Some mornings are just not meant to be woken to. This has been such a morning. Emma lost her balloon string. A yellow piece of string that was once attached to a balloon. Emma doesn’t care that the balloon is no longer attached, in fact, she isn’t even remotely interested in the balloon. It’s the string she cares about and this morning it went missing. No amount of reassurance, no amount of talking to her about it, no substitutions would quell the storm that emanates from Emma when she is upset. Emma was beyond upset. Emma was heart broken, in a panic, utterly stressed out, screaming, snot pouring from her nose, shrieking “I need help! Mommy! Mommy! I need help!” over and over and over again until the words become some sort of hysterical mantra. It is at this point that she begins to script. ”I know baby. You threw it! You cannot throw it. I need help. Mommy! I need help. Baby, baby you can’t throw it!” And on it goes, repeatedly, between tears and screams and stomping of feet and then when it all becomes too much she bites herself or hits herself in the face or punches herself in the leg or arm. And we run around trying to find the damn balloon string or mutter under our breath that we should have thrown the stupid string away days ago, because this isn’t the first time she’s lost it and no substitution will do.
Last weekend when Richard offered her an identical balloon string she said, “Other one.” And walked away.
No there will be no substitution and all that can be done is to barricade oneself mentally from the screams, try to keep ones patience and get her ready for the school bus because if we miss that, we have a whole new set of problems. Once we were downstairs the tears and scripting continued. But eventually, eventually she calmed down enough to play “bat” with me. We talked about the bus and school and later Joe and study room and how it was going to be a good day. It got off to a rocky start, but it would be okay. And somehow, at some point Emma seemed convinced that this just might be true.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism go to: EmmasHopeBook.com