Playdate With a Side of Autism

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Being an autism sibling comes with joy and pain. You all know that Harrison turned 14 yesterday.  His celebration started out with getting a haircut and an iPhone upgrade. No, not the latest one. He received a gift from his dad in the mail. He was able to take two buddies out to lunch and then back to our house for the day.

Sydney stayed with my parents so my focus could be on Harrison. We are having a family celebration today for Kayla and Harrison’s birthdays.  I knew that she would enjoy that.

After leaving the restaurant we picked up Sydney. She was excited to see the boys. She  called them her brothers. She let them do their thing and the day was going great. Sydney and I decided to make cupcakes for the boys.

Cooking is usually Sydney’s favorite activity but not today. I’m not sure if she was upset because it wasn’t her birthday or because Harrison had company and wasn’t giving her any attention.

I should have stopped before we started but I didn’t want autism to win. So we gathered our ingredients and our aprons and we were ready to get our bake on.

The oven is preheating and we are mixing our ingredients. It was time to add the eggs, this is Sydney’s favorite part.  I don’t know what happened to trigger the next events. She grabs the eggs and instead of cracking them the correct way. She begins smashing them together shells and all and pouring it into the bowl. I calmly told her to slow down. I told her that we could start over and she starts throwing eggs like a quarterback. I think I was in such disbelief I couldn’t move.

No more flying eggs and she sits on the floor and begins reading her calm down story. This time I had to read it too.  For the next twenty minutes she cried, and screamed for cupcakes. Harrison came down to check on us. I told him to go back upstairs until things calm down.

I prayed, she screamed louder.  During this meltdown she called me “Mean Old Maleficent”. Now, I am confused in this an autism meltdown or not?  This episode went on for thirty minutes.  The remainder of the time I wrapped her in the weighted blanket and I let her “stim” and I didn’t speak.  This time she was repeating different phrases, 53 days to Disney, Harrison’s birthday, fix the pink iPad, need more cupcakes, and you mean old Maleficent.

The boys came down and asked her if she was okay.  She smiled and said “Hello brothers.” They sat down with her and listened to her read some of her book.  They told her she was smart and a great reader. I was in the corner crying like a baby.  Crying because my kitchen looked a hot mess, these young boys were showing empathy toward Sydney and I looked over at my 14 year old son who had shared “Sydney stories” with his friends and they thought it was no big deal.

Sydney cleaned the entire kitchen, the boys enjoyed the cupcakes and we all survived.  The boys even asked if they could come back over today. It was a learning experience for all of us. Sydney and I had a nice long talk, that started with an apology that wasn’t prompted by me.

~Embracing Autism

From,

Mean Old Maleficent

 

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