Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hello rope? I need an extension please.

Ever feel like you're in a tiny tiny room with the door glued shut, and the walls have those spikes on them and they're caving in, and you can't breathe because somebody left a tuna sandwich in the corner to rot, you can't stand up because you're completely disoriented, and you can't run because you're shackled to the floor- there might be sunlight, except seagulls shit all over the plexiglas skylight so you can't really tell, and all you want to do is scream or take a hot bath, but you're stuck in this freakin' room?

Yeah... it's kinda like that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'm driving to work this morning, and I see a vanity license plate.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot ignore these stinkin' things.
I twist different combinations around in my head until voila- I have figured it out.
Yeah- it's one of my OCD-ish tendencies.

Today's plate?


LC Soup? Soup I get, but LC?
Like, Lovin' Cup?
Little Cup?
Lucky Carbuncle?
Lieutenant Campbell?
Lieutenant Campbell!

Oh yes... that had to be it.
I had to be driving right behind Lieutenant Campbell himself.
The Campbell kid- all growed up!

'Cuz who else would have LC SOUP on their damn car?
Stupid vanity plates...

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's in the stars.

Aunt Sissy (my sister, for those of you who are new the The Quirk Factor), went to see a psychic just the other day. She's a skeptic, but this woman came highly recommended from a friend of hers, so she made an appointment.

This psychic was unreal. She knew about every aspect of Sissy's life, including things that were just on the fringes. She knew my father's name. She knew that Sissy's co-worker's wife was cheating on him and recently took off with no warning. She even knew about Jaysen.

Yep. Freaky stuff, folks.
What did she say about my little man?
She said we need to encourage Jaysen's artistic outlet. That coloring, painting, and drawing, help him to relax, focus, and regroup. This is evident in his schoolwork because he doodles and draws in the margins of his papers, and when he's done, he draws on the backs. She said art is very important to him, in a therapeutic sense.

She also said it is better for him to be in a learning environment that is more individualized with one-on-one instruction (we just increased his resource room time since that's the only place he will actually do any work). He does not learn well in a general education setting, that there's just too much going on. She suggested that if there were a school that could give him the individualized instruction, that would be the ultimate place for him. My heart sank a little with that statement.

She also mentioned Rylan.
According to her, Rylan will go to college. He will be good at business things, but not necessarily go into business. He just has a strong business mind.
What she said next, made me so emotional that I actually started to cry.

Rylan has a very strong bond with his brother, Jaysen. He will be fiercely protective of him, will look out for him, and take care of him... even long after we're gone.

Understand that I don't necessarily believe that this woman is the Prophet of the Future, but for her to come out with that statement- the very thing that weighs the heaviest on my mind- was just comforting. I felt that even if it is bunk, it brings just that little bit of hope that I need.

Oh Rylan, such broad shoulders to match your big heart.
I'm totally making my own appointment.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Put your hands in mine.

Okay, so my new strategy to introduce new foods to Jaysen?
Yeah, not working so far.
It seems either there is no motivation enticing enough to battle that demon, or the sucka punk outsmarts me.

We've also had some regressions-
He hasn't taken a tape to school in a couple months. We return from break, and he suddenly can't go to school without one. I semi-expected that, so I'm not freaking out, but Thursday he tried dragging his suitcase full of tapes to school. I put the kibosh on that plan and allowed him to take two with him. He conceded, but the last thing he said to me as the school bus doors shut, was "I hate you".

He also has displayed some strange behavior. Yes, stranger than usual.
Jaysen often gets frustrated- usually when he's doing something that doesn't go according to his plan, especially computer games. He gets frustrated to the point of self-harming. It's gotten to the point that he has a choice to calm down, or he has to turn the computer off.
He will sometimes choose to turn the computer off, so it reinforces my belief that he sometimes needs it to be okay to stop what he's doing.

Lately, he has been so not in control that he will be at the point of screaming, pounding his fists into his head, red-faced, and tell me he can't stop because his hands won't let him.

The first time he told me this, I was really pissed. I told him he will stop, and I turned the computer off. Meltdown.

The next time he became frustrated to that point, he was bawling, and started yelling at his hands.
"Hands! Stop!" "Stop it hands!"
He was crying so hard, and kept screaming that they wouldn't listen.
I asked if he wanted me to make his hands stop.
He said yes.
I took his hands in mine, said some mumbo jumbo, and voila! Made them stop. He took a deep breath and thanked me.
Strange yes, but everything was fine after that.

This last time, same thing, except my magical hand-stopping powers didn't work.
He stopped for a minute, then said "Oh no! They won't stop!"
I suggested he sit on them.
He did.
A few seconds later, he cried that they were lifting him up from the chair.

He tried to "stop his hands" by banging them on the corner of the desk, digging his nails into the backs of them, and biting them. Biting them!

I am at a loss.

I don't know what's going on, but I do know that frustration is something that Jaysen cannot yet control.

On another note-
Tonight, he told me "there are a million people in here" (pointing to his head).
With my most nonchalant tone of voice, I asked him who they were.
"They're all Jaysen's. There's a hundred million Jaysen's in there."
"Oh? What do they do?"
"They work all night. They work hard... day and night."
"Do they help you?"
Um... okay, as long as they're helpful, I won't freak?

I know he's trying to tell me something, maybe explain what Autism's like?
We've been discussing Autism more lately, because I eventually want Jaysen to be at the point where he will be able to effectively self-advocate.
Maybe he's starting to process our discussions?

Has anyone else ever experienced things like these?

This is me.
Not freaking out.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cheap entertainment

See if you can get your child to imitate you.

Jaysen's production was donning a pair of my high heeled boots, parading around saying (in his best soprano),"Well, well, well... I'm going to the store. To get some coffee. And drink it."

He's so observant.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lucifer was an angel too, y'know.

When Jaysen gets mad at me, he often threatens to put me in a time out.
He must have been really angry with me because he came up with this gem:

"Stop it Mommy, or I'm going to steal your soul!"

Oh snap. I was going to sell him to the Gypsies, but apparently somebody beat me to it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Koopas, Goombas, Bowser, and Food.

What do they have in common?
They are all heinous enemies, which should be vanquished from the face of the earth.

Jaysen's latest obsession with Mario still holds strong, and has expanded to include playing Mario on the Wii for hours at a time. Despite his frustration with the games, he would play from the time he woke up 'til the time I forced him into bed.

I have tried using a super-cool new visual timer to limit his game play, but as soon as the timer went off, he would perseverate "Can I play the Wii now? Can I play it now? How about now? How many more minutes?" etc, driving me batshit crazy.

Hence the new strategy.

I discussed the new strategy with Jaysen last night, and he's game (pun intended) for it. It involves his consumption of food, which has always been a struggle with him. I explained that he will be able to "earn" Wii time for the consumption of either healthy, or new, foods. He smiled and immediately wanted to make a chart. I told him I would think about how to devise such a chart (since he tends to outsmart me on these things, being the ultimate "loophole finder").

His suggestion was to make a chart with G, M, G, M, G, M, G, M.
Grape, milk, grape, milk, grape, milk, grape, milk.
Foods that he will tolerate in such desperate times.
Umm... no.
I explained that he will not earn Wii time by eating a taste of foods that have already passed into the "yellow zone" of not-desired-but-tolerable-at-times.

He can, however, earn time by:
1. Eating a serving of a "yellow zone" food, such as a half of an apple, or a small bowl of grapes.
2. Consuming a taste of a "new food" or a food which currently resides in the to-be-avoided-at-all-cost "red zone". Such as a bite of broccoli, or bite of chicken not in nugget form.

I know there will have to be some tweaking to the plan such as deciding exactly how big a "bite" actually is, or if a "taste" must involve the actual swallowing of offending item. I will have to make on the spot decisions according to the intensity of his actions concerning this. I can usually tell just how far I can push the limits by watching his reaction to things. Hmm... that bite of carrot was itty-bitty, but he's not red-faced and drooling? Try a bigger bite, buddy. Bite of mashed potato making him gag? Possible vomitorium eruptus approaching? That was a great try, and you may spit it out.

I have yet to determine how much time will be awarded to successful foodin', because as I have said, he has found loopholes in what I had thought were iron clad plans before. I don't know if I should even specify an amount of time. Just set the timer for 15-30 min depending on the amount and undesirability of the foods he did eat. I'll have to think about this one.

If all else fails, I'm sending him to Maddy.