't act like other kids.

But will I need to tell her? Will Alvin at some point get better where she won't notice a difference? Will the OCD part of him become less pronounced to the point that she or anyone else would know?

These are all normal questions for me. Every day that he has a bad OCD kind of day these thoughts creep into my head. I try not to dwell on it and I understand that only time will tell and the best thing I can do, that we all can do is accept him for who he is today and work with him the best we can.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Helicopter Parenting a child with ASD

Helicopter parenting. We have all heard it it and know where it is. Its that parent/parents that follow thier kids all over the play ground.

One day while at the play ground with both kids I realize I have become that parent with Elliot and Alvin both in different ways.

With Elliot its because she is an almost 2 year old little girl that I'm pretty sure thinks she is a 4 year old boy. She is absolutley fearless and will climb on anything and everything around. Last weekend we even caught her climbing a 6 foot ladder trying to get to where she could hang from the monkey bars! I follow her around making sure she doesn't get in too much trouble. At the gym I just let her run. Its a fairly safe environment and she pays attention pretty well during class (for an almost 2 year old) and is generally well behaved.
Group hula hoop activity

Playing with the parachute

Practicing walking on the balance beam by herself!
Swinging around.

Alvin on the other hand is the complete opposite. At the play ground as long as he is in the general area and I can see flashes of him running on the equipment I don't care too much. The gym is another story though. To me the gym is a form of therapy and I tend to make sure he is doing what he should. He is normally pretty good during the warmup and group activity but station work is harder. He is expected to stay with a small group and one teacher and only do the activities at that station. Well for him that is really hard! There are bright colors and other activity going on that its just too hard to resist sometimes. With the gym I do tend to intervene. I have an understanding with the staff that if he gets too distracted that I do walk in and redirect him back to his group. I feel this is important to make sure he at least tries everything.
Group activity on the airtrack.

The gym stations work on specific things that work different motor skills.The other thing that stations do is work on building his confidence to try new things. The specifically challenge him to do more every week and constantly work to remove him from his comfort zone little by little.

The videos below are from show week a few months ago. Even for his routines the instructors are always working to bring him out of his shell more. This past week he even did a flip on the bar for the first time ever!

The helicopter parenting aspect comes from how I act in the gym as compared to other parents. I do get odd looks from the other parents there. If their child isn't paying attention or goofing off otherwise they generally don't care. The dirty looks I get for redirecting him is actually funny. Most people just think he is odd and think I'm over doing it but little do they know.

So what are your thoughts? Do you helicopter parent at times?

Sunday, July 3, 2011


So yes I'm working on another post about helicopter parenting with a child with autism/asperger's but this was too cute to share! Butters has always acknowledged his sister but never been one for much affection to others. When his baby sister came home from the hospital he just laughed at her. Tonight after just over a year and a half he voluntarily came up and held her hand and started hugging her!! I was shocked and amazed and just had to do a celebratory post!!!

Actually holding her hand! She was absolutely thrilled!


He just didn't want to let her go!