Colin was diagnosed with autism 8 months ago. I feel like I learn something new about it and about him every day. He has come so far in his speech, speaking in sentences and expressing himself well. He is such a sweet little boy, but his behavior is changing. Life has been difficult lately. I’m a full time nursing student, he’s in daycare and speech therapy. I’ve elected at this moment against ABA therapy, due to time constraints. I honestly don’t know what to expect from ABA therapy and the things I’ve heard have scared me.
Over the last two months, I have had my appendix removed, and my gallbladder was removed just last week. That’s when we first noticed a change in his behavior. His bedtime schedule was messed up, he was sleeping in our bed and watching TV to go to sleep and ended up staying up way past his bedtime nightly. His daycare teachers were reporting tantrums and meltdowns, and general “naughtiness.”
We’ve become more strict with his bedtime routine, but we’re still struggling. Yesterday his daycare teacher reported that he did a lot better, napped during naptime (versus the past few days that he’s been sent to the director’s office for being naughty).
Yesterday he asked for a third helping of cake, and I said no. I told him he could have a healthier snack if he wanted, but he was done with cake for the day. He FLIPPED. Screaming, turning red, hit me, bit me. I put him in timeout after he bit me and then shortly after that my husband messaged that he was ready for me to pick him up (we only have one car currently). I told Colin it was time to get out of timeout. I asked him to apologize, and he did. After he said sorry, he asked “Mommy, what just happened?” I told him he bit mommy, and he seemed shocked. “I bit mommy?!” I think he sincerely didn’t remember what he did. Has anyone experienced this?
I posted in a mom group asking other autism moms for their experiences and I got a lot more responses from non-autism moms. One was a special needs teacher who just told me not to put him in timeout and that having him apologize to me was detrimental? I don’t even know where to begin with those. How? I mean, I’m teaching him, right? Am I supposed to not discipline my child because he’s autistic? I just don’t even know. I seriously am just at my wits end. I don’t know how to discipline him. He’s so stubborn and strong willed. The kid will scream at me for HOURS if I let him. Timeout is the only way.
It just completely blew my mind, and I am so lost. I have no idea how to help get through this. I don’t know if I made the wrong choice skipping ABA therapy? If I should get him into OT? I don’t even know. I’m sorry it’s been so long, I wish I had kept up with updating so I could keep track of how he’s progressing. I know he’s making so much progress, but it’s so hard not to feel it all unraveling in times like yesterday.