Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Having a child with Autism and ADHD has been quite an interesting journey so far.  As I've mentioned before,  my little man was diagnosed with Autism at about  2 1/2 and then diagnosed with ADHD at about age 3.  Kind of a double "whammy!"  Before he talked, which was about age 3, he made very little eye contact and very much preferred his own company.  A specific incident stands out  and will probably be forever etched in my mind.  I have tried very hard to involve my son in a lot of my baking and cooking. It has taught him how to count among other skills.   One of his favorite things he likes to do (and still does)  is to  pull up a chair from the kitchen table and put it against the counter so he can watch me more closely.  On this particular day which was before he was talking, I was unpacking our dishwasher.  I had turned around to put something in the sink or to put something away, my back was turned to him for literally not even 15 seconds.  When I turned back around he had grabbed one of our steak knives out of the dishwasher silverware holder   and had put it in his mouth!  All I could see was the black handle.  A million different thoughts raced through my head, what if he tried to swallow the whole thing? what if he pulled it out too  quickly?  It was a very scary moment, I can tell you that.  I still get goosebumps even as I'm writing this.  One thing both my son and daughter can pick up on is if I'm stressed, so I tried really hard to stay cool as a cucumber as they say!  Hard to do under those extreme circumstances.   I remember saying, "give it back to me" or something like that very calmly.  I  don't remember  exactly which one of us pulled it out.  He was very lucky in that he was completely fine.  It has been a long,  slow process to try and get him to understand the consequences of his actions.  One of the first words he did learn was "no,"  and boy does he like that word!!  Don't all kids, no matter what age??   At least now, he says, "no,  thank you."   Ever since that incident,  I have really tried to keep things in perspective no matter what stress I am under  and to  not sweat the small stuff!

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