A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Son of a gun, all attempts at correcting the nighttime urination issue have failed miserably.

With the benefit of both hindsight and humility, I have come to the conclusion that I am trying to fix a problem by hacking at its symptoms.  Even if I got Michael motivated enough to actually leave his bedroom to use the bathroom properly, where will his next example of passive/aggressive resistance manifest?

It’s back to the drawing board, in this case, the augmentative communication drawing board.  Since I can’t seem to fix this via guile and technology, I will attempt reason.  Clearly, I am down to my last resort.

When my daughter Kate was only about 4, I can hear her watching TV and rooting very hard for a character to succeed.  This was punctuated with occasional chants of “This has got to work!”.  To my surprise, the character she was rooting so hard for was none other than Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner fame.  

Well I feel a bit like old Wile E, as I attempt to stop my son Michael from peeing on his bedroom floor.  My latest attempt is a security camera that uses Bluetooth to hook up to your cell phone.  It also has a two way microphone “Michael, don’t even think of peeing there!”.  Ouvis veezon VZ1 Wireless WiFi 720P HD Pan Tilt IP Camera (Day/Night Vision,2 Way Audio, SD Card Slot, Alarm, Mobile Android/iOS/iPhone/iPad/Tablet)

 

What could possibly go wrong?

My son Michael knows better but he keeps peeing on the floor of his bedroom.  I don’t know why he feels the need to relieve himself on his bedroom floor, maybe it’s out of laziness or maybe it’s because he’s literally pissed off at the world and this is his way of pissing back.   I have tried various tactics to stop/modify/change this behavior.  I’ve even tried a moisture alert alarm that I hoped would scare the crap out of him (hmm, poor choice of metaphors).  But nothing seems to work, other than constant monitoring.  If we keep sending him to the bathroom, he doesn’t have any ammo to inflect further harm.

Finally, out of complete desperation, I added the signage below.

michael sign

 

And did it work?

Well, he no longer pees here anymore.  He has moved to the front of the bed.  (Curses, foiled again!!!!)

For kids who are high functioning, this article speaks to programs that help to match their creativity with possible job careers.

http://www.mlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/08/how_to_nurture_the_creative_mi.html

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Paul Horton of Detroit is an advocate for adults on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He administers two Facebook pages: It Doesn’t Always Get Better – For HFAs, to raise awareness of the struggles (and positives) of adults with autism, and The Creative Spectrum, focusing on creativity in the autistic spectrum.

OK, I have to admit, I thought the ice bucket challenge was a stupid “bucket list” item.  Bad Pun intended.

Yet, you can’t argue with success.  Apparently, that dumb ass challenge raised a very smart $115 million and that has propelled research on ALS.  In fact, perhaps even leading to a breakthrough.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/07/27/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-is-working/

So, in the spirit of if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, what would make a great “Autism Challenge”?  Something that could raise closer to $250 million in research funding.  There’s got to be a great idea out there.  On the plus side, there’s apparently no shortage of dumb people ready to do something stupid, along with writing $100 checks for the action.

For Children with Autism, Multiple Languages May Be a Boon

Most children who learn more than one language gain valuable skills, and researchers say this may also be true for children with autism

In the context of today’s times, comes an article about a police officer who helped a young boy get over his fear of the police.  As it turns out, the officer is white and the child is black, but the main takeaway is someone reaching out and being appreciated for the effort.

Mom Thanks Matawan Police Officer for Being Kind to her Autistic Son

http://patch.com/new-jersey/middletown-nj/s/ftg5f/mom-thanks-matawan-police-officer-for-being-kind-to-her-autistic-son

 

In the movie, All About Bob, one of the core lines is the idea of baby steps.  You need to start somewhere.  In the area of understanding autism we are building on baby steps.  Alone those lines is this piece of research which looks to better understand what’s going wrong with the neuron connectors in autistic kids.  And perhaps, someday soon, there may be a way to mitigate the traffic jam:

Activity between the cells improved when researchers added IGF-1, a growth promoting protein known to enhance connections between neurons.

Read more:  http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/07/08/Stem-cell-reprogramming-allows-scientists-to-model-autism-development/6741467977370/ Stem-cell-reprogramming-allows-scientists-to-model-autism-development (1)

Is the title of a documentary describing a young autistic man who defined his life through Disney Animated films.   He had retreated into a world and one day asked for help to get out. life, animated

Life, Animated, which takes its name from a 2014 book by Ron Suskind, begins and ends with Owen as he is today: a young man of 23, living on his own, working, having relationships. Between those happy bookends, though, is a story of heartache, frustration, childhood cruelty and one very significant, secular miracle.

This has some potential:

The exact nature of very real and arresting ‘meltdowns,’ or periods of stimulation overload, is unique to each person living on the autism spectrum, but the inexperience and extra challenges of childhood can make them particularly tough for kids to work through. The team behind Reveal, a new wearable for kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), wants to start putting emotional and environmental control back in families’ hands with mood-monitoring data that can help anticipate meltdowns before they happen (and even prevent them).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2016/06/14/wearable-for-kids-with-autism-may-help-predict-avoid-meltdowns/#577b8f2c7a24

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