I’m Just Wondering…

Here are just a few of the questions that roll around in my head, at any given moment, during my day to day life, for which I have no answer:

Why, if there is sensory overload, can my son watch TV, play a video game and play a song on his iDevice simultaneously and understand what is going on for each thing at all times?  If I make a change to any of it, he comes back and puts it as it was before I made the change.

Ugly doll and other cars - meh... Don't touch the Road Rippers!!

Why must he have two cars lined up on top of each other still in the box and everywhere else in the room, there is chaos so I trip over or step on something no matter where I go?  For some things, he could care less where they are or where they are left.  For others, if I move anything even a millimeter, he comes back and puts it as it was.

Why is it that my son can watch the same 45 seconds of the same episode of the same show over 600 times and when the 601st time comes on, he melts down, freaks out and demands that it be shelved indefinitely?  Why can he talk about and recite the planets in order 325 times, talk about black holes and nebulas til I’m blue in the face, and then ban all astronomy books, talks, and assorted paraphernalia for indefinite periods?

Why does my son demand to eat nothing other than Frosted Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts for breakfast for four months and then refuse to eat them on day one of month five?  Then, another four months later, he will bring the jilted pop-tart back in the fold?

Why does my son ask me to sing the Spongebob Squarepants Campfire Song and refuse to allow me to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?

Why does my son dare me to take him places he does not want to go (the doctor, tunnels, car washes) and only quit his 54th repetitive dare in a row when I call his bluff?

Why must my son ride the elevator “up” and not simply “down”?  And why on Earth must he ride it at all?  When will the escalator cease to be so fascinating?

Why do I have to be asked what color every physical object in our universe is, every hour of every day, when he knows the answer?

I’m just wondering…

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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26 Responses to I’m Just Wondering…

  1. blogginglily says:

    I don’t know, i have the same issues. . .

  2. kcunning says:

    I can answer the sensory overload questions, actually. Sensory overload comes from having too much input that you’re not controlling. If he’s in control of the TV and the iDevices, and you’re not making a lot of extra household noise (like vacuuming or doing the dishes), the environment has become completely predictable.

    It’s why many children with sensory issues flap their hands in front of their face. They’re controlling their visual stimuli.

    // Mother of 10 year old Aspergers boy.

  3. Karla (Mom2MissK) says:

    I am sooooo with you on the last one! We don’t get the colors, but we do get “what IS that?” — And if I try to pass on the question, I get the newly-evolved “what KIND?” It’s maddedning!

    @kcunning – thanks for the wisdom on the overstimulation – I’ve wondered the same thing myself and your answer makes total sense!

    • solodialogue says:

      Oh, Karla – sometimes I change up the response but it’s usually easier to just give the “approved” version. Did you see Dixie’s reply? She’s got it!! And yes, Katie has great insight there as well. Why didn’t I just ask these questions here sooner?

  4. Dixie says:

    Oh, the questions…..there is a sentence in one of Temple Grandin’s books that was life-changing for me….it goes something like this:

    “I asked my mother the same questions over and over so I could hear the pleasure of the same reply.”

    One question down. :-)

    Dixie

    • solodialogue says:

      The phrase “…pleasure of the same reply” gives me a new and refreshing perspective which is much needed in my household. Breaking the rule twice, eh? I am honored, Miss Dixie. ;)

      • Dixie says:

        OMG I have fallen OFF my no commenting wagon big time. ;-) I just posted on Kassione’s blog and Julia Bascom’s blog.

      • Dixie says:

        AND that phrase “pleasure of the same reply” was so elegant when I read it. It made perfect sense at the time. Alex still asks a lot of the same questions now. Sometimes I turn it around and ask HIM the questions now. ;-)

      • Jim w says:

        Again sort of boils down to “control”. Same question means being able to get a predictable (controlled) answer. Interesting.

  5. Melissa says:

    We have a lot of the same issues as well. We’ve found, as far as sensory overload goes, it depends of a variety of factors with my daughter. How much input, where she is in her day, sleep, control (her control of the noise/lights) and knowledge of the routine. If she’s running “high” for the day already… even if she’s in control, she’s likely to be thrown off.

    • solodialogue says:

      Melissa, you make a good point. Even if our children are technically “in control”, if they are running “high”, they may still see things as out of control and be feeling that sensory overload too. Very interesting things to keep in mind. Thank you.

  6. Melissa says:

    Added, my daughter, for a while, would only eat Mac n Cheese for dinner… one brand, 3 noodles on the spoon or she’d gag. After a while, we’d make it of her and she’d not eat it… But when asked what she wanted she’s still ask for that (or point to it)…

    Recently, “what color?” got the answer “mac n cheese”….

  7. We’re going through this too. I’ll have to write a post about Pudding’s crush. She asks what his name is hundreds of times a day, just for the pleasure of the same reply, as was said above. And if you say a different name…well, you know the opposite of pleasure.

  8. I wonder about the same things, and it drives me crazy. Although it does sound pretty funny when you write it down like this. Helps me remember to relax and enjoy the quirkiness! :)

  9. eof737 says:

    All terrific questions and I wish I had answers to them… Listen, hugs over that verdict! My heart goes out to you! :-(
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving weekend! :-)

  10. Lana Rush says:

    I’ve gotten behind on my reading and so I’m trying to catch up with all of you.

    I’m so glad I saw this post! What perfect sense so many of the comments make in answer to your “wondering”. Most every kid in the world thrives on predictability so why should we be so surprised when ours are no different – even if they do take that predictability to the extreme sometimes….

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  11. Jen says:

    I wonder too, Karen! I wonder why my son has to point out EVERY SINGLE Hyundai car and school bus on each car ride. If I do not acknowledge them too, he continues to say, “Mom, Mom, Mom…I need to tell you something.” Lucky for me I JUST figured out how to turn on the DVD player in the back seat (just discovered the headphones) while I listen to music in the front. Where have I been these past few years??

    • solodialogue says:

      You are still further ahead than I am! I have not dared to use the headphones yet! You have inspired me, Jen!

      I’ve been thinking about the ear buds for the iPod but I keep forgetting! :)

  12. Dixie says:

    Your post jogged a memory for me and Alex’s later explanation about it. I wrote about that today. I wish grown Alex could have visited me back when he was little and explain so much!

  13. I wrote a post about my son’s endless and repetitive questioning re vehicles yesterday, and one kind and thoughtful commeter pointed me in the direction of your post and the insightful comments you’ve rceeived. Very helpful, thank you! :)

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