Keep it simple, stupid

March 5, 2010 at 5:33 am 7 comments

     Recently, we’ve been battling some serious discussions, arguments, and outright defiance when we ask C to do something, or even when we tell C something. “The sky is green,” C will say in response to my statement that it is blue. The constant debate over seemingly everything has taken a toll on my already fragile state of being lately, and I often find myself waking in the middle of the night with a small idea to help facilitate some peace and calm at our house.

     I spent much of today working on a modified PECS board with all of the things C needs to do on it in the hopes it will make getting ready for school in the morning a simple – “Have you done everything on your board?” – instead of 15 reminders to put on his shoes (“But I don’t want to wear shoes, I’m not going to wear shoes!!!!”), 47 requests to pack up his backpack, and at least 10 attempts to make sure he is actually wearing pants before we leave for school.

     For those of you out there in la-la land itching to leave me a comment with the old “ask it once” adage, I’d like to invite you over to our house. Come on over, and ask C (once) to put his blanket away. Sit there while he remembers and starts to get it, but on his way he notices his remote control car, which he plays with for a few moments before he gets his shoes on and goes outside to play with the car. Then we’ll leave for school and the rest of his life. Trust me, you’ll grow old waiting for that long forgotten request to be both remembered and completed.

     Yet even despite this grand new chart that is beautifully hung in the kitchen – along with the new “behavior bowl,” (replacing 1-2-3 Magic, which just doesn’t work very well at our house) in which C will put red and green beads for bad and good behavior with a reward for more greens than reds at the end of the week – the best ideas are sometimes the simplest ones. Instead of the argue/debate/discuss response I usually get when asking him to do the smallest of tasks this evening, he actually said, “Okay, Mom” when I asked him to put something away. So stunned was I at the almost complete lack of WORDS that I instantly knew we had another trick to try. “Those were the most beautiful two words I’ve heard all day, C. Thank you.” He was happy when I exclaimed how nice it was to hear and how I’d love it if he said those two words more often. In the 1/2 hour following, I think he’s managed to squeeze it in at least a 14,000 more times.

     Sure, C’s going overboard in his usual fashion, and will until it levels out. One end of the spectrum to the other, so to speak. And it probably won’t work long-term. But I’m hoping, hoping he will say it enough that it becomes habit. Perhaps soon I’ll ask him to fix the economy and make me dinner.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Nag, nag, nag You are what you eat

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. therocchronicles  |  March 5, 2010 at 7:07 am

    The defiance and arguing is happening over here too. Driving me batty. I feel like a crazy screaming mom as I attempt to regain control, which I haven’t succeeded at yet….

    I think we’re still a ways away from him working for my praise. He loves that he’s making me batty! Which makes me feel even more crazed!

  • 2. Casdok  |  March 5, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Im sure he would do an excellent job on the economy 🙂

  • 3. awalkabout  |  March 5, 2010 at 10:12 am

    We saw this a lot too with my older son, and his latest diagnosis contains Oppositional Defiant Disorder as well as ADHD (hence the forgetting something as soon as something shiny comes into vision). Perhaps some of these other issues might be part of C’s alphabet too… None of those behavior charts, reward systems or any motivational things have worked for more than the time to explain them. 😦

  • 4. elizabeth  |  March 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

    You just described mornings at my house! We have done so many different charts with varying degrees of success. Lately whiteboards are the winners because I can change the wording slightly and that makes him pay attention to the steps. 1-2-3 Magic has worked off and on (for about three days each time) with varying degrees of success. I like the visual reminder of the fish bowl tally! Keep us posted on what’s working!

  • 5. T$  |  March 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

    This must be why I can’t get anything done at work. There are C’s everywhere. That must be why when I send a dozen e-mail requests only a couple of them actually get done. Like herding ants.

  • 6. Shivon  |  March 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    “Okay Mom” *sigh* such beautiful words…..really….D is very similar to C in that he will argue about the slightest thing. I think it stems from his anxiety thus provoking his need to control all things…The sensory diet we are doing has helped quite a bit. The fun part is, it keeps us on our toes 🙂

  • 7. lynnes  |  March 10, 2010 at 10:34 am

    “Ask it once,” made me giggle. The closest we’ve come is when I ask G if he remembers what he’s supposed to be doing. Btw, that answer is almost always no but we are starting to see glimmers of progress.


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