Utter Autism

September 28, 2007

Take Out

We drove about 15 minutes to get take out for dinner tonight.  So often when we do this, I don’t think to grab Adrian’s Dynavox on the way out.  I’m always sorry I didn’t.  If we’re getting anything but pizza, he’s very disappointed.  Well, that’s putting it nicely.  He’s angry and usually throws a tantrum in the car on the way home. 

But tonight I remembered.  When he realized we weren’t getting pizza he started yelling.  I handed him his device and asked him to ‘tell me’.  

He went into the screen of food choices and scanned the options.  I was surprised he didn’t ask for pizza.  My guess is he knew that would be a hopeless cause since we were already driving toward home.  Instead he said, “I want to eat waffles” and looked at me with a questioning look.  I told him, “No, I’m sorry.  I don’t have any waffles.  What else would you like?” Next he asked for fish sticks.  I told him I wasn’t sure if we had any, but we could check when we got home. 

At this point in the trip, if I had forgotten to bring the device, Adrian would have been in full meltdown mode.  He would have been yelling, pinching himself and others, possibly hitting people or the interior of the car… not a pretty picture.  But instead, although he was clearly still not thrilled about the circumstances, he was pretty calm. 

Thinking about what I had at home he might like for dinner, I suggested eggs and toast.  He smiled and made the signs for these foods.  We’d reached a good compromise and he was now laughing and smiling.

For the rest of the trip we continued to ‘chat’.   We talked about how he was hungry.  We chatted about the color of Dad’s shirt.  Zee got involved and asked Adrian what color shirt he had, then helped Adrian answer on his device.  Adrian thought this was funny.

This is one of the more obvious circumstances where the Dynavox V can make all the difference.  Having the ability to communicate, even if he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, makes everything easier to deal with. 

I just need to remember to grab it on the way out the door!  Maybe I’ll hang a picture of it on the door so I don’t forget to grab it on those little trips…..

1 Comment »

  1. The ability to communicate by whatever means, is such a windfall. Just having less meltdowns, can make everything so much more relaxing. Have a great weekend.
    Best wishes

    Comment by mcewen — September 28, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

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