Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Typical Car Ride

When you have two kiddos with autism- each with extremely different sensory needs, a simple task like taking a ride in the car can turn into quite the adventure.  Read:  nerve jangling disaster.

The car issues all started right after Nate was born- Jack was about two and a half and almost immediately after I brought Nate home Jack started screaming bloody murder every single time I turned on the turn signal.  How many three year olds become conditioned to, instead of screaming, say “mommy is a law abiding citizen” when mommy turns on the turn signal?  It was the only work around I could think of at the time.

He also went through a period where if I drove past a large group of trees or anything else that generated shade, he would have a complete meltdown about the shadows in the car.  As though I can control that?  And the radio issue continues- it must be turned off before we pull into the driveway or all Hell breaks loose.  And he can tolerate a very short playlist of songs- he used to scream about this as well, but we have worked on him simply saying “skip” if the music is bothering him. 

This doesn’t even cover the whole “driving” thing.  I can’t turn corners unless I do so very slowly or he screams, can’t drive behind certain cars, or let alone buses.  If we are caught in traffic he yells “we’re still moving!!!!”  Speed bumps- they’re bad news.  Jack shouts every time we go over one.  He also notices immediately if I take a different route than usual and this upsets him quite a bit.  I get that he is not doing this to be difficult and feel really bad that he experiences these things so intensely.  I’m just saying- it makes for interesting driving.

Thus far in life, Mr. Nate has been very straight forward.  He cries for one reason when we are in the car- if we stop.  Recently he seems to be noticing this quite a bit more.  In the last week it has escalated, and it’s pretty darn cute.  He sits in the back seat and if I stop or even slow down he yells “go, go, go!!!”  I feel like a sled dog, he may as well shout “mush! Mush!”

Honestly, I try to speed up when he does this, or pray for the green light.  I want him to feel empowered when he makes the effort to communicate with me.  In the mean time between my two kids I am starting to question who is actually driving this car….

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