Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just don't run with it!!!

My last post was pleading for some help with my son's newest obsession....knives!  Of all things, my aspie decided somehow that he NEEDED to have knives.  And when I say obsession, it really was.  It was his every thought, and because he liked to cut himself with them we had to hide all of our knives and denied him anything sharp at all.  Well, it didn't work.  He had meltdown after meltdown.  Destroyed our house during fits.  Regressed in potty training and really just had a horrible time.  So, I used this blog to post our struggle and hope to hear some suggestions on how to handle the situation.  And of course you guys pulled through!  With some private messages and emails and the help of our therapists, we developed a plan of attack to help our aspie through this tough time.  And our plan of attack just might surprise you. 

What we knew was that our current way of dealing with it did not work....at all!  And so we did the opposite.  We gave him knives.  Yup, we armed our little dude with two of his very own knives that he could only use for 15 minutes, three times a day with supervision of course.  During the other times we put them in a treasure box in the kitchen where he could go and check to make sure they were there any time he wanted.  If he worked hard and completed all his work, then he could earn "bonus" time with the knives as well.  The other condition to the knives, thanks to the input of my husband, was that the knives had to be used as a tool accomplishing some task.  He did not wanting him just to hold it or study it, giving him time to think about cutting himself.  Instead, he had to cut fruit, vegetables, whittle a stick, cut flowers, etc.  Our therapist even constructed a knife use chart that had Velcro images of the knives with the times to give him a visual understanding of how many times a day he could play with the knives.  When he accomplished a task, he would remove a imagine allowing him to understand then how many more times that day he got to work with the knives. 

From the word go, he was curious and happy to have time with the knives.  We ended up falling into a pattern with the knife use so that when our in home therapist was here in the morning, our aspie and her would cut fruit for a snack.  Then for dinner he helped me cut vegetables for dinner and after dinner daddy and him did some sort of "manly" cutting.  He loved having his own special knives and as soon as we started this schedule, his meltdowns cut down dramatically.  We are now in week 3 of our routine and he has gotten to a point that he talks about knives constantly but the need to have them and search for them has lessened greatly.  He also has not cut himself since we started.  Although he still likes the feeling, he for some reason is not using them on himself. 

So there you have it.  We gave into the obsession, which is honestly the last thing I thought we would ever do.  It's a crazy feeling to allow your five your old to holding sharp knives and using them by himself when everything in your gut tells you to take them off of him.  But I, nor any other parent with a child on the spectrum, have a "normal" kid.  Our kids think differently, act differently, and are different and so, I guess a different response should not surprise me!

1 comment:

@dkotucker said...

This is awesome! So glad things are working out and learning some great lifeskills to boot!!