Susan's Blog

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Reese’s-Eating Grin

I want to thank everyone who weighed in with regard to Nat and his outbursts. One comment in particular was extremely helpful, where an anonymous reader pointed out that sometimes even verbal people with ASD prefer not to talk; that it tires them out or frustrates them. Nat can talk, but hates to. And so Ned and I decided to use the written word instead, to set down on paper the salient points of his morning, and I will also do it for the afternoon.

He came down this morning and we merely greeted him, and silently left the note at his seat. He read it eagerly, again and again, like it was as interesting as the morning paper. And why not? It is all about the stuff that is most central to his day: what he and his family members are up to at any given moment. By the end of breakfast he was grinning and quietly silly talking in between bites of dry Reese’s Puffs.

Tabblo: Strategy for Nat

We have been stymied by some of Nat’s outbursts lately.  Nat is a teenager with autism, a dynamic combination when it comes to excitability and unpredictable mood swings.   We realized, however, that even though he can communicate verbally, he does not like to and it may in fact tire him out. 

Ned suggested we write out the important points of each day for him, particularly at meal time, when we anticipate some kind of outburst.  This morning I recorded his morning on paper, and he came downstairs, read it again and again, and eventually smiled his way through breakfast.  Whew.  … See my Tabblo>


Nice one. Alex responds well to written stuff too.

— added by Beth on Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 1:39 pm

That’s great! Writing things down and using our magnetic calendar helps our Christopher understand what to expect too.

— added by Suzanne on Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 2:33 pm

OH!! I am so doing this for Charlie!! Every day since summer vacation began, he has been screaming to get his Dad and Jonathan awake. They don’t have to get up early. I am going to do this right away to have it ready for tomorrow! What a winner of an idea.

— added by Mom on Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 2:55 pm

I use something like this for myself.

I print up my palm pilot schedule and check it in the mornings with my coffee, lest I unravel mid-day.

I think I need the Reese’s puffs, though.

You are so creative when it comes to giving Nat what he needs.

— added by Drama Mama on Friday, June 22, 2007 at 9:15 pm