Autism Awareness Month Post — EASTER EDITION
Wow! Look! A brand new talking Iron Man that flies around the room and shoots rockets at the dog.
Meh…I’d rather chew on the wrapping paper.
A lot of people go through that with young kids on Holidays and Birthdays. But typically not until their eighth birthday or 9th Christmas.
There’ve been Christmases when Luke got upset that he had to open all those presents. He’s surrounded by a ton of cool toys he’s generally not that interested in.
Many kids with autism either don’t have many ‘interests’ or have some very specific ones. For awhile Luke was in the ‘very few’ camp.
He likes his WWE action figures— to chew on. I’ve literally seen him seek one out just to chew. Most of them having missing arms. It looks a little like Saving Private Ryan starring John Cena around here.
He loves his IPad. He likes books, comics, and magazines too (his big gift today was a Star Wars Encyclopedia).
One of the tougher questions the teachers and therapist ask are ‘what are Luke’s REINFORCERS?’ (this is not a 1980’s Stephen J Cannell action show — though it should be)
Reinforcers are generally a term for ‘bribes’(not really and a teacher will cringe at that thought but they can be anything from tickles to Hershey Bars to IPads). Luke loves food(though he’s picky) but they try not to use that as a reinforcer unless absolutely needed. He loves IPads but once you pull that out he might not pay attention. So books, magazines, etc…
When Luke was 3 he was into ‘Ultimate Fighting’(not so much any more but I still hear his IPAD blasting— Booooom! You’re gonna get pinned. Booooom! You’re gonna get knocked out You’re gonna feel it, this is the ultimate). That year, his teacher stocked the shelves with some pretty bloody MMA magazines…whatever it takes.
Often it just takes him awhile to ‘get to it’. There are a lot of gifts he’s initially barely interested in that he then goes to town on weeks or even years later.
So, if you’re giving a gift and he likes the wrapping paper more than the gift…it’s just his way. He might really dig it. But the social part of opening them, might come of as a bit of a chore.
Today is Easter and we’ve gotten somewhat better at knowing what Luke likes and he’s developed a lot more interests and patience. But mostly he’s in it for the Twix eggs…which reminds me, I better run…I have to get in some Twix Eggs before Luke devours them.