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Monday, February 11, 2008

What Makes a Friend?

A while back, I noted that Tommy had really connected with the two boys with whom he was taking a mediocre writing/math homeschool class. Well, I think I was wrong.

It's not that he actively DISlikes the kids. But both have their issues (on is fairly severely autistic), and I have a bad feeling that they remind him of the kids in his old class. The boy with autism has gone through a lot of ABA, and he is bound and determined to make Tommy his friend by tellin him what to do and how to do it. Tommy, who always appears more "autistic" among other folks with autism, climbs into his shell and simply pretends he's not there.

After the class, he'll say the boy is his friend. Well, that's what he said about all the kids in his class. It took ages to get out of him that he frankly didn't like several of them - and had no great love for ANY of them!

Last week, we went out to lunch after class - and happened to meet up with the more typical boy and his mom. Tom, who is usually the first to open his menu and choose a meal, seemed incapable of handling or reading a menu... unable to carry on even a basic back and forth dialog... or speaking intelligibly to the waiter.

It was like he'd lost five years of skills.

Of course, he was fine shortly after. But what was THAT all about?! Peter says he thinks this little group is dragging Tommy backwards. I'm afraid he's quite right.


Debi said...

This has happened to us more than once. The first time I was already unhappy with the ABA and removed him from the school. To be honest I'm not sure if it was the other kids because in public school he's picked up other things, so it seems to go both ways for my son.

My son has had "episodes" that were longer than part of a day, they were weeks or months. Like he was taking two steps forward and then three back or the brakes were put on for no apparent reason. Over time I saw a pattern of giant leaps forward coming after these "episodes".

He'll be ten soon. This is the first year I've seen him maturing and taking on responsibility without whining or tantrums. Even his teachers are seeing a giant leap forward in his maturity.

We had a huge triumph the other day when I said something jokingly and he turned to READ MY FACE and LAUGHED WITH ME!! Wow, wow, wow!! We are overjoyed about that new behavior and stoking that fire!!!! He has a very hard time with humor unless it is slapstick cartoony stuff.

Maddy said...

There's always more than meets the eye.
Best wishes

Maddy said...

I'm finally catching up [I hope!] Nip on over and collect your award [Less than three award] when you have a free nano second.

[That would perhaps be sometime in the next few months if you're anything like me?]

Best wishes

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

sorry for the long gap... life keeps interfering with a "personal" blog life!

Thanks so much for sharing, Deb! I remember working on "just kidding" with Tom; think he's usually got it right at this point, but it's still a process. Best of all was his first fib LOL!

Thanks, Maddy, for the award... you're very kind! Now... how does this pass-it-on thing work? I have a bad feeling we'll all wind up awarding each other forever in an endless loop!!