December 16, 2015

more behavior

There is a great new show on A&E documenting a group of adults with Down syndrome called Born This Way. I've been watching it with the intensity of a scientist gathering information on an illusive animal. I want... no I need... to know that my buddy will mature someday.

I realize that he is only 7 and the behaviors he has today won't last forever. But the thing is, every phase can last so very long. My buddy first started throwing food over 5 years ago. While he no longer throws full plates of food, he's been known to shove a full bowl of milk and cereal (that he just asked for) with such intensity that it goes flying. That is 5 long years of cleaning up food that has intentionally been thrown on the ground.

I am willing to bet that my buddy has the biggest behavior challenges out of all the students in his school. It is so hard to imagine a time where he just does what he is supposed to. I'm not asking for a miracle. Maybe stand in line for 10 minutes without kicking the person standing in front of you. Perhaps walking down a hallway without throwing yourself on the floor. Not biting people. Sitting and working for more than 30 seconds.

Some day I hope to look back, laugh and say, "Remember how you couldn't leave him alone for even just 10 minutes? Like that time he pulled off the heating vent cover and filled the duct with cars?"

I expend so much energy always knowing where my buddy is and what potential victim is near. Worried if he's going to lose his mind in the middle of the outing. Feeling stress every time we go out. Just wanting to get things done around the house and not be in a battle zone. The anxiety when I read the log of how his day was at school.

I have a hard time explaining just how hard it is to be constantly redirecting unwanted behavior. Unless you live it every day, there is no way to fully understand. I think that's why parents of special needs kids tend to rely so much on each other (even just virtually).

I know my buddy has come leaps and bounds. He's learned not to run off into the street which is a huge deal. He has a good sense of what is physically reckless and will carefully climb down if he is up too high.

Most importantly, he has learned how to butter me up. He climbs into my lap, hugs and kisses me, snuggles in for a moment or two, then very casually says, "iPad??"

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