Saturday, October 9, 2010

Destruction, thy name is Simon

This really isn't an autism thing -- it's just a part of who my kids are. I suspect that, even if "autism" wasn't a part of our lives, I would still see these types of things. Maybe I'd be a little less patient about it. Or maybe I'd be more amused. I would probably expect more understanding, as I do expect Daniel to "listen" and not destroy the world around him.

But this is yet ANOTHER example of how Rachel and Simon are total opposites, except for when they are exactly the same. Rachel thrives on "ORDER". She likes to put things "away" (specifically, she likes to "put in", which is one of her first mastered Lovaas ABA tasks). Simon, on the other hand, thrives on "CHAOS". The more something is messed up, broken, out of sync, out of order, upside down, the better. He constantly overturns furniture. He likes to take the cushions off the couch. His new favorite thing is to dump the toy chest in the playroom upside down so the hundreds (which can feel like thousands) of Legos scatter. He likes to turn the indoor-outdoor slide upside down. He ripped the door out of the doorframe. He just likes things to NOT lie as they are designed to do so.

We've found this both comforting and frustrating. In some weird ways, it's kind of funny -- it's almost like his way of interacting with others, specifically, his older brother. He likes to destroy Daniel's block towers and projects, and as Daniel is discovering the power of legos, this is becoming a real problem. He likes to disorganize the "order" that someone else is trying to create around him. He always laughs at the disorder her creates, especially if he gets the negative reaction from someone. Is this just his way of controlling those around him? He actually seeks this out -- he will run into a room and overturn something, then "hide" (aka, run away from the scene of the crime, but make sure he can watch the reactions of others).

In order to minimize the effect of this, I've removed so many of the toys from their play area. However, I have to leave some things for them to play with. And Simon continues to find things that he can destroy, so it's almost pointless. I'm trying to the basement organized. It's just a (seemingly) impossible task when, every day, chaos reigns. Or, should I say, Simon.

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