“Love me a little quieter!”

shhhBryan has been very anxious lately. He is responding, in his way, to changes in our household. Bryan can be very loud. He has outbursts about whatever is on his mind. Along with his loud outbursts, he is doing his usual anxiety things, chewing the collar of his shirt, and jiggling the fat on the back of the arm. He also likes to revert back to baby shows. He has been watching Rolie Polie Ollie lately, and well that was brutal the first time around, don’t need to go there again. Autism is the gift that keeps on giving.
Bryan’s favorite thing to scream is “love you”. So that’s a crazy thing. Your kid says “love you” and do you really want to say “be quiet?”. I feel the collective of all of the moms and dads of kids with autism who are nonverbal weighing upon me. Ugh ugh ugh. On Saturday night he was screaming so much, so many “love yous” and after about 500 times Earl said “love me a little quieter”. Instantly, Earl said “that’s a blog”. I wasn’t sure. I have to always let the ideas rest for a bit. One of the things that is different about autism is the one step forward two steps back that is your life. You can think, wow that behavior is gone, he has matured, whew, dodged a bullet. Before you get too comfortable it’s back with a vengeance. Sometimes a recurring thing means anxiety, change, transition. Other times it means a breakthrough of sorts may be on its way. In earlier years if Bryan was really behaving badly the reward, if there is such a thing, was that some sort of language or behavioral breakthrough was not too far behind. Unfortunately, I do not believe that is the case here.
So what can you do? As kids get older, you can’t just manage it away as easily with a quick incentive. As he ups his game, we need to up ours as well. Interestingly enough, water is one of the best things. He loves to take a bath or go for a swim. He just got out of the bath about 15 minutes ago. It is a band-aid for sure, but a much-needed one for the rest of us. As far as the long term strategy, I need to think. Thinking is very underrated. A quick fix won’t do; I need to get in front of this one.
Tomorrow is Jason’s 12th birthday. Jason gets the rhythm of working with Bryan. He knows when Mommy is fried you need to help out. He gets frustrated with Bryan too but at the end of the day he knows he needs to help out. We have our little Bryan-isms and we include Bryan in these little jokes. Bryan likes to giggle with us and it helps to diffuse a tough situation.
For most of my typing of this blog, Bryan has been sitting next to me. He knows I am writing about him but only reads over my shoulder a little bit. The most difficult part of autism, to me, is that he knows his behavior is making us nuts. He does not want us to be angry with him, he does not want to cause problems, but can’t always help himself. I must remember to always take a deep breath and remind myself that we all deal with things in different ways and it is my job, my direct purpose to always try harder, do better, and listen to all of the love yous.

2 thoughts on ““Love me a little quieter!”

  1. That’s a tough one, Janie. I do get tired of constantly having to formulate a plan. But, I’m a natural born planner. I plan everything. Usually my plans blow up in my face and I have to plan again. “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is my life story. Or what’s the other one? “Life is what happens when you’re busy planning it”? I hate that saying. I plan to keep on planning. Because sometimes, it actually works out.

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