Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday was a "stimmy" day

WARNING- the following contains content that may not be appropriate for more sensitive readers, people eating , or anyone with the ability to read between the lines. If this is you, you might want to skip down to the pictures.

Being the parent of an autistic child has some great challenges. You sometimes wind up doing things that you never visualized yourself dealing with while you wer dreaming of baby names and shopping for all those pink or blue outfits. Autism takes those dreams and gives them a whole new slant. You never considered it would have to be pink or blue AND of a texture that did not make them non communicative. You never dream of hearing them say their name ( or some other nonsense sort of detail) over and over and over again day after day because the cadence of the speech comforts them. You aspire to feed them healthy food and give them good toys, never imagining they would eat the packaging , wrappers and sometimes the toys them self. But when you have an autistic child, these things happen. Son has been making real progress, but he is still autistic. There are still some behaviors that show up , which means we still have work. He may never be free of these. The two that linger the strongest with him are repetitive speech ( recites the upcoming schedule of events over and over and over) and he eats non food things. It is not Pica ( a condition where a person craves non food things because of a deficiancy) , but instead a neurological stimming mechanism. In autistic children, a stim helps them to stay present, or acts as a comforting device.

Yesterday morning I woke up with a really stiff neck, and I tried to get a little more rest after hubby left. Son was watching a DVD and went to the bathroom. He yelled the potty was backed up and he would plunge it. Well, he does not totally understand the process, flushed again, and I was alerted to a flood in the bathroom. Gallos of water get the idea. Two rolls of paper towels, three bathtowels, rags, a sponge mop and bailing with a bowl later and the mess was cleaned. Mommy using the plunger got the glog busted. But in the process, I discovered son was once again eating non food. Wrappers, small plastic toys and more. It is a miracle this stuff passed without pain or got stuck in his appendix ! What a mess- and what a morning ! However, i did explain to son that this is one reason we do not eat non food. He helped clean the mess up every step of the way, and I hope this experience helps him to learn how to control this stim- if that is even possible.

Okay- enough about that. On with the good stuff for the day. The only exercise I got in was a short walk , but rest days are importaint. If you can call yesterday a rest day !

Breakfast was crocopot pumpkin grains. For us it was 1/3 cup whole wheat, 1/3 cup barley and 1/3 cup steel cut oats with 1 can solid packed pumpkin and 4 cups of water, 1 T cinnamon and 1 T brown sugar. Place in a crockpot at bedtime and it is ready in the morning. Top with 1 T peanut butter, 1 T Pumpkin Butter, 1 t flax oil, 2 T ground flax and t T crasins for 434 calories. This was really, really good !

Lunch ( after the flood) was a pizza made on an Aldi's original wrap ( 90 calories) topped with 1/4 cup Italian blend cheese, sliced mushrooms and bacon bits. Celery , carrots and a tomato joined in for 330 calories

Snack, after running to the library and the store for more paper towels was an apple and a Fiber Plus bar for 200 calories

Dinner was roast root veggies ( turnip, sweet potato, carrot, blue potato) topped with a turkey burger and gravy. Tossed salad ( romaine, tomato, cucumber) on the side for 347 calories

Evening snack was a sliced bartlett pear and 100 calorie pack of almonds for 170 calories. Total calorie count for the day was 1484 calories.

Here's hoping today is not another "stimmy" day !


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Wow! What a trying "rest" day for you. I didn't realize that autism manifested itself in so many different ways.

Your calories and food were still right on track though - even with all the drama.


Sorry for the mess you had to clean up. Those type - not necessarily potty messes - of huge messes seem to occur on an almost daily basis around here too. It's not fun.

As far as the eating non-food items, and I hope I am not overstepping any boundaries here, but since I've been reading your blog and know your son has autism, I have been curious if you have ever tried the gluten-free, casein-free diet with your son. From what I have researched on my own and also been told by our DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) physicians, the eating of non-food items to include hands, a lot of times is caused by a yeast overgrowth in the gut.

While we do the GFCF with our own son and ourselves (it's just easier than cooking two separate meals), we have seen subtle changes in behaviors and stimming behaviors in our son and daughter both. If you are not familiar with the dietary approach to treating autism and are interested, I would be happy to provide some helpful websites....just let me know.