I'm not sure if I've ever told you that I love roosters - not live ones so much but I love rooster collectibles. One day last summer I was at the dollar store and saw this beautiful rooster. It was the last one and I really wanted it. I looked at it for several minutes, knowing that this guy would look GREAT sitting on my side porch railing and then sat it back on the shelf. The owner of the dollar store saw me do this and offered me the garden ornament for less than half price. That was exactly the price I could afford and the rooster had a new home.
Last fall, I asked hubby to put this guy in the basement. I thought he had done so, but when I went looking for him this year, I couldn't find him. Hubby says he never put him in the basement. Well, I can bet your bottom dollar that he is down there, but since we have to go outside to get to the basement, I haven't been down there all winter. One day over the weekend I will take a look and I bet I find him. If not, he has found a home at someone else's house.
I want to tell you a bit more about Brandon's autism. Have you ever been in a store and saw a child throw a gigantic temper tantrum. I have, and before Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, I always thought, "If I was that child's mother..."
When Brandon was about just a baby, he began throwing what we thought was temper tantrums. Sometimes it would seem that it was over nothing. We couldn't figure out why he was doing this. Once he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, we knew that he wasn't throwing a temper tantrum, but was "melting down."
The first time I ever saw Brandon doing this, Grandpa and I were taking him out. He was about 7 months old. He was in his car seat in the back and he began screaming. I talked to him and tried to get him to stop, but it only got worse. Finally, I told my husband to stop on the side of the road so I could figure out what was wrong. I opened the back door - it was a hot summer day - and Brandon was soaking wet because of the heat and of course because he was screaming. I checked his clothes to see if something was picking or biting him. Nothing. I was bewildered. Finally I took off his shoes and socks, thinking that maybe his shoes were pinching him. Immediately he stopped crying. I thought this was odd, but though possibly it was the shoes.
Over time, we came to realize that when Brandon screamed like this that he was too hot. Though he seldom has a meltdown anymore, if Brandon gets too hot, he is always in a bad mood. For years he didn't know how to communicate his feelings. A simple, "I'm too hot" never came out of his mouth. He just acted out. It took us a long time to figure out why he acted like this.
When Brandon was about eight or nine, I was watching the boys one day after school. Brandon had been "acting out" for a few days. Michelle and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. It was a guessing game and a little like mind reading. When Brandon started acting out this particular day, my patience grew a little thin. (Yes, I am human.) I said, "Brandon, you have to tell me what is wrong." I was very frustrated and my voice very stern. He answered, "This hair! It's driving me crazy," and he pulled at his hair.
Because Brandon has a problem with heat, Michelle has his hair buzzed in an attempt to keep him cool. When Michelle came home, I told her what had happened and the next morning she took him and had his hair cut in a brush cut. That was the end of the acting out. His hair was literally driving him crazy, just as he said. Today when his hair gets too long, which can be only an inch on top of his head, he asks us to take him for a hair cut. He is now communicating his feelings.
It has been difficult to always know just why Brandon was "acting out." I have many more stories to tell, but they are for another day. So the next time you see a child throwing a temper tantrum in a public place, don't be too quick to judge. Yes, it may be an old fashioned temper tantrum, or it might be a sign that this child has a problem communicating his feelings and is "acting out."
Be sure to stop by Mary's Vintage Flea Market to find out what treasures I have up for sale this week and be sure to visit the other Friday Flea Market participants.
Have wonderful weekend and take a moment to do a random act of kindness. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to brighten someone's day. ~Blessings, Mary~