Utter Autism

November 3, 2010

But THEN What?

Over the years our worst case scenarios haven’t really been all that bad.  Reading about the struggles some other parents have typically reinforced my gratitude for all the areas we don’t struggle. 

…he’s always been a good sleeper, with modifications we can take him into the community, he’s got a great sense of humor, his charms have won the hearts of so many who work with him, my husband and I make a good parental team, he listens, he helps out around the house, he gives great hugs, he’s good about going into school, ….

No matter what the difficulty, we’ve always just faced it and moved on.  I’m not the type to give up.  We always find a way.  I’ve got pretty good intuition when it comes to Adrian and I know how to use behavior modification techniques to come up with creative solutions.  In nearly 14 years of parenting Adrian, we’ve never faced a challenge we couldn’t meet. 

 That’s not to say we always get it right on the first try.  I’m a planner and besides the current strategy I typically have a backup idea or two to fall back on if things don’t go well with plan A.  I’ve always enjoyed having the luxury of that security… until now.

The aggression that’s cropped up this past year has been a huge, overwhelming, life-sucking, distressing, frustrating monster.  At this point I feel like I’ve thrown every trick in my bag at it – twice.  And still we find it there.

Most of the challenges from our past could easily be endured.  But this aggression, it’s different.  Adrian’s been a pincher for years.  We’re no strangers to black and blue marks up and down our arms.  But this is a whole other ball game.

In this past year I’ve genuinely feared for our safety more times than I can count.  Mine, his, siblings, my husband, teachers, grandma and friends who visit.  He’s putting his fist through walls and windows on a regular basis and in a true rage, he doesn’t think twice about extending that hand to one of us.  It’s difficult to admit, but the situation can be downright dangerous.

We’ve met with all the experts and picked their brains.  We’ve got meds going and strategies to deal with his behavior… all the right stuff.  And it’s helped.  But still there are those times when nothing helps.  And THEN WHAT?

When I ask the experts this question, they raise their eyebrows,  take that deep breath and exhale and say, “Well…” 

And they’ve got nothing.  Nothing.

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