Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blink with Me

Perhaps I ought to elaborate on the title there.

Becky's son J is autistic. On the days that J is in his own world, Becky has described his behavior as "blinky" or "blinking out."

LMNOB had a brief, albeit frustrating, sensory meltdown at church today. Upon drop-off to bible class, she did her trademark clingy freak-out. I was tender but firm, quiet but loud and clear, and when it became apparent that her behavior was a ginormous distraction, I pulled her out. And headed to the ladies room, our routine set wherein I try to help LMNOB regain her shit she seems to all too frequently lose.

Upon leaving, the Sunday school teacher tried (but failed miserably) to help, "Bye LMNOB, it's too bad you're not going to be in class today."

LMNOB heard, "Wa-wa-wa Wa-wa-wa-wa."

I heard, "Thanks for disrupting our class. Again. You do know she's gonna have to learn to separate from you sometime, right?"

I know, it is probably not at all what she intended, she was probably just trying to back a mama up, but it hit me completely wrong.

We made our way into the bathroom, a public venue that makes for a completely awkward scene when people walk in upon a tantruming LMNOB while I am begging and pleading for her to just do a wall push-up or some other kind of "body work." And let me just say, it's not that we're secretive about LMNOB's needs, it's just that so many people do NOT get it.

Also, this was after the previous day's long drawn out battles with selfish, bratty kids - in a moment of extreme battle fatigue, I broke down in tears at that last "But, Mooooooooooooooom!" before bed. "Clearly if my kids think it is ok to act like this, I am not a great mom," I ranted. Clearly, it was a moment of hysteria, but still, it pops out from time to time, ya know? This morning, I was not fully recovered and went into today's battle in an already fragile state.

Dear Lord, I just need some respite!

LMNOB wanted to hang on me - my neck and back are bearing the brunt of this oft-made request. The grandmother of one of LMNOB's classmates came in and went into a stall. I held LMNOB up so that she could hang from one of the stalls.


"That feel alright?"


Out came Grandma. She spoke to LMNOB, with a kind smile, about her hair, school, etc. She turned to me with a knowing look and said, "She's under-sensitive, right?"

Surprised, I responded, "Yeah, they call her a sensory seeker because she is under-stimulated. In MOST things, though, not all."

Grandma noted that one of the hardest things is that the issues aren't always consistent, then related that her 4 y/o grandson (one of the triplet sibs of LMNOB's classmate - yeah, and I think I have it rough, I know) had recently been ID'd with sensory integration problems, but he was on the over-sensitive, "defensive" end of the spectrum. As a result he's often an angry, wild, and defiant little boy.

Grandma said that it just upsets her when people give looks at her daughter and son-in-law when her grandson is acting out, that people assume that these parents are just not good disciplinarians, and the kids are just spoiled.

She went on, "If people would just read the many books that are out, they'd know there is much more to the picture than that!"

I could have kissed her. Like, a full on makeout session, but ya know such risque' behavior is frowned upon at church.

Respite AND Validation? Love you Lord, I do.

In the meantime, LMNOB was soaking all of this up. Hearing that other kids have sensory issues is as much (or more) validating to her as it is for me.

After Grandma left, LMNOB hung another time and did some pushes against the sink counter.

And then she went into her class with no problem.

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. GRANDMA ROCKS!!! Hooorrray!!!

  2. What a blessing that that Grandma was in there. Sounds like it re-charged LMNOB's battery so to speak. How wonderful! ;)

  3. I love grandmas in bathrooms. Would you please send her to mine?


  4. That is really interesting. It's too bad people are so quick to judge, and so slow to research.

  5. Knowing that someone understands during those tough times is so important. I'm glad that Grandma was there.