OCD. UGH! G was never too bad with the routine aspect of autism. He was always too busy to focus. Recently I’ve taken control of his ADHD: diagnosis, research, doctors, advice, and finally experimenting with meds until we’re at a happy maintenance level. Strangely, his autistic behaviors are even more pronounced now. Maybe we’re just able to notice more easily because he isn’t running at 100 MPH all day. Maybe he’s able to focus better and is stimming on different things like routine instead of motion. As always, he keeps us guessing and keeps us on our toes.
Last week we were late to catch the school bus one day. The bus driver explained that someone had cancelled so she was early. G was frantic and unfortunately, so was I. I ran after him with his snack that I’d retrieved – always something getting lost in the out-the-door bustle. The next day we had sub-zero wind chills, so I waited just a few minutes longer than I usually would to avoid freezing. We’re always out early, and the bus is always late (according to the posted times). Again, it was there 5 minutes early, so we had to run, over ice, jacket unzipped, me in shirtsleeves carrying G’s backpack. I got smart the next day and was there early – in the car - it was 10 minutes late. Next day, 8 minutes early, we weren’t even watching for it yet. Yikes! This rollercoaster had me flummoxed, I can’t imagine how he got through his school days.
G looked out the window all weekend, watching for his big yellow bus. I kept telling him it was the weekend, and not to worry. He’d gather his backpack, put on his gear and cry if he couldn’t find gloves or boots, panicked. I showed him the calendar. Gave him lots of hugs. My heart just broke.
This morning he woke up and got dressed for school immediately, this boy of mine who loves to hang out in his jammies or shirtless all morning. Every 15 minutes he announced, “I’m going to check for the bus.” We had 4.5 hours to wait. It was a reeeeaaaally long morning. We played games and lots of distracting activities. So finally we got ready very early and went outside to wait. It was windy and not so comfortable to wait, but I dared not go in to get the car – we might miss the bus pulling up and send G into a panic state. So, the bus showed up about 1 minute late…with a DIFFERENT DRIVER! Eek - another change! I suppose the only way to control these things is to drive him myself. I think I’ll have him wear a watch, we’ll use his calendar. I’ll give him the times on a card to look at showing a 15 minute range of when the bus might come. Maybe I’ll find a timer app so that he can stim by checking it as often as he likes instead of running to the window and gathering his gear. I’m thankful for the melting snow and promise of spring when we can play outside comfortably and distractingly until the bus arrives.
And so we enter a new phase of this journey. No roadmap, no GPS, no pre-plan. We can do it, we must. G’s attention and behavior is so markedly changed that he’s making huge strides in all areas. Good thing, because he’s needed those huge strides to run to catch the bus lately…