Things get destroyed beyond imagination. And that destruction occurs in moments. Seconds. Fractions of seconds.


     Sammy, my son with autism, is extremely active. He is in constant motion. He is always jumping, climbing, running, dancing, etc. If he doesn’t have structure and supervision he causes mass destruction. He is big now, 7 years old, and so he has become much like having a wild bear or gorilla in the house. Things get destroyed beyond imagination. And that destruction occurs in moments. Seconds. Fractions of seconds.

   He does not sit still. His favorite pastimes are: shredding anything he can find that is shreddable (paper, cardboard, his sister’s homework, etc.) and climbing anything that is climbable (the doors, the cabinets, shelves, couches, TVs, tables chairs, the kitchen sink, the fridge, the counter, the toilet, the shower, the closets, etc.) and then jumping from and/or swinging on the thing that he just climbed.

     I’m pretty convinced that even if I removed every article of furniture from the house he would still find a way to climb all the way to the ceiling.

    And of course, when you climb and shred things all day, the best thing about that is that you can sprinkle confetti all over the house from the highest point in each room. So, a floor that has recently been cleaned can look like something out of that Febreze commercial in about 2 minutes flat.

 

I tried to find confetti videos on youtube to maybe help satisfy that visual stim – and he likes them – but they don’t really stop him from shredding things and making confetti in real life — this is one of his favorite videos at the moment:

 

   Cue the crazy, tired mama

        So I have a question for anyone who reads my ramblings. What do you suggest I do with Sam to help decrease the chaos and destruction at home?  He needs activities that are messy, full of movement, and confetti, and in a perfect world – activities that I can orchestrate easily, isolate to one room, and that will occupy him while I clean, cook, tend to my daughter – you know, the usual.

     We have some tried and true favorites, like trips to the park and swimming and painting and swinging. But I need new ideas. What he needs most is sensory input. He likes deep pressure and lots of movement and impact. He is always seeking proprioceptive and vestibular input. 🙂

We have a small playroom with a hammock swing and tv and padded floor and small trampoline. But he is pretty bored with it and always wants me to push him on the swing for hours on end. I need to find more activities that he can do by himself while I get other things done around the house. The way it is now, I clean one side of the house while he destroys the other side. Then we switch. And repeat….

   The other day I was cleaning the living room and Sam was in the laundry room smashing lightbulbs and licking the broken pieces. Yup. Licking them.  So I can’t clean while he is home, and I can’t clean while I work (obv) — so when do I clean? At midnight?

    He is non stop into everything. If I leave him in the bath he squirts the toothpaste into the tub. Or sticks his head in the toilet. Or covers himself in VapoRub. We have locks now on the cabinets so we can hide the stuff now and hopefully limit the destruction. I am thinking we need some sort of climbing structure in the playroom (which is small, approx 10ftx9ft) and some way for him to jump and get impact … 

Any suggestions are much appreciated. My brain doesn’t work well after years of sleep deprivation so maybe the solution in right in front of my face and I can’t see it. Well, I can hope anyway eh? 🙂

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Aside

November 2017
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