Friday, June 27, 2008


When Maya does something that ‘she should know better’ than to do, I often think of it is as a game – high stakes for her, since she’s usually trying to exert some independence, push my buttons, test the waters, etc…

But with Demetrius, that can be such a hard thing to interpret.

This new TV in the office intoxicates him.  The locks on it are different than the locks on the TV downstairs – he can watch most of his DVDs on this TV because I can’t password lock the TV the same way. So if he puts in a G rated DVD, regardless of all the parental controls – it will play….because parental controls weren’t written to keep autistic kids from stemming…the codes were written to keep 13 year old boys from watching inappropriate content.

So for the past month, he has had one of his favorite DVDs, the Justice League Brave and the Bold, a total of four days. That’s because we take it away for a week, each time he sneaks it onto the new TV, without asking.  So yesterday, he gets it back, we tell him he can watch it on the downstairs TV, and then we find him upstairs watching it on the office TV without permission while not doing what he is supposed to.


What I am figuring out here is that he is actually evolving in terms of his stemming.  He no longer just has to stand and yelp and flap…he can sit and watch a video (without hitting buttons constantly for visual stemming). How do I know when he is and isn’t doing this? I’ll have to watch more closely. 

But I take the DVD away again for a week, and he got very upset.  “I just got it back!,” he whined, which is true, but he immediately did what he was not supposed to do.

How he manages to sneak into the office when it is open only for a few minutes without an adult in there is amazing to me.  It is truly impressive, but I’m irritated/frustrated/sad that I repeatedly have to take this video from him…

Of course, it isn’t nearly as bad as when he wants to watch Pixar Shorts….that brings on some serious, high voltage stemming….

Posted by Jerry in 15:51:45

2 Responses to “Exhausting”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am sure you know all the controversy around whether or not to let your child with Autism stim. We have tried it both ways with M early on. Everyone stims in one way or another but to different degress.

    I always struggled in this area.

    As a parent you have to follow your gut. If removing the video helps then try not to feel bad about doing so. If it does not help then I try to look at alternatives. We looked for alternatives through Southpaw Enterprises and purchased a squeeze machine, chewy tubes and other manipulative objects to help her “let it out” in different ways. For M it was needing ‘deep pressure’ input. For D it sounds like ‘visual’?

    I think this topic is very interesting and find that parents handle it in many different ways. Most adults with Autism seem to think allowing the stemming is best. At least that is what I gather? I am not one hundred percent sure.

    Lots of M’s stim causes problems because it can come out as repeatedly licking her lips or things like that. Alternatives seemed necesary.

    I hope you are able to come up with some ideas for D. Let us know what you come up with.


  2. Micki says:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only parent that gets excited AND frustrated that my kids are doing normal, disobedient things.

    We’re getting in to the whole superhero and video game thing and man, I’ve never seen him stem so much. If I have to hear about Super Smash brothers one more time . . .

    Interestingly enough, with the stemming, we’ve found that if we start discouraging one version, another one pops up. On the one hand, hand flapping is fairly safe, not hurting his body or health, but draws a lot of unnecessary, somewhat unwanted attention from strangers, but his alternatives are not good. Sigh.