Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here, Allow me to Set You Up for Failure......



As the parent of a child with Autism, one should always be prepared for any predictable event that comes your way, especially ones that you plan, especially ones that have been historically, horrific...and especially events which cause your child extreme sensory discomfort. Yes, one should always be prepared....

So, allow me if you will, to beat myself up, and in turn, I will allow you to beat me up in a likewise fashion! How many people do that? Usually folks write blogs to receive helpful and supportive comments from the readers but not today my friends! Oh no, please, not one supportive comment please, just rail on me, agree with me, let me have it.

I will now get down to the reasons you will all give me grief (and I want it, I really want it). I will do it in bullet point fashion as a story would be as montonous and long winded as this opening....

-I announce to Casey, at lunch, right before I plan to take him that he is getting his hair cut today.
-this is bad.
-this is bad because he:
a) hates haircuts
b) does much better if I can talk to him about things that he doesn't like to do but has to do for a few days ahead, maybe include a social story.
-As we're driving to the cheap hair cut joint, he tells me quite clearly "I'm very nervous about this haircut!" while breathing heavily and holding his tummy.
-I react not at all to this and say "Oh come on, you've done great the last couple of times we went to this one!"
-this is total disregard for his feelings, total...on top of the fact that he just found out it was happening!
-We walk in, and it's crowded, and it's hot and the chairs of full of potential starers, that's all I can think about are the stares we will recieve, not about how he's feeling. YOU SUCK!
-The girl that always has done well with him waves us in, telling us everyone there is waiting for someone getting their haircut. It won't be long....good, this girl leads us to believe she will be cutting his hair.
-He sits and looks at magazines, saying commercials about the ads loudly, I threaten him with the loss of a trip to Salvation Army, which begins a long line of threats.
-He looks nervous and he's sitting and I should have gotten him up and outside walking until it was time, walking is good, it's calming, not sitting amongst 5 people who have nothing to do but stare (and not one of them were reading or feigning interest in something else. THEY SUCK! I SUCK!)
-He passes gas loudly, probably nervous stomach since his mom threw him into this situation. I'm hoping they think it's a leather chair fart...why do I care what they think? More threats. Can a 10 year old boy hold in gas? Threats!
-When our turn comes up, the girl we like says she'll sign us in, but she's leaving and that ANN will do his cut. Ann looks nervous already and I should have said no then, I should have just picked up on her Aura if you will of stress and nerves, 'cause it was comin' his way. It was comin' his way like a match to a briquet heavily doused in lighter fluid.
-I didn't say no, we had waited and he needed a cut....
-He sat, he fussed, he squirmed, he called out he wished he was a girl (makes sense, girls don't necessarily have to have tickly over stimulating clippers used on their sensitive neck, 'course neither do boys really).
-My tension level rose with theirs and I began more threats, as I tried to hold his head where she needed it to be, getting more and more irritated with him..... if I had only done things differently......
-Ann worked efficiently, too efficiently, but faster the better I suppose.... he calls out "You're ga...." I was able to cut off the "y" at the end of "gay"....Ann was non the wiser.
-I've never seen someone so relieved although not visibly glad to have finished a haircut in their lives, and I'm talking ANN!
-Casey stands up, looking gorgeous, hair covered, flustered, and red cheeked. "Sorry" he says on his own to ANN. My heart breaks....

No Casey, I'm sorry, I'm sorry I set you up for failure despite 10 years of knowing better.... I can't promise, but I will try never to let it happen again.