The Monster is not a morning person, in general. I’ve seen more than a few articles talking about how stress hormones are higher in the morning, and how that affects general behavior in folks with Autism, and I can say that by and large, I agree with the consensus that it’s probably part of the problem.
So most mornings kind of go like this:
One of us – usually the wife – has to get the Monster out of bed and downstairs to swap him out of his pull-up into big-boy underwear and his school uniform, while the other goes to pack lunch and get breakfast rolling. Then both of us have to struggle to get him to eat whatever was given to him for breakfast, perhaps by bribing him by turning on Sesame Street and letting him eat in front of the television, before the bus arrives at ten before eight, and then another struggle ensues to get him to stop what he’s doing, get his bag on, and get outside to the bus.
Wrapped into this are all of his recent tactile behaviors – wanting to touch whatever’s in his hand to the ground when he steps outside, or putting his forehead to the ground, or something of that nature – and general inertia about not wanting to get on the bus. Even though, mind you, he’s been doing this exact same procedure for over a year now, with just a difference in what time the bus arrives for him in the mornings. And most mornings are variations on this theme depending on the ease with which he wakes up, but few are really ever ‘easy’.
And then you have days like today.
The wife did a lot of the prep work this morning, because I was running behind and emptying the dishwasher, but by the time I’d gotten downstairs and settled, the Monster was actually sitting at the dining room table, eating his poptart and drinking some juice. (Admittedly, he’s also a mite under the weather, which could have factored into it – he’s perhaps caught a sniffle from R.) He didn’t protest about the fact that the news was on the television in the kitchen, or that Sesame Street wasn’t on in the living room. He did ask once for Sesame… but that wasn’t anything serious and he seemed to forget that he’d even asked.
And when the bus came, he gave his brother a hug, gave kisses to us, and then went straight out to the bus without having to give himself tactile stimulation on the way.
I’m sure something’s going to bite me in the butt about this later, but at least for now, it’s nice…