Obsessions

Its been a challenging few weeks with Charlie. A common autistic trait is obsessive behaviours. I used to think that meant being extremely obsessed with just 1 thing. I’ve come to realise that Charlie is quite simply obsessed about everything. Of course it was first apparent with trains – this has never gone away, but it has grown… We’ve had Mr men, flanimals, pillow pets, innocent smoothie fridge magnets to name just a few. They are nearly always ‘groups’ of things – meaning over time we acquire whole collections of things. If a collection is incomplete¬† Charlie just can’t cope. This is what caused our Christmas day trauma as the item needed to complete his ‘Thomas’ collection was something he had seen on a YouTube video in Japan!
The latest obsession has been with a mobile phone. Charlie inherited one of my old phones, which he was very happy with. Unfortunately this phone became another of Charlie’s casualties – not sure what triggered him to to this but it is a regular occurrence for Charlie to destroy his belongings. The laptop that came back from the repairer about a month ago with a new hard drive installed only lasted a week.
Last weekend we had booked a nights stay at a premier inn in London. Something Charlie has been asking to do for over a year. It was meant to be a special pre birthday treat. That was our first mistake – “my birthday is on the 25th not the 16th” after over a month of preparation 2 days before we went he seemed to accept that Friday was the day that we were going but it was on the condition that he took his ‘new’ Nokia phone. I said it would be here on time…
I’d told a white lie… I had purchased a replacement from eBay but knew it wouldn’t arrive on time. Bags packed and about to leave he asked if his phone had arrived… No forms of blackmail, coaxing or persuasion worked. Charlie became distressed and destructive. After half an hour of failed negotiations we decided to abandon the trip. The sad thing is the phone arrived earlier this week and now he thinks we can just pop off to London this weekend… I see more tears and casualties ahead…
Its irrational behaviour, I know, but its like it causes him actual physical pain if things aren’t just as he expects… Easily mistaken for being spoilt – if only it was as simple as that.
Today I’ve had to make a 2nd batch of noodles for his tea as I didn’t follow our usual drill of noodle making… He likes to put the sachet of powder on himself and taste a bit with a pair of chopsticks before its cooked… This mistake earnt me a wallop on the back and a near scalding with hot water. The other day the girls at work were treated to 2 cold pizzas for Sunday breakfast as it took the 3rd attempt to be cooked just right!
Would love to say I’m looking forward to his birthday celebrations next week but with gary away and his current unpredictability, I’m expecting to be disappointed.

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