Sometimes, Ethan comes home in the afternoon or evening and he begins to bargain to stay home the following morning. He announces that he will NOT be attending his day program or going out anywhere for the day.
When we hear this, we know that we are in for trouble. No, he won’t ‘forget’. He will continue making statements and asking for an affirmative answer to his pleas to stay home well into the next morning.
Dennis and I attempt to disengage and ignore the behavior, but he continues with pointed questions that end in needing to address it somehow. We usually continue to encourage him to move through doing the next thing for the evening – but he knows we have not answered the question.
To put this into perspective, what he wants to “stay home” from is a program that he loves, friends he is connected to, staff that does anything and everything to make his day interesting, engaging and productive. It is clearly a ‘brain glitch’ that makes managing many days VERY difficult.
I may have other engagements, appointments or tasks that would not be possible with Ethan home, and they all hang in the balance of whether he is going to follow through with his threat. Ethan cannot be left home alone. It presents a serious challenge.
To make it more interesting…he may change his mind. But that will happen once I’ve rearranged my day or I’ve acquiesced and begun phone calls and other tasks for the day. I know he’s changed his mind when I hear him yell from upstairs, “Ok! Yes.”
Sometimes, I don’t know what’s worse.
Before you suggest cool ideas, distraction techniques, reward programs, medication, prayer, or any number of very good and time tested techniques, I promise you, they don’t work on this guy. He is impervious to all your powers. This behavior is called perseveration and it’s a bitch.
Today, he was dressed, at the door and waiting for his ride. Three minutes later he was on the couch, socks & shoes off, lunch unpacked, coat in a heap and telling his favorite ride to program that he was staying home! It is shocking and so unpredictable. Luckily, today, his brain ran through whatever cycle this is in under 10 minutes. Socks on, shoes on, lunch repacked and out the door.
Bye for now E. We’ll do this again real soon.