2.25.2007

May the Routine Be Unbroken

May the Routine Be Unbroken

Once again we have evidence that taking Leelo on a four-day crap-food-filled trip to San Diego, returning home only to have his dad leave for another five days is bad bad bad bad bad. Leelo is completely discombobulated.

All he's been doing for the past few days is hitting, shoving, or kicking, when he's not incessantly vocalizing with "shouting grunts." The only time he's not terrorizing everyone around him is when he bolts out into the yard for a circuit around the garden, hangs with Babysitter A or Therapist L for structured activities, eats, listens to "his" music in the car, or gets direct one-on-one eye-locked attention from me. Otherwise he attacks any person within range. His usual videos don't even calm him--the only one he'll sit still for is his beloved Totoro, but as soon as the dust bunnies start streaming out of the house he gets riled and attacks the TV.

He is pleasant enough to take on errands as long as we keep moving; the moment we stop he starts head-butting me in the stomach, unless we're getting back in the car. Tonight he punched me in the face because Iz interrupted while I was reading him his bedtime story. He has almost no spontaneous language other than talking about what he wants to eat or getting another straw pair to stim with.

He has mostly been leaving Mali alone because she doesn't react to him much. But Iz gives him huge reactions even though she knows it only encourages him, because she just can't help it. She is his primary target and it is really starting to wear on her.

Thankfully tomorrow we are moving him out of the room he shares with Iz, and into his own room. What was once our office/guest room will be Leelo's bedroom/therapy room. What was once our living room will now comprise our office as well. I don't really mind having so many multi-function rooms because I figure Seymour and I can either pretend we're urbanites, or that we're back in grad school except living together rather than five hours away from each other.

Anyhow. Leelo's behavior means that having people over is even more stressful than usual. Though I am grateful to Badger and Rook for coming over on Friday and bringing pizza and even better, Debbie. Most people don't know what the fuck to do with Leelo, but those three really make an effort to reach him and follow his cues.

Kids don't usually make the effort, and I don't blame them--at least not right now while he is being so unpredictable and violent. Iz's comfort level with her brother is visibly degrading, and so I am increasingly pondering a local siblings support group for Iz and her peers. The PHP sibs group sounds great, but 1) it is in Santa Clara (far) and 2) they only meet every eight weeks. I wonder if Deadwood City would sponsor such a group, or donate the meeting space, or if a local child psych would be interested in meeting with a group once per month.

Seymour is home now. We will probably need another few days to rearrange the house. And then we're not going to be doing anything different--not one thing--for a long, long time.

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