He stimmed A LOT that night. Logan has taken to flicking a Sharpie or pen in his hand back and forth. It is quite clearly a stim for him. He zones out as well as makes strange noises. I usually take the pen from him UNLESS he is trying to calm himself. I let him keep his pen that night. It was obviously helping him to regulate the change in routine. Did he look odd? You bet he did. Where some family members less than forgiving of his behavior? You bet they were. One of the first things you learn in autism is how to have a thick skin. I had to pray for grace and strength that night for sure. Impending death brings out the worst in people.
When Grampa died the next morning, Logan cried. Was he sad about losing Grampa? I think he really was sad at the thought of never seeing Grampa again. BUT I think he felt sadder at seeing Michael and I sad and crying. It pained him greatly to see me cry. Unfortunately, he couldn’t understand why I would be sad. I had to verbalize my pain and anguish for him to understand. He needed me to self talk my feelings in addition to verbally work things out for him. I was too emotional to do it at times. There were moments. when for my own mental health , I let him stim and check out to the safe world of autism.
Was it good for him to do that? Probably not. But there are times when the black and white world of autism conflicts with the real world. There are times when I have to take my own emotional well being into account first. Let’s face it. Autism stinks. Death stinks. Put the two together and it just sucks.
Social Stories for death and autism
- Pathfinders for Autism
- A Social Story About Death
- Going To A Funeral
- Explaining Death Social Stories
Books on Grief for Children