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No Autism Advantage for My Son As He Slaps His Head and Bites His Wrists

Posted Nov 06 2011 1:32am

The pictures above were taken of my son Conor during our early morning walk yesterday.  We have enjoyed many such walks and yesterday was a beautiful fresh fall morning that we both enjoyed.  Most of the rest of the day was also great.  Conor is a lot of fun, notwithstanding his Autistic Disorder. I enjoyed every moment with him ... except as the day drew to an end.  

At about 7:30 pm last evening Conor started to repeat the phrase school on Sunday, school on Sunday, school on Sunday .... endlessly.  He also began slapping his head and biting his hands, wrists and legs.  My attempts to communicate with him and modify his behavior, which apparently Dr. Laurent Mottron, and his mentor Michelle Dawson, would consider advantageous behavior, were only mildly successful.  I tried to get him into his bedtime routine in the downstairs washroom, to get him brushing his teeth, washing his face etc. The immediate result was a full scale meltdown which I overcame simply by loudly commanding him to begin brushing his teeth.  
As Conor completed his bedtime preparation he calmed down.  At 8:00 pm he went to sleep on the living room couch as he often likes to do.  I placed pillows under his head and covered him with lots of thick heavy blankets, then stayed nearby working at a computer in the adjacent kitchen.  Conor made some gentle singing and whistling sounds but engaged in no more self injurious or loud behaviors as he quietly went to sleep.

I  was thankful, for his sake and mine, that my son's autism advantage had disappeared for the night, that his slapping, biting and screaming had stopped and that he was able to get some sleep.

I look forward to another beautiful morning walk with Conor today but I hope that his autism advantage does not return. 
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