Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Autism's Dirty Word

Sam has developed some aggression recently. Aggression is a word many of us hesitate to use in reference to our children.  Having it recorded as one of your child's "issues" can close some doors since not every program is equipped to deal with an aggressive child.  Also, especially with a kid like Sam, "aggressive" just doesn't seem to fit what I am trying to say.  To me, aggressive suggests that the person intends to cause hurt or harm to another.  It suggests more awareness than Sam has.  But, for lack of a better way to explain it, Sam has been aggressive. 

His episodes tend to be either in response to being told "no" or part of an OCD fit.  When he is told "no" to something he really wants (but just can't have) and he is in one of those moods, he throws thing hard at that ceiling, he hits me with the base of his palm, and he scratches.  If he is on the floor he goes for my legs and rakes his nails down.  If he is standing or on a couch he goes for my arm.  The picture shows the results of one morning tantrum.  The OCD fits are something new - he starts to scream and cry because the curtains are crooked, the pillows aren't right, the shoes are messed up - even if he/we fix what he wants it doesn't matter because he will just fixature on something else.  Sometimes he lashes out in those moments.  I cannot lift him up to his room to separate him from everyone when he gets like this.  I stay near him even though it means getting scratched because he is happy to go for the girls if I am not close enough. 

These episodes are not a constant thing.  They seem to come in waves and they are worse when he doesn't have school and his day is less "on the go".  So we are doing our best to keep him busy.

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