So last night there was a program at church. It started with a soup and bread buffet. Many of our son’s dining skills were on display:
- The turn-the-table-into-a-sampler-tray-technique. Instead of standing in line, Joey prefers to walk along picking up things, taking a bite, and putting the remainder of the chomped piece back on the table for all to enjoy. Melissa managed to head him off before he got at the bread platters last night.
- The if-this-were-a-game-show-event-I’d-win technique. Can you finish your soup without a spoon before the people with spoons finish theirs? Joey can. Yes, the washing machine is running this morning.
- The “Hate to eat and run” technique. This one’s been around since he was a toddler. Early on, we couldn’t make him stay put at the table. So, we would sit down to eat, and he would run up, let us feed him a bite, then run off to do autistic stuff. Touch the couch, pull on the vertical blinds, slam a door, etc., all in a precise order. Then run back for another bite, then run off to repeat the cycle. Can’t remember which of us said it, but somebody piped up with, “Hate to eat and run” as Joey raced off between mouthfuls.
It was kind of cute, but as he got older we worked hard to get him to sit down and eat like the rest of the world.
So now he has a modified version of it. He sits long enough to eat, then goes off and does semi-autistic stuff. Not quite as obvious as running a loop through the house touching things in a precise order, but definitely not mainstream behaviors. Last night he alternated between sitting on a comfy chair in a dark room and standing in the entry way of the church, staring out the window. For an hour.
But at least he respected the cold evening and didn’t just go outside to stand by the car. And he respected the gathering in the church, not coming in to pull and tug at mom to “negotiate” an early trip home.
OK, gotta get to work here. Hate to type and run…