Monday, February 24, 2014

A New Habit

When living with autism, the child and the family often go through changes. Sometimes these changes appear out of nowhere, and sometimes they linger for a long time. We do not necessarily know how or why things change, but they do, and we adjust .
    In our home, we are currently experiencing one of these changes . The weather here has been snowy and cold, which in turn has led to a lot of indoor activity. Weeks, and weeks of indoor activity. We definitely have cabin fever.
   Mikey is a nature lover. He loves to be outside. The recent weather has made it very difficult to play outside with the exception of an occasional sledding adventure. His behavior has actually been great considering the circumstances. However, some things have changed.
    Over the past two weeks, we have noticed that Mikey has become increasingly louder than usual. I don't mean noisy, I mean loud, very,very loud. He yells as loudly as he possibly can, and he yells often. He is happy, not the least bit upset, but still, he yells.
   As with all changes ,we are learning to live with it. When he does yell, we encourage him to be a bit quieter, and sometimes it works, but more often than not it doesn't. He always hums his favorite songs loudly, but it is always enjoyable to hear his songs. This recent screaming, is not enjoyable.
     Last night, before bed, Mikey was sick. He vomited a few times, then fell into a deep sleep. Unfortunately, he has what we like to call "Mikey radar," and if  anyone gets up during the night for a drink, or to use the bathroom, he wakes up immediately. This happened last night. By midnight, he was awake, and he was loud. He was humming, saying a few words, and opening and closing kitchen cabinets......loudly. Loudly and constantly. All night long.
     Of course, after nine days off from school, today happens to be first day back , and my boys are tired. Luckily, and I do not know why, they were in good spirits this morning, even after a night of disrupted sleep. The hubby and I are exhausted. When you wake up, or are awake most of the night, and your first thought in the morning is about going to sleep, well, you know it is going to be a long day. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Mikey , hoping he either naps, or manages to stay happy all day.
   We are guessing that the weather is the cause of Mikey's new yelling habit. We have had so much snow, and this past week there were also tornado warnings in a few neighboring states. As crazy as it may sound, we have always found his behavior to be affected by weather,seasons and time changes.
Yesterday, we had a beautiful day, and he was able to play outside. With snow in this week's forecast, suffice it to say, we are not excited. Spring cannot come soon enough.
    So, exhausted, yet hopeful, we wait for warm weather. We wait for longer days and outdoor activities. We look forward to getting some sleep. We wait and wonder if this yelling adventure will end when the weather improves. We wait with sleepy smiles on our faces and with our tired fingers crossed. We wait.

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