Oooh, things with Leelo have just sucked lately.
I don't review older posts, so bear with me if this is retread.
I do realize that we have up to this point been exceptionally lucky with our good-natured guy and his willingness to tag along anywhere. Not all autistic kids give their families such leeway. However we are now entering a different phase.
Leelo doesn't like going on errands. He doesn't like sitting in his chair in restaurants. He is now large, strong, and vocal enough that trying to get him to comply is no longer worth the emotional and physical wear-and-tear. He is hitting and kicking others, and himself.
He is jealous of Mali to the point where I can no longer leave her unguarded anywhere near him, as he wants to beat the shit out of her. I even had to move their car seats farther apart--I thought he couldn't reach her but I was mistaken. No more baths together, of course. Not with Iz, either, as she gets beaten on, too.
Some of this is good, in that jealousy is an interactive and reactive emotion, and his tantrums or outbursts also demonstrate emotional development. Plus his blow ups almost always have a traceable cause (transitions and/or being denied). Under Supervisor M's direction, we are going to redirect him physically while ignoring him verbally, as we do not want to provide negative reinforcement of this behavior.
We are also (and I know I wrote this before) going to make a sincere effort to spend more one-on-one time with him. And incorporate the music that he loves throughout his program, as well as get a music class going for him.
But in the meantime, he continues to stay up every night past 10:00. We thought he'd sack out early after his marathon bouncy-house session during Iz's party, but no. Seymour got him up extra early this morning. No dice. If we try to put him to bed, he will get violent. So he gets to come up and watch the late night specials with us (tonight's offering while I nursed Mali to sleep was Lorenz0's Oil, as I figured a little context was in order lest I get to feeling too sorry for myself).
But, dammit, I do feel all sorts of self-pity. The walls of our lives are caving down in on us, and making our world a much smaller one. Mali and Leelo together are an unbelievably difficult combination (for me) and with Iz on top things get combustible. All I want, all day long, is a break! One of Marroqui's friends is looking for babysitting/nanny work, so I just may have her come help out one morning a week so I don't have to do all my work (a staggering amount of non-child-care responsibilities) when I'm supposed to be sleeping.
This afternoon my mom called. I told her it wasn't a great time to talk as Leelo was having a tantrum, but she wanted to talk and he calmed down so I stayed on the line. I told her how rough things were for both me and Seymour right now, how we're worn down and drained and have no energy, how I keep nodding off during the day even with coffee, how challenging the kids all are right now and how I guess we'll just have to push through it. I guess I am really touchy right now as she didn't even comment or acknowledge that things were brutal, but instead started talking about some other kid with mild issues. Gaaaah! She is always complaining that I never talk to her, but then I do and she misses my cues. Perhaps I don't know how to place cues. But it stung, as it is very difficult for me to open myself up to people in person or on the phone (as opposed to how I run off at the keyboard).
Mali just woke up. So much for my break. More later, maybe.
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