Autism Is Emotional

Emotions! His! Mine! Ours! Who was more upset. Who wanted to cry more. Owen wanted to stay outside. He wanted to roll in the wet grass. I wanted to come inside and put the groceries away.

He couldn’t play outside earlier either. Routine, the weather, the day, life, it all can change, but Owen only wants what Owen wants.

I’m trying to stay focused. How do I handle these days differently. And today I can carry him, but then I was in reach for the hair pulling and he bit me on the arm. He is five now. He is getting stronger every day, both physically and emotionally.

I can’t say to Owen, even though I said it for the ten minute car ride home, “we are not playing outside, we are going directly inside”, and him to actually understand it. It isn’t what he had in mind. My heart breaks. Yes, I could have let him roll around in the wet grass. Yes, I could have stuck with routine. But when I need him to do something how do I get him to do this without him going into complete meltdown mode. How do I keep from going into complete meltdown mode myself.

Immediately when I got him inside he ran to his tablet, turned around came to me and said “wanna hug I sowwy I sowwy”. I cried a little harder inside, still trying to not scream or cry or ache for my arm and more for my little boy. He doesn’t want to hurt me, he doesn’t want this pain, he just wants to be outside. I sit here, still, almost in a trance reflecting on what happened. I talk to Owen calmly about what happened, hoping that it sinks in. I see the agitation in him when I show him my arm. I try to explain to him that mommy understands he was upset, I tell him I love him, but we don’t bite people and that we need to talk about this. I try to find words that he will understand and be able to comprehend, when I’m trying to figure it all out myself.

These days are rare anymore. He hardly hits me, pulls my hair or bites, but there were days this was a constant. I’m thankful that somehow through teamwork we are working through this. It isn’t easy on him. Autism doesn’t let him have a day off, or the freedom from his chains. I hope every day that we can learn together and find a way to make it easier for him to communicate and express what he needs or wants to happen.

Autism wasn’t important to me, until autism was important to me.

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