I’m so used to what the Monster does and doesn’t do that it throws me sometimes when he starts to do something different.
Last week, he suddenly ate pasta with sauce on it after literally two years of having a dinner-diet constrained to about five things – completely spontaneous and unprovoked by us. We’re talking suddenly reaching over, taking my fork off my plate, and shoveling some of my pasta into his mouth.
Over the weekend, he picked up one of my bad habits. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was ten, and he since he was about eighteen months. When I get tired, or I’m thinking, I have a habit of taking my glasses off and rubbing the bridge of my nose… and he’s suddenly started imitating it. (Which is funny until he does it four or five times in a row, and then it’s just tiresome.)
Well… out of the blue at the end of the week, he started covering his ears when he flushes the toilet.
The Monster’s never been sensory adverse. He loves noise – I can remember when we took him to the renaissance festival and he happily paid attention to the drummers who were pounding away. He likes fireworks and other loud things. And, when you look at it in that respect, the toilet’s not that loud.
Obviously, that set us off on a whole concern about whether or not he’s suddenly regressing or exhibiting other behaviors that aren’t entirely out of whack for children with Autism. Nothing we do prevents him from trying to cover his ears… but it’s also not stopping him from flushing the toilet. If we do pull his hands away from his ears, he’ll struggle to re-cover them, but there’s no obvious distress.
It turns out that it’s just more Monster See, Monster Do.
When we were at the IEP meeting yesterday, and the psychologist asked us after any unusual behaviors, we flagged this as a concern… and his teacher mentioned that they just got a new student (also IEP’d) in the last few weeks, who does the same thing. Said child tends to be taken to the bathroom before the Monster… so the Monster might have seen the behavior and is now copying it.
Okay, so on a positive, he’s now modeling after other people. On the downside, this is exactly what we were afraid could happen…
It could be worse. I could still be re-enacting scenes from “The Princess Bride” around the house…