Perseveration

Yesterday was another of our trips to Sesame Place, making the most of our season passes by trying to take in the Halloween festivities at the park before it closes for membership year.

We already knew before going that it was going to be difficult compared to our other trips – without the water activities being open, the Monster isn’t quite as set on doing much of what the park has to offer.

And granted, it was a good chance to let him get one more good climb through the nets before they’re permanently removed in a few weeks.  (The net climbing area is, as I understand it, the last original feature of the park that opened in 1980, and is being replaced with a new area in the spring.  I don’t know that removing it is such a bad thing, given that it’s not really adult-friendly.)  That was, really, one of the few activities that the Monster was interested in on this trip.

Now, part of the fault is our own – we keep saying that we’re going to bring his headphones and an iPod Nano that we’re planning on loading with music, per a suggestion from his outside OT provider… but we’ve not done it yet.  Certainly, having the van with Sesame Street available on the video screen helps to ease the trip back and forth, and having his iPad handy when he’s feeling more of a need for stimulus is good… but we didn’t yet again have anything prepared for in the park itself.

One of the big problems is that the Monster perseverates badly on debris being on play structures.  It started out with his pulling up grass and sand to feel how it runs through his fingers in the yard and at the playground.  It’s since progressed to his needing to drop pebbles, twigs and leaves off of play structures if he encounters them.  We have yet really to figure out what his need is for these behaviors, or how to deter him from them.  And yesterday, we saw it take hold for the first time while we were out at Sesame Place.  He went up the big slide over by the Elmo’s World area… and didn’t come down for a significant amount of time, so I went up to find him, only find him obsessing about dropping the leaves that had accumulated up there off the side of the structure.  I managed to get him to go down the slide once… but on his second trip, while trying to herd him into the line for the slide, he had a mini-meltdown because I wouldn’t let him continue with the behavior.

We did, finally, get him calmed down by sending him on the nets for a good while, where I’m generally able to keep him occupied since there are few such things to obsess on (well, save that one of the numbered tabs on his RAP bracelet came off and he started to insist that the bracelet come off in total).  But we definitely – definitely – need to get him settled for next year, before we’re just totally unable to go to amusement parks…

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