The last couple of days have definitely been interesting. You never know what kind of day you’re going to get with Michael. Some days his brain and body are in sync and you’d never know he was autistic, but then you have days like today….
We started out OK, but he totally hyper-focused and colored for two hours, and I should have known I’d pay for it later. He went nuts and overcompensated with the sensory processing disorder kicking in. He was running everywhere, touching things compulsively, pushing his brothers, screaming, squeaking, and losing his communication and self control. When his therapist showed up in the early afternoon, he sneaked into the cookie jar and ate six Hershey kisses while she and I were in one of the bedrooms talking. What followed was a 45 minute meltdown which required physical manhandling. Thank God the therapist was there, it was the first time she had seen him lose it that badly. She showed me how to wrap my body around his to keep him from breaking free and punching me. She also kept the other kids out of the room every time they tried to come in. Michael really took me for a ride, screaming, crying, writhing, wrestling, and flailing with almost no breaks for three quarters of an hour. We were finally able to talk him down (I would have never been able to do this if I was alone), but by the time we were finished, I was exhausted, shaking, and nearly crying myself. Thank God Nate came home this evening in time to handle another meltdown because honestly, I don’t think I have another fight left in me tonight.
As I write this, I’m sitting in Gabriel and William’s room, trying to train Gabriel to stay in his bed. He’s new to the toddler bed and he seems to enjoy keeping William up till very late and jumping into his crib and squashing him. It’s been a very long day and there’s still a lot to get through tonight.
I have to say though that it helps to remember that this is all important. It’s a training ground and the foundation for discipline and growth for all of them. The hard work and effort is totally worth it, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of all the labor in the hopefully not-too-distant future. I try to use these opportunities to hold these boys up in prayer and remember that none of this took God by surprise, and none of these experiences is wasted.
Hang tough, all of you.