Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Smart Mouth

Sometimes I have to wonder what's worse: having a child who doesn't talk or having one who talks too much without fully understanding what he's saying.

Ha! His sister just told him, "I think you forgot that words have power."

So, Gus is being punished tonight. No television for the rest of the afternoon and evening. He was apparently misbehaving at school all day, but the worst offense was that he called one of his aides Stupid. Now, I know full well that he didn't mean it in the context that most people would assume, but that's beside the point. He knows he's not allowed to use that word. He sees it on television, he reads it sometimes in books, heck, sometimes I even slip and use it. But the message is always clear: it is not a nice word and not allowed. Period.

It's not as if he's watching anything above a G rating or reading things that are really inappropriate. We're currently reading A Wrinkle in Time, which is an amazing story and well within his ability to comprehend with minimal assistance. Before that we read Pippi Longstocking - a classic. He watches mostly Noggin, Disney or Discovery Kids, or sometimes old Superfriends. Teen Titans is the one thing he probably shouldn't be watching because of the violence, but the language is actually quite tame (comparatively) and my kids are banned from certain episodes that I consider over the top. Shows or movies with 'rude' humor are not allowed at all. The only time he's ever been shown Sponge Bob, for example, was at school last year. My point is that compared to what some kids are allowed to watch or read, his entertainment diet is quite bland in terms of language.

Gus has a tendency to repeat what he hears if it sounds giggalicious, but he has to learn that he can't just say anything and then hide behind the excuse that he heard it on TV (which he tried to pull with his teacher, who, rightly, did not buy it).

I know this 'freshness' is age appropriate, and in a sense we should be glad that he's acting like a 'typical' kid...I suppose. I guess the loss of that sweet innocence is tough for any parent, autistic child or not.

Edit: I got Gus to write an apology letter to the aide. Later this evening, just before bed he started crying and saying negative things about himself, which I put a stop to, telling him that he was not those things, that he made a mistake and took the consequenc and that it was done with. He said some other interesting things. He asked how he could get the bad things out of his brain so that they couldn't come out and also said that there are too many things he has to remember. Totally heartbreaking. He wasn't being malicious in any way. I hope hos teacher understands this.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Two Weeks Later

We've been able to maintain our dairy-free diet for two weeks now. Gus still won't touch any of the other milks, not even the chocolates or vanillas. But otherwise, it's gone fairly well. I think that I'm having to redirect a little less in general, more so when he's kind of tired.

The real test for me was what his teacher was going to say. I didn't tell her that we had made any changes and I spoke to her on Friday. Now, during the week, there hadn't been any negative reports. But when I asked her if she'd noticed any difference in him, she said she hadn't. The only difference was that he wasn't taking things off of the aide's desk. I've asked her to let me know if she does see any changes.

Even if there isn't a significant difference in his ability to focus, I definitely feel that he's more 'with it' and more conversational. Maybe the other part will come in time. It's only been two weeks after all. So we're sticking with this plan at least for a while longer.

We're getting as much calcium supplementation into the kids as possible: fortified juices, multivitamins with calcium and calcium gummies (those are a huge hit). Those things as many calcium rich foods as I can get my kids to eat seem to be working out fine. I was very excited to find that Apple & Eve now offers calcium fortified juice boxes. If I could find a decent non-dairy mozzarella or ricotta cheese, we'd be golden!

If you're trying a dairy-free diet, please share your experiences! We'd love to hear them!