May 26, 2009 at 3:26 am 6 comments

Jake likes to go for car rides. A loooot of car rides. On a non-school day he’ll go on three or four rides minimum. He’ll request more but can sometimes be redirected or distracted with another activity if we don’t think enough time has passed since the last ride.

The reason for all the rides is, I suspect, partially just for something to do. There’s only so much cutting of paper a boy can do before calluses form and cramps seize the scissor-wielding hands, after all. But it also provides a form of sensory input (vestibular) that some kids with autism seek. It literally evens him out and it helps him get himself together when he’s having a rough time. I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me a long time, probably a year or more, to recognize that that’s what was going on. That the car rides were more than just car rides for Jake.

A couple of weeks ago I instituted a new rule though. Jake’s always been a big kid, but since he began on abilify last year his appetite has become almost insatiable and he’s really gained a lot of weight. He doesn’t enjoy physical activity to begin with and has anxiety issues with most play equipment so it’s been difficult to find anything tempting enough for him to participate in. But he wants those car rides, boy howdy! So the new rule is, walk before ride. We have to take a walk before we take a ride. Not a marathon walk, just the equivalent of around the block or so, but I figure that several times a day it will add up, right? His endurance is increasing as is the distance he’s willing to walk so I’m hopeful we can build on what we’re doing now. Lord knows we can all use the exercise!

On each walk, Jake gathers things that catch his eye. A rock (it’s never what you or I would consider a pretty or interesting rock, it’s always a plain, blah, gravel kind of rock…he’s never interested in the “pretty” rocks that I point out though), pine cones, different types of grass or leaves, and dandelions. Always dandelions. He stops completely, throwing his arms out to stop his walking companion(s) as well, picks up whatever has caught his attention while I comment on it and compliment his fine choice, and then he hands it over to me to be carried with the other items collected on the walk. I am always the pack mule, brought along to carry provisions like the cell phone and water bottle and to haul back the treasures collected on the trek. And then the items are laid out on the front steps like a little altar before the car ride can finally begin.



Entry filed under: Jake. Tags: .

Now what? Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. barb  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:23 am

    you be a good riter Judy! I like what you rite! : ) b

  • 2. Sabrina Koebel  |  May 26, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Awesome!!! Great Job Judy!!!

  • 3. Vonna Maslanka  |  May 26, 2009 at 6:32 am

    I think your stage fright has left the building what a great come out on your first post! You did good girl, love the colors too! ❤ – xoxo

  • 4. Laura D  |  May 26, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Judy, the story you told was beautiful!! It brought a little piece of you and Jake to me in PA. I look forward to reading more about you and your men (their too big to be boys anymore right?) Love ya and hang in there because you are an inspiration to me. Laura D.

  • 5. Mom  |  May 27, 2009 at 10:51 am

    what will be will be. the most important thing is what is best for Jon. I think it is a great idea

  • 6. Michelle  |  May 29, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Oh I LOVE IT! And what a great idea on the walks!!!!!


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