Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aww poop. Part 2

Scroll down to "Aww Poop" for the background info.

So yesterday I looked forward to repeating the success we had the day before. I hoped he wouldn't poop at school so he'd be ready to go once we got home. He needed a haircut so we stopped for a scheduled appt on the way home. We also picked up some dinner.

We get home and the first thing I do is take him to the potty. His pull up was wet, so there goes #1. I sit him down and try the hover maneuver for just a minute or so.


We retreat to the table and have dinner (pizza). He's fine for a bit...getting pizza sauce all over his hands etc.
He then starts to wiggle around and won't eat. Seems to be in a hurry to get out of his booster seat. I tell my wife I'm going to change shirts real quick (because I don't want greasy pizza hands all over a good shirt!).

She gets him down from his chair and they rush off to the bathroom. By the time I arrive in an old shirt, it's all over.

He couldn't hold it....there's some poop in the bowl, and some not in the bowl. Poor little guy.

You might think that this was a failure compared to the previous day's success but I disagree.

He's never been one to broadcast that he's about to poop. One second he's fine, the next he's done. This time though, he got all worked up about it. He didn't protest when my wife rushed him down the hallway to the bathroom. He didn't protest when she sat him down. He finished what he had started seconds earlier.

It's like he knew where he needed to be and was upset that he wasn't there in time.

He was rewarded with his favorite cereal (dry cinnamon toast crunch) just like the day before. I can't wait to get him home to try it again today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Autism Awareness videos

Making movies is a hobby of mine. It started in an English class in which we studied documentaries instead of literature. We were required to make several short films for the class. That's where I got my start. I wanted to do things like this when I was a kid, but there were no computers back then to do most of the work. 

I've been working on "Say Cheese", the film about my son and autism...but it's really tough because I'm still not 100% sure where I want to go with it. In the meantime I've made several short films.

I'm not telling anyone with a  child diagnosed with autism something they don't already know. They're not really my target audience at this point. My audience is those people who may be in doubt. Those people who have concerns about their own child. 

I scoured the internet daily, looking for examples to compare my son to. Some examples sucked, to be honest. 

I'm making these videos short and hopefully very clear. I'm tackling one aspect at a time and trying to show respect for my son and my audience at the same time.

This is part 1.

Part 2.

This was made last friday while my wife took our son to therapy.  I was overwhelmed by how quiet and still everything was around the house with him not there. I realized just how much he is missing out on because he has to go to therapy...even over summer break.I decided to document how I was feeling and just how empty it was without him there.
This short film is the result.

Aww poop.

Potty training is not easy. Any parent knows this...That is, unless your little one was born with an innate ability to drop gps guided ordinance within a centimeter of it's intended target. If this happens to be the case with you, I have a few suggestions where you can go on your next vacation. Hint: it won't be Jamaica, mon.

My son is 4 and has autism. Potty training can be extra difficult for kids on the spectrum. He's got about a 70% success rate with #1 (if he gets to the bathroom in time....). Even then, it's up to us to take him there as he won't just go on his own yet. Get him to the toilet with perfect timing and he owns #1.

It's #2 we have a problem with.

I'll just be a grown up and refer to it as poop because switching around keyboards on my iPhone is taking too long.

Poop it is.

We've tried to time the poops. We have a decent ballpark guesstimate of when he needs to go, usually. He's about as regular as...well....ok bad choice of words. He's hard to predict.

Usually our efforts to have him poop in the proper place consist of sitting him down on the toilet to huge protests on his part. He pees standing up. He poops standing up. End of story.

We'll sit with him.
Entertain him.
Feed him.
Beg him.
And after an hour or so, everyone has a numb butt so we give up. We put his pull up back on, he goes into the living room and poops.

That's how it works.

My wife brought him home from therapy yesterday afternoon. He was in the clothes we sent him in which was a good sign that he hadn't pooped at school. I get down to wrestle around with him and catch a whiff.

There's poop afoot.

We dart to the bathroom and like countless times before, I set him down on the toilet. I have hope in my heart that today, this day, things will be different. My wonderful and supportive wife brings water for me, and juice and crackers for him. She knows we're serious this time.

I break out the iPad. He watches several episodes of Spongebob. He heaves the iPad onto the tile in frustration twice. The otterbox case saves the day repeatedly. 

He wants to stand. He needs to poop.

I heard that turning a kid around on the toilet works occasionally. I try that. Now he's really pissed off. We're also out of juice and crackers. 

We're now about an hour into this. I call to my wife and tell her I'm losing confidence in my ability to stick with it. She offers some words of encouragement and a hug. My resolve strengthens. 

Now he's turned around and facing the proper direction. Still mad. Still needs to poop. Spongebob and the iPad are no longer cutting it. I scoot my chair closer to face him and place my hands under his arms. I lift him ever so slightly into a hovering position about an inch off the toilet seat. I don't know why I did this. 

Suddenly he grows quiet. He appears as though he's staring down some threat in the distance. I get the feeling that something is about to happen.

I hear a noise.

I catch a whiff.

And like that, I'm pretty sure he's pooped into the toilet.

I don't have the courage to check the bowl. It seems too good to be true. I call for my wife (who's now preparing dinner) to come in for the unveiling. My daughter joins in as well. I felt like Geraldo Rivera on live TV about to unveil Al Capone's vault. Would it hold treasures? Bodies? Poop? 

Or would it be empty?

I slowly lift the boy off the pot. 

The vault wasn't empty.

Eat your heart our Geraldo.

My boy pooped in the toilet.

- Posted from my phone. I know...phones are amazing.