American Asperger's Association Support Group

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Wow... maybe turning 5 changes things.

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1 Wow... maybe turning 5 changes things. on Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:35 am

KelleyNNelson

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So... Richard has been nothing short of amazing this week. We have more or less continued to have difficulty getting him ready for school, basically having to physically restrain him to get him dressed on at least 5 of the last 7 school days... He always seems to be cranky when he first wakes up for whatever reason. But in two specific trouble areas, he has simply left us slack-jawed.

The first one was on Wednesday. Simply put, Richard got a haircut. Sounds easy, huh? Well, in his 5 years, he's had to be physically restrained for every haircut he's ever had and it's been getting harder and harder with each cut. We put them off longer and longer each time, just because it's so difficult. After about his 3rd or 4th cut at the barber's, we finally bought clippers and started doing it at home for saftey (and sanity) reasons. The last few times, it's taken 2 people to hold him down and another person (me) to cut his hair. Not fun for any of us, let me tell you.

Well, this time around I decided I'd just surprise him and take him to a kids cutting place (that he'd been to before when he was younger) and see how he'd react, since he'd been surprising us with some things lately. Their barber "chairs" are more like Chuck E Cheese ride seats, so he chose one that was a rocket ship (only when he said it, it came out "rocket sh**" lol... love those speech issues) and just plopped his happy tushie down. He let the lady wrap him with a towel and then a cape (something he's never let me do which is usually why his hair cuts are so bad, because of all the hair falling all over him), and then happily let her cut his hair. Sure, he winced and shied away from the clippers every now and again, but he sat mostly still the whole time and took it without a single tear and without running away. At the end, he got a sucker and got to play with their toys.

And that was it, you'd think he'd done it a billion times. He so needed a hair cut too, it'd been since at least Thanksgiving or so... His poor hair was so long it was starting to grow curls in the back again. And he has the worst bed head I've ever seen in anyone. I'm not kidding. Even with a buzz cut now, he still manages bed head. It's insane. Of course I won't go into the details of the 90 minute long (literally) meltdown/tantrum that immediately followed after we left the place because he didn't want to go home but he didn't want to go anywhere else either and then he forgot why he was mad thing... No, I'll focus on the good thing. Razz

The other thing was on Thursday. Again, simply put, he went to the doctor for his 5 year checkup. Again, it seems easy enough. But again, in his 5 years, he's never had an appointment that he's not been physically restrained for. This appointment went swimmingly. They took him back as soon as we walked in, not giving him a chance to play with the toys in the lobby. A new nurse got him this time around, so maybe that surprised him a little, who knows. But obviously she didn't know he was autistic, and you couldn't tell because he was being cooperative enough. She asked him to take off his shoes and hop on the scale, he obliged. (only 50.5 pounds... I think he lost a little when he got sick recently, about the 92nd percentile. He was up to 52 at one point.) Then she measured him. (He was 46 1/2 inches. Which means he's nearly 4 feet tall with his shoes on. Wow. He's 98th percentile for his height.) Since the nurse didn't know him and he was being so cooperative, she kept going. She did the vision exam... 20/25. (only reason it wasn't perfect was because he was goofing off a little, and they gave him the symbols instead of letters. I think he would have done better with letters.) Then, she did the hearing test on him... which again I believe he did perfect on. (I couldn't tell because obviously I couldn't hear it, but from what I saw, it looked like he aced it.) Then she expressed her surprise that he'd never been tested before. Yeah, well we've never been here where he hasn't sounded and acted like a steam engine about to blow his stack before.

So then we wait for his doctor and she checks him out, all the while expressing how cool she thinks it is that he's being so cooperative and also striking up conversations with him (mostly about his cars), something she's never been able to do with him before. She's amazed at his progress. When everything's all done, she orders his two shots and leaves us, flabbergasted. So now comes the hard part... the shots. We pull out the secret weapon. Peanut butter M&M's.

He holds the candy in one hand and gets a shot in the other arm. We told him in advance that it might hurt a little, like a pinch (not the first time he's gotten shots, but the first time he's really been aware of it happening, if you know what I mean). He winced, looked down at his arm, kinda shrugged, ate an M&M... Tried (kinda half-assed) to stop her from doing the other, ate another M&M, winced as she shot him again, then offered the nurse an M&M. We just stared. No tears, no screaming. Huh?

From there, we went to get something to eat... He ate a leg & thigh and half of a breast of baked chicken, half of a hot dog, a few bites of ham, a bunch of mandarin oranges, a ton of raisins, a bite or two of fruit cocktail, a half cup of milk and about a half cup of chocolate ice cream to top it off. This from a kid who practically never eats anything. We were left wondering what the hell happened to our boy... lol. But we liked it!

2 Re: Wow... maybe turning 5 changes things. on Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:46 am

csweepigirl

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OH my gosh, WTG Richard!! That is so awesome.. wow.. sounds like he's come a LONG way!! I can't wait until Kailey is 5 lol! Tell him that "Kailey's mommy heard you were a brave boy, and she wanted me to do this" then tickle the heck out of him for me!!!

3 Re: Wow... maybe turning 5 changes things. on Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:30 pm

KelleyNNelson

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Thanks! He always surprises us and we are very proud of him, he tries so hard. Smile I will be sure to give him "Kailey's mommy" tickles. Razz

4 Richard on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:46 pm

Dr. Ron

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Very, very cool. WTG Richard and family. Dr. Ron Smile

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