Monday, April 28, 2014

Learned a new trick for the OCD speech repetition

Caitlin went to the zoo yesterday with my ex-wife and her grandmother for her half-brother's first birthday party.  She said she had fun, took a picture of a lion and a tiger, and she seemed happy...but she came home tired and overwhelmed, and ended up having a meltdown before bedtime.  The meltdown ended in tears, but at least she didn't throw things around or break anything.  It was just constant repetition, total frustration, a shutdown, then screaming and crying.

Kids have tantrums, and they're usually over something they want or attention they're not getting.  With a meltdown, it's about sensory overload, and kids with autism have to do something to get their minds in order, something to calm the mental storm to get back into a more peaceful, pleasant mode.

I learned a trick today, and the next time the repetition starts that marks the meltdown's beginning, I am going to try it, because it works with the OCD repetition.  I learned it from one of the aids at Caitlin's school.  They carry a whiteboard around, and every time Caitlin starts repeating something, they write it down.  Instead of Caitlin repeating it, she will read it from that point on.

I have a whiteboard somewhere around here, but I didn't have it handy when she came home from school, so I grabbed a notebook.  I wrote down things she repeated.  It calmed her very quickly and made her smile.

I'm going to work with this trick and see if I can make it progress to her writing it down herself, or perhaps typing it into her laptop.  Perhaps she can type it to me in a chat client, and I can type back to her...and make that interaction progress into communication.

No comments: