Daniel has finished off his antibiotics. Number 20 was crossed off the list, much to Daniel's joy. Somehow we ended up a bit short on medicine. My husband suggested we just give him the rest of it at #19. Ahem. NO! I suggested that Daniel must cross off 20 otherwise he would never feel he completed his goal, and we should divide what's left, in half! Then he would have completed all of the medicine and had 20 doses. Todd agreed. I'm glad I was around and Todd didn't just give it all to him at number 19. That would have been a disaster. And TODD would have been in charge of calling the Dr's office and explaining why we needed 3 extra tsps of Amoxicillan!
I have to admit, I totally get why Daniel likes to cross those numbers off the chart. There is something very satisfying about crossing something off of a list. ESPECIALLY if it's something you didn't really want to do! Right? So I totally get him wanting to see it and cross it off. I've had many people say it would help them too because they lose track while taking medications. Do you think I could market my chart of 1 - 20? HA! Sometimes the simplest things go a long way and while it seems that it should be unnecessary to have a chart. It makes it so much easier for Daniel. I used to fight things like that because it just didn't seem like we should have to do that every time. Now when I look back I wonder why I was so opposed to making my life easier?
As the antibiotics were being finished I noticed that Daniel was beginning to lose his voice. When I asked him if his throat hurt, he glared and me then said NO! I, personally, think he is lying, but I can't prove it. So I'm pretending that he's telling the truth until I have further evidence. If you are wondering why he'd lie about such a thing see this post. Some of you with autistic children might be saying "but our kids can't lie". BALONEY! Daniel does all the time. Well not all the time, but he is certainly capable of it. Especially if he thinks he may miss school. He also lies at the end of every day that he was really really angry. We do a feeling journal for his group speech on Monday's and he is supposed to record his feelings of anger. You have to be on top of him because he will always say "I wasn't angry" and I'll say, "Daniel???" This happened last night then he changed and started his sentence with, "I was annoyed when. . . " I have to hand it to him. He's funny.
This time around when I'm asking him "does your throat hurt?" Daniel is responding with "no, I have a FROG in my throat." Which, if he could wink, he'd be winking at me and nudging me with his elbow in a "get it?" sort of way. He can barely say that phrase with out laughing out loud. That is one of the things about our language that is so very difficult for kids on the autistic spectrum. He used to get angry (ok annoyed, he'd say) and demand that he does not have a frog in his throat. For years he probably was worried, without me knowing, that maybe his throat hurt because there was an ACTUAL frog in it? Hmmm. No wonder he never wants to be sick? We have gone over this enough now that he thinks it's hilarious that someone would say something so ridiculous. Now he uses it whenever possible. So for several days it's been "hey mom, my voice is froggy, wink wink". Books like these have been helpful to get him to understand. In kindergarten he got a hold of his first book of idioms. The book More Parts and it was very upsetting for him. For someone who is completely literal it is a nightmare read. But after going through it with him many many times, he has learned that these are just silly sayings. "You crack me up", is another favorite. Which is dealt with in this book. For years whenever I'd say that he'd go into a panic and scream "YOU'RE NOT CRACKING UP!" It's funny now, but not at the time.
One of my other favorite stories is when it was summer time he would run out the door into the backyard with no shoes on. I'm always afraid he'll step on a bee and get stung so I'd yell “you can’t go outside with bare feet, you could get hurt.” He would completely ignore me. I would yell again, and as such it would go back and forth. Yell, ignore, yell, ignore. Then I'd yell, "come put on your shoes!" He would come in and put on his shoes and go back out. Then one magical day he came in and looked down at his feet and said with a very strange look on his face, "I have bear feet?" A light bulb went on in my head. I finally realized he thought I'd been yelling out the door for YEARS that he has feet like a BEAR, instead of BARE feet. No wonder he was ignoring me? He probably thought I was a crazy woman! It wasn't until I said what I wanted him to do. "Come in and put on shoes" that he would do it. Besides the hilariousness of him thinking I'm telling him he has feet like a bear, the point of this story is to be direct when dealing with kids with autism. You can make a simple chart and cross things off as you go, you can get to the point and say to put on shoes, not give a long explanation of why. If only I would have known, "I might not have lost my mind!" There's another one!