A few weeks back, for Five Minute Friday, I started to post a little bit about change here, and said I would write more on the subject later. Since then, I have been trying to figure out how to approach the subject without making it seem like I am complaining about my child, or that he is a bad kid. So, I'll just start this post by saying again that I love my son more than anything, and would not trade him for anything in this world. He's my everything. But to be entirely blunt, Autism sometimes sucks. I try to keep a positive attitude about it all, but there are some days where that is harder than others.
As I said in my previous post, changes are hard for individuals with Autism. Before our move, we tried to prepare for it to be a hard transition, but I think even knowing it would happen, I was still shocked at the extent of it. After starting his new school right after moving, the more frequent meltdowns and aggression started. It got to the point where I ended up cutting my hair to keep him from having easy access to pulling it. Again as said in the previous post, he started out in an inclusion class of 20, coming from a much smaller Autism-only class. While the aggression wasn't an issue at school, he was having a lot of other behavioral issues (overly hyper, climbing furniture, running around, fishing in the fishbowl), and they decided that perhaps next year he'd do better in the special education only classroom. Of course this would mean another transition, but if it helped him in the long run, it would be for the better.
When school let out for the summer, things seemed to improve. I honestly thought perhaps starting school right after the move had just been too much for him, and things were on the upswing. Unfortunately, once school started back up again I found that wasn't the case. He hates his new school. His teacher is great, the kids seem nice, but I think he truly just misses everyone from his old school and refuses to give this one a chance...and the aggression and meltdowns started again, worse than ever. This time, his aggression seems to be focused on biting, and let me tell you he bites hard. I posted a picture a few weeks ago of my arm after one such meltdown, and compared to now, that looks like nothing. My one arm is bruised to the point that it hurts with the lightest of touches, and it seems to only get worse as time goes on. When he's happy, he's great, but you just never know what is going to set him into one of those moods- it can be something easy to determine (like 'no, you're not getting a toy') or just completely out of the blue. It's been hard, to say the least. As a mommy, there is nothing I would love to do more than make this easier on him, and it's very frustrating to feel like there is nothing I can do to make him feel better.
Throughout this whole thing, we have been in the process of trying to find an ABA company here. In the past, it has made a tremendous difference for him. Unfortunately, we were finding places that either did not accept Tricare, or did not offer in home services. Because he has a tendency to master skills, etc in a therapy/school type setting, but not carrying them over to home, a center was not really an option that I think would have been most beneficial for him. But I am happy to say that last week, I was finally able to find a company that offers BOTH! At this point, it's a matter of paperwork and waiting on the insurance to go through, but I am hopeful that this company will finally work out and that this is FINALLY the light at the end of the tunnel.
For now I will continue to pray that things finally begin to settle soon, and to let my sweet boy know that I love him unconditionally, even through this rough patch.
(Note: I realize that many do not know the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown, so I found this post that I thought might be helpful in explaining what I am talking about when I talk about meltdowns.)