Screaming, tantrums, and aggression

Ezra has been going through a phase of increased screaming, and aggression, and decreased flexibility. He is starting to throw tantrums again. Sometimes I think it is related to the full moon. He seems to scream more during the full moon times. His granny used to work in a home for severely handicapped people, and she said that during full moon the residents seem to all be on edge, verbal, and violent. He has made so much progress in many ways, but right now we hope that the increased vocal outbursts, the pinching, spitting, and hitting, are a sign growth rather than regression. We noticed that whenever he is making strides in one area, he has a huge shut down, where everything goes back to before and it seems as if all progress has been extinguished. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that those moments are scary and unsettling, and I think…what now? Where do I go from here? But I try to have faith in the training I got in the Autism Treatment Center where they taught us that when the brain grows it’s like downloading new software to a computer. In order for it to work, you have to restart the computer, and during that time you can’t do anything but wait patiently until it’s rebooted, and then you enjoy your newer high speed computer application. So that’s what I hope for. That’s what I want to believe in.

Ezra has become more aware of other children. The other day Micah had his first real school friend over to play. Ezra wanted very badly for that friend to be his friend too. He craves friendship, but doesn’t know how to go about it. He can’t really converse well in English or Dutch. On the playground he sees other kids playing together, and he wants to take part. It is exciting and difficult at the same time to see him want to interact, and knowing how far he still has to go to have a normal relationship. He now speaks a bit of Dutch, but not enough to truly converse. He speaks too loud and in a strange voice, so whether it was proper Dutch or not, anyone could tell that he’s different. The other day I was a ways off on the playground and turned around to check on Ezra who was on the swings, and saw that two older boys had started harassing him. I walked over there and sorted out the situation with a look that put the kids in place. No need for words. Kids speak back to him, but he doesn’t yet understand. During those times I feel guilty and helpless for living here, in a country where he can’t possibly make local friends in our community. If I had the money I would immediately move across the border to Germany where there are lots of kids from our ward who speak English, and then I would send him to the international school. Still, despite everything it is exciting to see him grow in his desire to interact.

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