New Tricks

Leelo is learning to do so much lately! Yesterday he figured out how to kick from a standing position--and demonstrated with a well-aimed blow to Mali's head. His judo-style technique was impressive. Mali is okay, but we have had to re-strategize.

It appears that, while Leelo likes his baby sister (he does try to hug her, and often hunkers down to make eye contact with her), he does not like the way in which she complicates his family dynamic. He also cannot stand her frequent vocalizations, whether she's happy or howling (and she got her second tooth yesterday, so she was howling a lot). Now, any time he is displeased with his baby sister, his reaction is to brutalize her in some way. Great!

Our response so far has been to keep Mali out of his way. If he somehow uses his speed-of-light superpowers to thwack her, we say "no kicking/hitting," pick him up without further interaction, and put him in his room with the door closed--for a few minutes. I am not sure this is the right approach for an autistic child, but these infractions are severe and I don't know how else to make an impression.

It's not all bad, though. This means that he's paying attention to his social/family environment, and that he cares about what's going on around him. After the kicking incident was followed by a slapping incident, and he'd had two stints in solitary, his next reaction to Mali crying was to start sobbing himself.

Poor little guy! We were careful to give him lots of individual attention--without Mali around--after that. He seemed much happier this morning.

These next few months with a active, proto-mobile, vocal baby and resentful semi-verbal, strong, fast, autistic brother are going to be fascinating! Stay tuned.

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