Utter Autism

May 20, 2007

Disastrous Day with the Dinos

Grandma has been visiting this past week, something Adrian always enjoys. 🙂

We drove her to the airport, found ourselves in NY City with time so we decided to take the kids to the Museum of Natural History.  We’d taken the kids there before with semi-success so we figured it was worth a shot. 

It was lunchtime and since Adrian didn’t eat anything at the museum cafe last time we opted to try to get something else beforehand.  Pizza is his favorite food so it seemed an easy choice.  We went into the pizza place, ordered and sat down.  Then Adrian had a melt down.  He yelled and screamed but I did my best to keep him calm while we waited for the pizza.  We thought he’d be ok once the food was ready.  But he wasn’t.  The pizza came, he smelled it and then screamed all the more.  I finally had to take him out and walk him in circles while hubby packed up the pizza and the other three. 

We headed back to the museum.  By the time we got there Adrian was calm, so we sat down on a bench and tried to finish lunch.  Adrian finally ate some, after dissecting it and trying to wipe off the tomato sauce.

Things looked ok to give the museum a try.  Hubby chose to start with the dinosaurs since the other three love them.  Unfortunately, I think that was a mistake.  There’s something about the tall ceilings or the big dinosaurs that get him going.  It might not have been so bad except that it was pretty crowded and the flailing limbs, running and loud vocalizations were not appreciated by the other patrons.  Upon trying to remove him from the dinosaur area, he threw a fit which apparently qualified us as one of the exhibits judging by all the people looking at us.

Feeling sympathy for Adrian’s siblings who were so excited about a museum visit, I told the hubby to just take the other 3 and I would take Adrian and go walk around in circles somewhere till they were finished.  But hubby hates splitting the family up as much as I do and so we decided instead to simply give up and go home.

I don’t like to ever call things impossible with Adrian. There are varying degrees of difficulty and we usually weigh that against the potential benefit for the family, deciding if it’s worth the trouble or not. I’d like to think that we can always find ways to make things work when we need to.

If I can just prepare enough (Skittles), think of everything (including Skittles), be in-tune with him (at-one with the Skittles), enter at the right time, exit at the right time, distract at the right time (with more Skittles), feed him at the right time (more Skittles),…….   If I can just get it all right, then we can do anything, …..right?

Ok, so there is a learning curve involved.  As much experience as I’ve got, there are still things that throw me (like the pizza today) and things I forget (like how the dino-room makes him want to get up and go nuts).  Occasionally (like today) I forget how important preparations (and Skittles) are to a successful day trip. 

Will we take Adrian back to the museum?  Probably, someday.  But next time I’ll be prepared (I won’t forget the Skittles!) 


  1. I love your wit! I am right there with you on the things that we know will not go well, and the things that we hope will go well. There are times that I take my David someplace that I think will be wonderful, and then I realize that I forgot earplugs and gum. It ends up being a horribly stressful experience and all because the lights are the wrong brightness and a toilet flushed at the wrong frequency. I also have 4 kids, and it’s a constant juggling act keeping David calm and making sure the other 3 are not bitter for his extra attention or for his causing us to leave someplace. I’ve even created tee-shirts for David that he wears when we go somewhere that is potentially stressful: McDonald’s playland, museums, movies, etc. His favorite says “I’m Autistic…And I’m a good boy!” This way when people stare I can focus on him and let them figure out that the scene is because of his autism. …Just don’t forget the Skittles!

    Comment by iamweiser — May 21, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  2. That’s a great idea! I know folks usually just stare long enough to figure out he must have a disability. The faster they figure it out, the faster they can move on to the real exhibits, huh. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Carol — May 22, 2007 @ 9:39 am

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