If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
Today was my weekly team meeting with the ABA therapists and case manager. Silas has mastered many of the skills he has been working on; which in my opinion should have been marked off a long time ago considering he already knew most of these items. Usually, I am pretty quiet at these meetings but not today. Today I told them I want them to push Silas. Actually challenge him and I do not care if he gets mad and frustrated. That is the point. In order for him to grow and continue developing he needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone.
I am to the point now to where I am tired of everything being what Silas wants when he wants it. I am tired of his non-compliance. If I tell him to do something I know he knows how to do and understand then he better do it. This is typical toddler behavior piled on top of autism. I know this is going to cause lots of screaming, whining, and crying but that is okay. I am prepared for it.
As I am writing this Silas is participating in copying 3D objects that his therapist is making. Silas is not doing what he is supposed to do. He is saying “Good job Silas!” and since neither the therapist nor I will cheer for him he is screaming. Silas ran over here screaming and stood in front of me. Since I just ignored him he ran off to his room to pout.
I have now realized that the majority of tantrums Silas throws are only for me to acknowledge him. Since I have been ignoring him and not even reacting to him in the slightest way the tantrums are decreasing in number. The only problem with this is they are increasing in length and viciousness. He has begun hitting harder, throwing things, and trying to pull/knock things over. I guess it is a good thing that I do not own nice stuff.
My patience is slowly running thin but I always think to myself that these behaviors will not last. My willpower is stronger than his. The purpose is to shape Silas’ unacceptable behaviors into acceptable ones. To help him learn self-care and be able to function without the constant need of an adult. I am still enjoying every little moment with Silas. Now there is just an amplified volume and more physical contact every so often. The ability to ignore these behaviors has actually come to me quite easily. Hopefully, it will get easier for daddy to ignore these behaviors better too.